The Comic Book Story of Beer

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The Comic Book Story of Beer

Authors Jonathan Hennessy and Mike Smith teamed up with animator Aaron McConnell to bring the history of beer alive. The Comic Book Story of Beer is a graphic novel that kicks off with the story of the 9,000 year old beer-like drink that was discovered at an early stone age site in China, up through today’s current craft brewing revolution.

“Beer and civilization are intertwined from the earliest times and it really makes for a great story,” shares author Mike Smith who was first approached about the graphic novel concept by Hennessey who was a longtime friend and patron of a brewery Smith was working at in Plymouth, Mass.

Prior to his time working at a professional brewery, Smith worked at a local homebrew shop for a number years and spent a lot of time reading all the homebrew and beer books he could get his hands on, including Charlie Papazian’s classic The Homebrewers Companion. “All of that knowledge and passion for beer led directly to The Comic Book History of Beer,” said Smith.

The story of the American Homebrewers Association and evolution of homebrewing in America is proudly featured on pages 152-153 of the novel, which you can preview below.

When asked about the inclusion of homebrewing in the comic’s story, Mike responded: “The story of beer is homebrewing. For millennia all brewing was at home. Beer was produced domestically, often by women. It wasn’t until recently, in the late Middle Ages, that brewing left the home and become a commercial enterprise.”

The Comic Book of History can be purchased on

Reprinted with the permission from The Comic Book Story of Beer, by Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, and imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Artwork copyright © 2015 by Aaron McConnell. 

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