Some blogs have a nice through line built in that makes it just right to move into book form, such is the case with Farmhouse Ale Quest which sprung from the blog of Lars Marius Garshol. Make sure to buy from him so he can get the full amount of money. Find it HERE.
File this under I wish it was available now because a lot of people should be reading it to get their heads on straighter.
Tara Nurin’s A Woman’s Place is in the Brewhouse will be coming out this fall and I strongly suggest that you pre-order it like I did by clicking HERE.
And I hope that an addendum is needed because so much progress gets made.
I am a sucker for a brewery history book. Even when that book is also filled with recipes (beer and/or food) and other miscellany.
“This book offers you a unique look behind the scenes of St.Bernardus: from the rich history to the brewing process and the recently renovated visitor centre. In addition, you will be served various national and international recipes and cocktails by various top and starred chefs, in which the beers of St.Bernardus play the leading role.”
Obviously this book will not be an exhaustive bit of research, but I am adding it to my want to read list
This was a fun ride of a book. I certainly wish that it were longer but as a fan of novellas, this story was complete. It ends sad and there is a never solved mystery of a recipe never seen and in between is Czech beer history a plenty to make you want to visit both Prague and Pilsen.
Basically an old defunct brewery is brought back to life and starts producing excellently reviewed beer but too soon it falls apart with the brewmaster retiring and the owner dying.
I heartily recommend this book. You will probably read it in one sitting.
The March book is the first book from the Oprah imprint, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho.
You may have seen the videos that preceded this book which are really good and I highly recommend. This book is much in the same vein. Good, up to date advice about bridging the conversation gap. This book is not a tirade, it is not a downer, it covers a very hard topic but with what I call a firm lightness. No one is off the hook and dark history is told straight up and facts are reiterated strongly. (Get outta here with your misguided reverse racism) But Acho is a warm ebullient person and that comes through. It may seem an easy comparison but he is like a friend who you can trust to navigate tough situations.
For those open to learning and to correcting their past mistakes, this book provides a strategy on how to be an ally and more importantly a friend.
Three words on the beer choice. Crowns & Hops. If you haven’t had a beer from the dynamic duo of Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, then order the book and then go find one of the many beers that they have released in the last six months. They have a new Italian Pilsner, Miles to Italy that I need to go out and buy for sure. Plus they have a collaboration with Great Notion on a Gose named Crowns and Axes that look intriguing too.
Author Jeremy Banas dives into the three iterations of the Celis Witbier in his book about Pierre Celis and his journey from Belgium to Texas and back and, at least to me, it reads as a cautionary tale about the business of beer.
Twice, Pierre Celis ran into financial roadblocks and twice he sold. Once to the predecessor of SABInBev and once to Miller to keep his brewery afloat. Both times the beer was quickly changed to cheaper ingredients and Pierre would find himself persona non grata at the office.
Granted the first sale of the Belgian brewery was precipitated by a destructive fire but to then head to Austin and get figuratively burnt again after the Michael Jackson tells you that selling would be a bad plan seems like a person who needs a financial guru in their corner so that Pierre could focus on being a brand ambassador and brewer.
The third attempt led by Pierre’s daughter Christine has also ran into financial issues as well as having to fight to regain the Celis name and to weather a pandemic.
Throughout it all the Hoegarden nee Celis White stands the test of time when it comes to the witbier style. And I certainly hope that, this time, if the brewery falls that the recipe or “name” not be sold again.
Once you get past the undercapitalized portion of this story, you see the drive to keep a beer style alive and the pure love of beer that Pierre had and with each page turn, I wanted to visit Belgian breweries more so in that respect Banas succeeded in his tale.
This month we travel to New York and a community filled with nicknames in Deacon King Kong by James McBride.
This is a bold and brash book filled to the brim with characters. Real 3-D characters. The plot follows he aftermath of a shooting. Sportcoat, the Deacon, possibly a bit addled from too much King Kong homemade hooch shoots a drug dealer in broad daylight. From there we learn about all of the people in this community. Cops, parishioners and the mob. This book just blazes. Not a dull moment even when the action shifts to gardening. Even the narrative digressions are larger than life.
The first choice of beer would be Boomtown Brewing’s Graffiti series of IPAs. Bright 16oz cans that resemble spray paint cans. Next up is a detour to where Sportcoat came from and Fonta Flora and their inspired beers made with ingredient sounds like Paw Paw. Lastly, I would suggest a big barleywine something with an ABV that would match the Kong.
Back at the start of craft, you had a fairly rigid selection. A pale, a red, an amber and a stout. Nowadays when a brewery opens, you will almost always see a few IPA’s, something dark and a Witbier. That the style still exists has been attributed to Pierre Celis. His beer journey which has extended to his family is the subject of a new beer book by Jeremy Banas simply titled Celis Beer.
Readers of the blog will know that I dabble in spirits and wine in addition to my favorite beer. They will also know that I am an avid reader. So, when I saw that a book has been written about the history of that fancy dressed speed walker by the name of Johnnie. I knew that I had to post about it right after I looked to purchase it.
One day, there will be histories written of long lived beer brands and I hope they get handsome books detailing their histories.