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Chris Drosner writes the Beer Baron column for the Wisconsin State Journal.

For two years, Milwaukee-based author and photographer Matthew Janzen crisscrossed Wisconsin, capturing the stories and images of people connected to the state’s small breweries.

The result, “State of Craft Beer,” is a 272-page doppelbock of a coffee table book that’s impressive both in- and outside its handsome leather cover.

The photography, mainly, and loose narrative style tell the story of dozens of brewers and other brewery employees, but also others touched by the Wisconsin craft beer industry: hop and barley growers, welders, artists, chemists, bartenders, dairy farmers and even papermakers. The images are replete with boots, stainless steel and, of course, beards, but it’s the hidden figures outside the breweries that drive home the beer world’s breadth and diversity.

In a touch that fits with the theme, the entire book is sourced from Wisconsin.

As the holiday season approaches — the $45 tome would be a winner for any Wisconsin beer fan on your gift list — Janzen is embarking on a tour of nearly every corner of the state, including an event at Mystery to Me bookstore, 1863 Monroe St., at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Other stops on a 24-library tour around the state include Sept. 27 at Spring Green Community Library, 7 p.m.; Nov. 9 at New Glarus Public Library, 6 p.m.; and Nov. 15 at McFarland’s E.D. Locke Public Library, 6:30 p.m.


Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the date of the author's appearance at Mystery to Me.

Got a beer you’d like the Beer Baron to pop the cap on? Contact Chris Drosner at or follow him on Twitter @WSJbeerbaron.