Thursday, August 30, 2007

A few good beer books.

A reader asks:

I'm thinking about getting into home brewing, and I'd like to just become more knowledgeable about beer and the craft beer industry in general. Do you know of any good books to read on one or all three subjects (home brewing, the industry, and beer overall)? A cursory search in Amazon yielded plenty of results, but I figured you might have a good suggestion or two.

Following are quick, off-the-cuff suggestions designed much like a personal “Top Five.” The list is not intended to be comprehensive, and reader additions are appreciated. Perhaps we can come up with a worthy “Top Ten.”

I may not think much of Charlie Papazian when it comes to his beer industry dabbling outside homebrewing, but when it comes to homebrewing, his New Complete Joy of Home Brewing probably remains the best place to start for aspiring homebrewers.

The classic “great beer” texts by Michael Jackson are still out there, and worth it for the always elegant writing, although the information is dated in older editions. Go to his Beer Hunter website and read the many archived columns there, then look around for used copies of the warhorses from the 1980’s.

Garrett Oliver's The Brewmaster's Table is a recent essential volume. The subtitle says it all: “Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food.” However, it’s also a wonderful overview of beer styles.

Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, by Christopher Mark O’Brien. Need I say more?

For insight into the microbrewing business, I like Sam Calagione’s Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. He has another book called
Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home, but I haven’t yet read it.

Readers?

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