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Published on May 7, 2008
The Authors@Google program was pleased to welcome Ken Wells to discuss his book "Travels With Barley: The Quest for the Perfect Beer Joint".
About the Author: Ken Wells is a senior writer and features editor for page one of The Wall Street Journal. In 1982, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for The Miami Herald. He's written five books and loves beer. He lives with his family outside Manhattan.
About the Book: This account of journeys through the soft beer belly of America exudes that expansive happiness that springs from a guy who is truly enjoying his bottle of brew. Wells, a Wall Street Journal reporter, has crisscrossed the U.S., visiting breweries and bars to find out just what makes beer the nation's leading adult beverage. In the wake of the "lager wars" that drove so many midsize breweries to extinction in the late twentieth century, Wells finds newly prospering microbreweries. He visits the deceptively down-market Flora-Bama Lounge on the Gulf Coast to find out how it maintains its record consumption levels. He travels the length of the Mississippi to assess the heartland's appetite for brewskis. Wells delves into the history of the giant breweries such as Anheuser-Busch with its trademark Clydesdale draft horses and Miller with its phenomenally successful campaign to encourage that quaffing of "light" beer. As one would expect from a reporter of his background, Wells focuses his eye less flatteringly on the economic, social, and political role of beer, whose powerful lobbyists jealously guard industry prerogatives.
This event took place on April 10, 2008 at the Google NYC office.