Fifty To Be Precise

I am a sucker for a beer book.  I am pretty much a sucker for books, especially if there is a clever hook. I just bought Eoghan Walsh’s Brussels Beer in Fifty Objects. 

Mostly because the hook is that instead of a narrative or another summary of the brewing process, this is about Brussels and beer told via beer related items.

Sorta like telling a history of the Anderlecht Football club through their jerseys.

Full review to come later, I have a lot of books in line to get through.

A Book & A Beer – Bourbon Empire by Reid Mitenbuler

Of course the book of the month is about bourbon. Reid Mitenbuler looks at bourbon through slightly jaded eyes in Bourbon Empire.

The sub-title gives the scope of the narrative, The past and future of America’s whiskey. Overall Mitenbuler does a succinct job of pulling back the curtain on the business of bourbon detailing how the beverage looks way more artisanal than the business structure behind it actually is.

I did find the constant referencing back to Jefferson v Hamilton a bit overdone and a little too easy to boil things down to local and agrarian v business and industry. I also felt there was a missed opportunity to show the way that bourbon spun out of prohibition in comparison to beer and wine. I would almost prefer less time spent in that era and more in modern times detailing the new small distilling operations that have sprung up mostly because the chapter on Coppersea Distilling was quite interesting.

This book excels when it is busting myths and showing how the sausage is made without a PR firm spin to it. The fact that done brands were actually traded between competing firms was new news to me.

To drink with this book, I suggest getting yourself a California Common or the Kentucky version and compare it to Anchor Steam. That copyrighted name and its fallout is a close cousin to some of the business going on in bourbon.

Bonus Book Review – Drunk

Drunk – How we sipped, danced, and stumbled our way to civilization by Edward Slingerland is of interest because of one simple thesis, we use alcohol as an intoxicant as a way to recover fun in our lives or as the author states in a much more sociological way, alcohol gives us the 3 C’s – communal, culture and creative.

Otherwise genetics or evolution would have made alcohol as needed as an appendix is now.

The other fun bit of knowledge is based on “dosing”.  Other drugs or highs achieved from say, running, achieve sone of the same ends as alcohol but but either are way more addictive, drugs or are too unwieldy in time like running.  Alcohol is quicker, more effective and though it is addictive, no getting around that, it is not as rapidly destructive as harder drugs.

Past that, this book tends to cover the same ground over much.  Especially when dispelling other ideas regarding why alcohol is still ingrained in humans.  I am much better writing in summary than in minute detail so when a writer tells me the same thing over and over, I quickly suss it out.

But the writing style of Slingerland’s is jovial and not bogged down in terminology so the read is still fun.

Hops Illustrated

Hope get another close up with Dan DiSorbo’s upcoming book, The Book of Hops.

Here is the dust jacket blurb…

“Hops are the most important ingredient in the beer we love, offering a spectrum of distinct aromas, flavors, and bitterness. Whether it’s a floral Cascade, spicy Saaz, juicy Citra, or a combination of different varieties, hop character has become the driving force behind craft brewing. The Book of Hops profiles fifty of the most sought-after hops from around the world, with intricate photography and notes on taste, composition, use, and origin, plus examples of the wonderful beers that showcase them. 

With contributions from today’s most important brewers and growers; a handy primer that breaks down the science, story, andproduction of beer; and hand-picked craft beer recommendations throughout, this fully illustrated guidebook is all you need to discover and fully savor your next favorite brew.”

The Botany of Beer

Agriculture and beer are inextricably linked. Plant life and beer are as well, especially when beer and creativity are mixed. That is why The Botany of Beer is important.

This synopsis should convince you, like it did me, to dive into what the book offers…

“This book is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated compendium of the characteristics and properties of the plants used in making beer around the world. The botanical expert Giuseppe Caruso presents scientifically rigorous descriptions, accompanied by his own hand-drawn ink images, of more than 500 species. For each one, he gives the scientific classification, common names, and information about morphology, geographical distribution and habitat, and cultivation range. Caruso provides detailed information about each plant’s applications in beer making, including which of its parts are employed, as well as its chemical composition, its potential toxicity, and examples of beers and styles in which it is typically used. The book also considers historical uses, aiding brewers who seek to rediscover ancient and early modern concoctions.”

Malt & Whey

Here is all you really need to know to make a decision about buying the book Beer Cheese Stories by Michael Landis.

“What’s in the Book?
400 Beer & Cheese Pairings
130 Breweries with over 300 Beers
110 Cheese Makers with over 300 Cheeses
12 Cheese Boards with over 300 Accompaniments
Stories of how and why the pairing worked”

Craft Brewery Cookbook

Beer journalist John Holl spent his pandemic in the kitchen with beer and it resulted in….

So flip the pages to find your favorite beers and see what recipes pair with them and see if you agree or not.

The cookbook releases on May 10th and make sure to buy from a local bookstore.


As someone who posts monthly about books and beer and who reviews beer books for Beer Paper LA, I don’t much like book banning.

For that reason, this new beer from Flying Dog strikes the right chord for me.

A bold and juicy 11% ABV IPA that nods to the novel Fahrenheit 451 through the beer’s name and artwork.