Books Written By Tony Russo
Boasting a brewing history older than the United States, Delaware packs an outsized punch in the craft beer scene with its landmark breweries and bold flavors. After Prohibition and the bust of the first craft beer bubble, entrepreneurial homebrewers resurrected the industry. Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head led the charge by rewriting the state’s beer legislation, and the field opened to other brewpubs like Stewarts and Iron Hill to pair savory bites with their brews. By 2009, production breweries like 16 Mile and Fordham & Dominion were on the rise, changing the arc of Delaware beer. Beer writer Tony Russo tells a story of big risks and innovative brewers and proves that there has never been a better time to drink local.
When Great Britain levied heavy taxes against the colonies, the Eastern Shore’s first beer geek, John Beale Bordley, swore off English ales and set his substantial estate to perfecting his own home brews. It took another two centuries and a revolution of a different kind to bring brewing back to the Maryland shore. In 1989, Wild Goose bore the gospel of drinking local to Cambridge before falling victim to the first craft beer bubble. The next wave of high-gravity harbingers like Eastern Shore Brewing, Burley Oak and Evolution Craft Brewing fought to change collective palates and legislation allowing them to serve up their frosty pints. Beer bard and blogger Tony Russo taps into this full-bodied history while introducing the region’s bold new batch of brewers.
“I didn’t go to college after high school. I didn’t go to college, actually, until I was 30. For me, one of the difficulties I had when I decided not to go to college was I a bad impression of it. It seemed like permission to get a job. That’s how it was pitched around in my house growing up, and I didn’t need permission to get a job. So I just got a job and started reading. Then as I got older, I had been reading a lot of philosophy, and then I just became obsessed with getting a degree. I went back to school to get a degree in philosophy to become a philosophy teacher, but that didn’t quite happen. I also got a degree in history along the way.” – Tony Russo