How 19th-Century German Immigrants Revolutionized America’s Beer Industry

How did lager become America’s most popular drink, sold everywhere from convenience stores to luxury hotels? It all started in the middle of the 19and century, when crowds of German immigrants brewed the light, pale, and effervescent booze in their kitchens for a taste of home.

Resourceful German brewers turned the lager industry into a powerhouse by aggressively promoting the new drink to American palates, even turning war and tragedy into opportunity. They cemented their dominance by adopting new industrial technologies and continually improving their recipes. Along the way, opponents of alcohol and immigrants tried to derail their progress. A fight for the right to drink lager even split the professional baseball league, launching what would become the American League.

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