Book Review – The Brewer’s Tale by William Bostwick

Due to Santa being of advanced age, I found out via wayward e-mail that I would be getting this book for Christmas; which is tomorrow.


Which means that I got to read it early! And I am glad I did. I have been in a rut of bad books, repetitive books and flat out uninteresting reads. The Brewer’s Tale is none of those things.

It is broken up into eight categories like The Patriot and The Monk to illustrate both a brewing era and an archetype of brewer. You get opinions from Jim Koch and Sam Calagione as well as points of actual view from iconoclasts such as Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing. And each chapter gets a home brewed beer that is actually woven into the text very well.

One of my signs that a book has been enjoyed is the amount of dog-eared pages. And there were many in this book. Be it quotes from Martin Luther to the Devil, the names of Elizabethan ales or a quote about the glory of the inefficient hand-made.

William Bostwick has covered a lot of ground, educated me and done so in under 250 pages. It is as if, a trusted writer had synthesized beer history and put it into a slender volume. All while sharing a personal point of view.

Of course there are a couple of things that I would change. Somehow Logsdon Ales ended up in Washington State instead of Hood River, Oregon and the old chestnut about how big beer makes uniform quality beer is there.  But it read more like a having a discussion with a well versed beer buddy where I felt that I could chime in with my opinion as well.

As you can probably tell, I highly recommend this book.  It is up there with Ian Coutt’s book the Perfect Keg for readability and accessibility.

The Brewer’s Tale

William Bostwick has penned a new book on the evolution of brewing through history. The Brewer’s Tale about “Jumping through time as he weaves ancient lore with today’s craft scene,”


Since Bostwick is a journalist with a Wall Street Journal pedigree, I expect this book to be well researched especially if it wants to cover 5,000 years of beer in 300 pages.

It is on my reading list, so when I have finished, expect a review here.