Book Review: Dictionary of the History of the American...

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Book Review: Dictionary of the History of the American...

Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:10 pm

Dictionary of the History of the American Brewing and Distilling Industries by William L. Downard. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980. Contents, Preface, Appendixes, Bibliography, Index. Pp.268

William Downard created one of the best reference books available when he wrote this dictionary. It includes definitions of of distilling and brewing terms such as:
"Flakestand: In the distilling process, this was the barrel or drum of cold water in which the condenser, or wprm, was immeresed to vaporize the alcohol. Modern methods of cooling have largely replaced this method, especially since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933."

Definitions such as this would make the book handy to have around, but he does not stop there. He gives a brief history of people, distilleries and brands involved in the brewing and distilling history as well as the practical terms. The problem is the history is not always correct. Much of the history was given him by marketing departments from the distilling companies. He does use many outside sources and his pre-prohibition histories are often very accurate.

As if the definitions are not useful enough, Downard goes an extra step with eleven seperate Appendixes that give even more information. These include charts of Alcohol Consumption from 1710-1795, History of the Federal Liquor Excise Tax and Grain and Molasses Distilleries in Operation on January 1, 1891, and their Daily Capacities. There is even more dealing with the brewing industry for those with that interest.

This book is a "must have" for a complete distiling library. It would be nice if it was updated with new information, but unfortunately Downard passed away not long after completing this book.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby bunghole » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:29 am

Mike,
Never heard of this one before.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:31 am

This one can be kind of hard to find because it is out of print, but it is well worth the trouble if you do find it for your library.
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Unread postby bunghole » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:39 am

Mike, I'd rather just save my money for your history volume. :king:
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Unread postby Brewer » Sun Oct 24, 2004 9:45 am

bunghole wrote:Mike, I'd rather just save my money for your history volume. :king:


So Mike, when will your history volume be available?? :?:

Bob
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