A newsletter for the industry pro (or aspiring pro).

October’s Best Reads on Drinks and Drinking

Welcome to The PUNCHbowl, a monthly installment where we share our favorite long reads on all things drinks and nightlife. This month: the history of the Italian-American cocktail, the revival of heritage hops, Napa after the fires and more.

Cocktail Recipes

Of the 100,000-acre burn area scorched by the northern California’s recent wildfires, a number of vineyards are emerging largely intact. Fire officials believe that the vines—which hold more moisture than oak forests—served as natural fire breaks, ultimately reducing damage in certain areas. [Los Angeles Times]

Having weathered the devastating fires that leveled entire neighborhoods, displacing nearly 100,000 people, California’s wine industry is bracing for another potential loss: Many of the undocumented immigrants that the industry depends upon do not qualify for disaster aid, prompting a potential exodus. [New York Times]

“If the last 50 years of American craft beer has a liquid godfather,” writes Tom Acitelli, “it’s Anchor Steam.” Tracing the rise of Anchor Steam from local San Francisco oddity to national brewing legacy, Acitelli offers an in-depth look at the only existing commercial example of the U.S.-born “steam” beer style. [Eater]

Italian traditions have played a significant role in American drinking culture since the 19th century. Historian David Wondrich traces the evolution of the Italian-American cocktail from after-dinner Amaro to disco drinks. [The Daily Beast]

Responsible for the visual identity of Mikkeller, one of the beer world’s most sought-after brands, Keith Shore seeks to match the complexity of what’s in the bottle with what’s on it. A novel idea when he began working with the brand, Shore has since set the industry standard for a number of breweries seeking to create entire visual worlds. [October]

When Julio Bermejo’s dream of becoming a diplomat faltered, he fell into a career at his parents’ San Francisco restaurant, Tommy’s. Shanna Farrell profiles Bermejo, highlighting how he turned Tommy’s into a fixture of the community and hub of good tequila. [San Francisco Chronicle]

In 1910, a mildew blight decimated New York’s local, heritage hops, and efforts to revive them, which began after the repeal of Probitition, have been largely unsuccessful. Now, a group of students from SUNY in Cobleskill, New York, are engineering a fungus-resistant varietal to supply the state’s countless craft brewers. [NPR]

The excavation of a nearly 4,000-year-old Canaanite palace in Tel Kabri, Israel, has revealed the extensive role of wine in everyday life during the Bronze Age. Using DNA technologies, archaeologists are aiming to recreate the prominent grape variety pulled from residue found at the excavation site. [New York Times]

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Tagged: longreads