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In the television documentary series How Booze Built America host Mike Rowe discusses the role alcohol has played in the formation of modern America. The series begins with alcohol's role amongst the Pilgrims and its effects on the American Revolution. Later episodes discuss a booze filled side to the U.S.A's western expansion and the space race of the 50s and 60s.

We see alcohol running through the veins of American history from problematic molasses taxes to Johnny Appleseed harvesting apples for hard cider. The series is keen to point out every small place where the addition of booze is an unexpected historical footnote. We see that in early America every town in Massachusetts was required to have a tavern. Naturally enough, when the ideas of the revolution were being spread around it was in these bars.

The host brings his typically friendly nature to the show's presentation. Rowe will walk through the middle of historical reenactments donned in t-shirt, jeans and cap whilst adding his narration. He interviews the historians and experts on the show over a beer. Occasionally we might even see Rowe sharing a drink with the locals. At times Rowe goes so far as to break the fourth wall, pointing out the crew member in the corner artificially creating the appearance of a smoke filled tavern. While the design of the show is casual and accessible, it never gets in the way of the facts.

The series is a production by Karga Seven pictures with post production by Fancy Film Post Services. It was aired as a three part series with episodes running 44 minutes in a one hour time slot. It is distributed by Discovery Channel.

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Wednesday 10:00 PM et/pt on Discovery Channel
1 Season, 3 Episodes - Currently Airing
Family, History
2/10
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How Booze Built America Full Episode Guide

  • Join Mike as he looks at out how alcohol propelled the space race, how prohibition inspired our pastime, and who killed JFK.

  • Mike Rower looks at how alcohol fueled America's westward expansion. Also, the stories of Johnny Appleseed and the O.K. Corral.

  • Mike Rowe starts with the Pilgrim's emergency beer run that led to the American Revolution.

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