Vince Capano is a two time winner of the prestigious Quill and Tankard
writing award for humor from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.  

Vince's column is now  a regular feature of
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Vince's  Adventures in Beerland
History Flows on Rivers of Beer                by   Vince Capano    

As we approach the Fourth of July it's time we forget that phony, sanitized
stuff you read in history books.  Years of diligent research and the quick
consumption of numerous pints have emboldened me to provide you with
the real story of American History.  And before you say that too many
beers have clouded my revisionist view, just remember that too much of a
good thing can be wonderful!

Let’s start with the Declaration of Beer Independence by Thomas Jefferson,
a colonial home brewer of some renown.  Who can forget his stirring
words:  “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all beer is not created
equal.  That there are beers which are endowed by their brewer with
flavors that come from the careful combinations of barely, hops, and
water.  That beer drinkers everywhere have the unalienable right to the
distinctive flavors, aromas, and tastes of fine ales.”

Honest Abe Lincoln reached poetic heights when he wrote the famous
Gettysbeerg Address: “Four score and seven pints ago I was moved to
bring forth upon you, the beer loving citizens of this land, a new
declaration conceived in the hope that fine ales will become your singular
choice of fermented beverage.  So join me and now be resolved that the
purveyors of quality beer have not brewed in vain.  That the people of this
land shall have a new birth of appreciation for good beer and that quality
ales of the brewers, by the brewers, and for the brewers shall not perish
from the marketplace.”

Firebrand colonial revolutionary Patrick Henry was another moved to speak
out about his favorite beverage with these memorable words: “Gentlemen
and ladies may cry Bud, Millers, Coors – but those are clearly not beers of
flavor and taste.  We the enlightened must pledge ourselves to spread the
joy of quality beers across the breadth of this land to insure that fine ales,
lagers and cask-conditioned brews abound in every pub. I know not what
course others may take but as for me give me another pint of Anchor
Liberty Ale or give me death.”

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ended Prohibition by telling the
American people: “ Let me assert my firm belief that in our quest to make
quality brews the choice of the masses we have nothing to fear but fear
itself.  That nameless unjustified terror that truly good beer will never be
allowed again on our store shelves or poured in our pubs.”

Indeed, when your request for a quality craft ale at your local pub is met
with derisive laughter from ignorant bystanders take solace from 1776’s
Beer Writer of the Year, Thomas Paine.  Heed his words in his famous
pamphlet Common Beer Sense: “These are the times that try men’s souls.  
The summer ale drinker and the dry hopped patriot, cannot, in this crisis
for beer, shrink from this service to their country.”

So it remains our sworn duty to encourage pub goers everywhere to put
down their watery macro beers and take their first drink of quality ale.  And
as those first drops of good beer cross their lips they will finally appreciate
what astronaut Neil Armstrong meant when he said: “one small sip for
man, one giant swallow for beerkind.”

And so fellow historians let us go forth to make this a New Frontier of
Beer.  Keep the words of John F. Kennedy in your hearts and  “ask not
what your country can brew for you, but what you can brew for your

Truly, history does flow on rivers of beer.
History Flows on Rivers of Beer
Vince Capano