He wrote about brewed beverages-beer and sake, and wrote the 1989 book, The Essentials of Beer Style.
He is identified as a “beer writer,” a “beer historian,” and as a “beer critic.” He
was a local celebrity in Portland, Oregon, which Eckhardt described as “the brewing capital of the world.
Eckhardt was an advocate and publicist for American sake. Drawing on his experience in beer competitions, he created a set of guidelines for sake tasting competitions.
He published a sake newsletter several times each year; and he authored Sake (U.S.A.): A Complete Guide to American Sake, Sake Breweries and Homebrewed Sake.
While the rest of the world may be drinking more sake and the quality of sake has been increasing, sake production has been declining in Japan since the mid-1970s.
The increase in American production for domestic consumption and export has been, in part, affected by the lower cost of rice compared with Japan; but other more difficult-to-analyze factors are important.
At present, sake homebrewing is not allowed under Japanese law. Eckhardt foresees that his book, which spells out how homebrewing might reinvigorate sake consumption in Japan.
His optimism is informed in part by the unanticipated expansion of micro-breweries in Oregon since the state law prohibiting them was repealed in 1985.