It's all but official: I have a verbal agreement with Stackpole Books to do a 4th edition of Pennsylvania Breweries, tentatively due to hit the shelves in September of 2010.
That sounds like a long way off, but here's the thing. I've decided that I want this 4th edition to contain as much new material as possible. That means I'll be re-writing every section, re-writing every brewery entry -- which I'd have to do anyway, things have changed so much -- and once again, visiting every brewery. There are currently 75 breweries in the state that have either opened or will be opening within the next couple of months. There are so many breweries that I've had to add a new section (which is just as well: "Upstate" as everything that didn't fit somewhere else was unwieldy).
And I'll finally be able to do something I've wanted to do since the very first edition, back in 1998: this edition will contain the big, beautiful, capable brewery on I-78in Vogelsville, now the home of Boston Beer in Pennsylvania. Pabst never played ball, and I just couldn't bring myself to include a 'facility' that 'brewed' Smirnoff Ice. Now she'll be in there, and I'm quite excited.
I'd like some suggestions from you, my readers. What would you like to see added to this edition, what do you think is a waste of space? What Pennsylvania brewer or beer figure should I ask to write the foreword? What great bar that you think I may not know about should be in here? And what are your favorite "added attractions" that you like to visit when you're in the neighborhood of your favorite Pennsylvania breweries? Drop a comment here, or e-mail me, and thanks!
All you Pennsylvania brewers: heads up, folks! I'll be asking for your help very soon, sending out the questionnaires. I need that information to start working on your entry. I also need your artwork. If you want a chance at being on the cover of Pennsylvania Breweries 4th edition, get your artwork in early! I'll be sending out descriptions of what we need and release forms, please get them back to me. The art department at Stackpole makes the call on who goes on, but you can't win if you don't play.
A lot of work coming up, and a lot of travel. I hope to see some of you when I'm on the road; say hi, I'll be glad to see you. Here we go again!