History of Philly Craft Brewing

Philadelphia-based beer historian Rich Wagner has published the “Craft Brewing in Philadelphia 1985-2005,” an E-Book on CD which, in Wagner’s words, “tells the story of Philadelphia’s craft brewing scene with all it’s twists and turns, comedy, tragedy, and everything in between.”

The ‘book’ details “every story pertaining to Philadelphia’s craft breweries from Ale Street News, Barleycorn, Bay Schooner, Beer and Tavern Chronicle, Beer Philadelphia, Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, as well as stories from the Philadelphia Daily News, Inquirer and other sources,” Wagner explains. “The articles are arranged chronologically by company to creat a book that’s about 200 pages long.

“Writers include Jim Anderson, Lew Bryson, Jack Curtin, George Hummel, Don Russell, Dale Van Wieren and Rich Wagner, just to name a few. The disc provides a complete look at what has taken place over that time and will surely bring back many forgotten memories.”

Wagner has been researching the history of Pennsylvania breweries since 1980 and has conducted fourteen tours of Philadelphia’s historic breweries as well as craft breweries and is currently working on a book entitled “Philadelphia Breweries Now and Then,” the backwards telling of the tale beginning with today’s craft brewing industry and going back in time to Philadelphia’s first seventeenth century English brewer.

He graduated with a Diploma in Brewing Technology from Chicago’s Siebel Institute in 1994 and worked in craft breweries in Philadelphia over a seven year period. He is currently the Secretary/Membership Chair for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, District Philadelphia. He writes frequently for the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and gives regular PowerPoint presentations at Yards Brewing on the history of local brewing.

“Craft Brewing in Philadelphia 1985-2005” is currently available online at Wagner’s website http://pabreweryhistorians.tripod.com.