- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2007

DUMMERSTON, Vt. (AP) — Alan D. Eames, a beer historian and author whose globe-trotting research into exotic brews and their origins earned him the nickname “the Beer King,” died Feb. 17 of respiratory failure. He was 59.

Mr. Eames, the son of a Harvard-educated anthropologist, grew up in Gardner, Mass., and was fascinated with horror books and magic tricks as a boy.

His beer forays began in 1970s after he bought a Templeton, Mass., country store and began stocking exotic beers, turning it into a kind of mecca for aficionados. He later founded Three Dollar Dewey’s Ale House in Portland, Maine.

But he made his mark in publishing and travel. His books include “Secret Life of Beer” and “A Beer Drinker’s Companion.”

Once, during a trip to South Africa, he taste-tested a rare dark beer in a small village and liked it so much he asked to see the brewer, who was said to be a village grandfather. The women who served him began laughing, he said.

“My translator informed me that the beer wasn’t made by grandfather, it was made with grandfather,” Mr. Eames told the Rutland Herald in an October 2006 interview. “They put his cremated bone fragments in with the rest of the ingredients.”

Mr. Eames’ expertise landed him work as a consultant to beer companies, microbreweries and importers, including Guinness, Beck’s and Pete’s Wicked Ale.

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