From Crookedtimber.org, here's a great example of people's passion for and about beer. Thanks to Antimeta for the link. One minor correction to Daniel Davies' blog piece: In 1876, Budweiser was owned by Carl Conrad. It was brewed on contract by his friend Adolphus Busch, the mastermind at Anheuser-Busch. A-B only acquired the brand/trademark and outright ownership in 1891.
On a related note (beer = passion), last week I spoke at a regional meeting of the Master Brewers Assocation of America in New Ulm, Minnesota (home of Schell Brewing, the nation's second oldest brewing company). As always, I met with and spoke to an amazing group of people: talented, smart, funny-bordering-on-hilarious. We toured the brewery and heard about Schell's attempts to create a plastic container for beer. The folks there have my admiration -- and sympathy: as the history of canned beer demonstrates, it ain't easy to "contain" beer. Researchers spent a quarter of a century trying to figure out how to can it. I have no idea how long it will take to capture beer in plastic. Eventually we gathered back at the tour center for the group's business meeting and my talk about beer's history.
Then it was time for the main event: eating, talking, laughing, telling stories. Enjoying the moment, the grand spring evening, and the beer. Toward the end of the evening, I was sitting with a small group that included Ted Marti, the brewery's president. Mark Sutred, founder-president of Summit in Saint Paul, came to the table to say his good-byes. He shook hands all 'round, then leaned down, embraced Ted's shoulders, and kissed him on the cheek. A rare display for an American man, but a typical expression of friendship and affection for the people who work in the brewing industry. Made my night!