Format Hardcover
Publication Date 07/02/24
ISBN 9781639366811
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 288

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The Sugar Rush

A Memoir of Wild Dreams, Budding Bromance, and Making Maple Syrup

Peter Gregg

Filled with humor and raucous adventure, The Sugar Rush is the story of two friends with a sweet, golden, syrupy dream, set against the rugged New England wilderness.

Trying to shake off the emotions of a recently emptied nest and midlife anxiety, Peter Gregg launches into a strange new chapter—he decides to make maple syrup. A lot of it. After recruiting his best buddy, Bert, and collecting advice from a clique of salty farmers who’ve been sugaring all their lives, Gregg is soon consumed by what maple producers call “the Bug.” He sets out to chase the mythical “five pounder” goal—a lofty syrup production total that’ll put him in league with the pros in Vermont. For the next three months, from January to early April, the two men battle the rugged terrain of a mountain of maples in an Ahab-like quest that eats up their energy, time, and contents of their wallets.

Along the way, they learn how to handle dangerous equipment, outrun predatory wildlife and deal with the sped-up seasons brought on by climate change.

Out of their struggle, they get something more valuable than the liquid gold they’re cooking: bonds of lasting friendship, a lifeline to a community, and a sense of purpose that remains long after sugaring season is over.

At its heart, The Sugar Rush is a deliciously hilarious yet moving account of the crazy journey some people will take in their "pursuit of happiness."

Told with humor, gusto, and in the profane vernacular common to the woodsy hinterlands of Upstate New York and Vermont, The Sugar Rush speaks to a desire to set the bar high... and the pancake stack higher.

Peter Gregg runs a 1,000-tap sugaring operation along rutty and steep Blossom Road in the shadow of Rupert Mountain, Vermont. He is also the longtime publisher of The Maple News, the largest trade magazine for the maple-syrup industry in the United States and Canada. Each month, the magazine features his popular column, "Amateur Sugar Maker," a humorous chronicle of his pursuits.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Two entrepreneurs along the New York-Vermont border contended with unruly weather and marauding squirrels in their quest for a syrupy success. Peter Gregg’s The Sugar Rush focuses attention on the glories of producing maple syrup. Readers fearing that too much sap might gum up Mr. Gregg’s narrative will be glad for his young-adulthood recollections.” The Wall Street Journal
"A sweet memoir. With Gregg’s humor narrating battles with logistics and climate change, The Sugar Rush is a compelling story of a man making the most of what the great outdoors has to offer." WBUR
“Gregg documents his success harvesting maple syrup on his upstate New York acreage, with an account of the physical and mental toll it took on him and his business partner, Bert. Gregg relates the duo’s travails and introduces a cast of obsessively dedicated farmers ever willing to help one another when difficulties arise. Readers far beyond the author's northeast community will appreciate farmers’ devotion to the craft—and never want to pour anything but the genuine article on their pancakes again.” Booklist
The Sugar Rush takes us on a sweet and rollicking ride through the world of the sugarmakers, those brave souls who endure the harsh New England winters to bring us the amber goodness we pour on our pancakes. But The Sugar Rush is much more than a story about the intricate process of making 100% pure maple syrup. It’s about finding one’s passion, purpose and place in life. After reading Gregg’s thoroughly enjoyable memoir, I may never look at my tall stack smothered with maple syrup the same way again.” Craig Carlson, New York Times bestselling author of Pancakes in Paris and Let Them Eat Pancakes
“Peter Gregg’s poignant and comical memoir Sugar Rush will push you to contemplate following your own madcap aspirations, as his delectable chapters have you rooting that the hero comes through with all limbs intact, one decent night’s sleep, and a lofty goal achieved. He will also have you craving a hefty stack of flapjacks, so be warned…his words carry weight!” Shelley Sackier, author of Make it a Double: From Wretched to Wondrous—Tales of One Woman’s Lifelong Discovery of Whisky