June 15, 2011

3 Great Beer Books

Here are some gift ideas for your favorite beer drinker:

Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey

Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer OdysseyIn this easy-to-read road trip book, Brian Yaeger travels across the United States to visit 37 American breweries. As much about beer as the people who make it, he interviews the founders and owners of several of them, starting with the oldest active brewery in the States: D. G. Yuengling & Son in Pennsylvania. His "Beer Odyssey" takes you North to Maine, all the way to the West Coast, across the South, and up the East Coast to Dogfish Head and Brooklyn Brewery. Yaeger revisits the theme of the family business throughout.

You'll learn about brewing history in America, including the first breweries opened by early immigrants, how the industry struggled through Prohibition, and the latest of what's happening in craft brewing today.

The Complete Handbook of Beers and Brewing: The Beer Lover's Guide to the World

The Complete Handbook of Beers and Brewing: The Beer Lover's Guide to the WorldThis was the first beer book I ever bought and partly what got me into homebrewing and craft beer. A world atlas of beer, the book is divided into two sections. The first part covers the history of the beverage and the process of making beer. It briefly discusses the origins of beer, how it has changed over the centuries, and what ingredients are used to make beer.

The second part of the book, my favorite, is a 'World Tour' of brands and styles. Jumping from continent to continent, breweries and types of beers are listed for each country or region with interesting anecdotes scattered throughout. Though its a few years out of date at this point, you can get a used copy on Amazon for less than a dollar.

Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery

Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn BreweryThis is a great read for anyone interested in starting a business. Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, the founders of the Brooklyn Brewery, take us through their experience of starting a business from the ground up. From how their idea came about, to where they found their investment capital, to the many bumps along the way, Hindy and Potter hold nothing back. They share their experience of dealing with the mob, getting robbed at gunpoint, and how they almost lost their business in the dot com bust.

For a book about business, this was fascinating. Keep an eye out for my next post about visiting the Brooklyn Brewery.

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