Today is World Book Day. Usually, I loathe these types of events like National Sibling Day, Record Store Day, or [Insert beer style here] day. Books hold a special place in my heart, and I fear too many people lack reverence for the written word. I decided long ago to make talking about books a part of this blog, so I’m pulling eight great alcohol books for you to pick up and start reading on World Book Day!
Since I have to begin this list somewhere, I’m starting with the two books most recent in my mind. The one I’m reading and the one I just finished.
I got this as part of my venture into spirits, though, in truth, it’s more about all alcoholic beverages. I’m only into the second chapter, but I find it an enjoyable read. The author, Adam Rogers, is doing for the science of booze what Neil deGrasse Tyson has done for the sciences of astrophysics. Instead of complex chemical breakdowns of what yeast is we get stories about how crucial it is to a brewery and how it does what it does. I’ll have more on this book when I post my review after I finish reading it. Until then you can buy it from Amazon.
2. Tasting Whiskey
Sticking with my recent reads brings us to Lew Bryson’s Tasting Whiskey. I just finished reading this two weeks ago. You can head back to read my full review of it here, but in short it’s a great introductory dive into the world of whiskey. Pick it up on Amazon.
We’re far away from recent reads now as it’s been a year or two since I read & reviewed this though I should read it again. Tasting Beer is a fantastic intro to beer just as Tasting Whiskey is an excellent intro to whiskey. As far as I know the two books aren’t related farther than a name, but both should be next to each other on your bookshelf!
4. American Sour Beer
Let’s jump over to two books about brewing one of my favorite sets of styles. Sours are still a bit of rarefied air in beer, but they’re growing rapidly with some breweries around the country, and now one in Cincinnati, brewing only sour beers! American Sour Beer is the go-to text on making your own sours. I did a full review of it a few months ago or you can go straight to ordering it from Amazon.
5. Wild Brews
What American Sour Beer is for America, Wild Brews is for old-world sour styles. I have yet to read this book myself. It’s sitting on my shelf and taunting me to plow through the other books ahead of it. Everything I’ve heard says you shouldn’t brew a sour without memorizing this first… not to say that stopped me. Josh Osborne, founder & former author of Queen City Drinks, wrote a review of it on the blog two years back which you can check out here or, as all the others, order from Amazon.
Getting off the track of doing-it-yourself let’s learn about those who did-it-themselves at home and decided to do-it-themselves at a production brewery. The Audacity of Hops gives a great history of craft beer in America that I haven’t seen presented so skillfully in other books. As everything else on the list here’s my review and a link to buy it on Amazon.
7. Over The Barrel: When Beer Was King
If you read one book about Cincinnati history, make it this one. Not just because it’s about beer, but because it is full of the excellent stories that shaped this city into what it became. Plus you can go on a tour of downtown Cincinnati and check out some lagering tunnels with the author! My review and Amazon linkage.
8. Uncorked: The Novice’s Guide to Wine
This blog is supposedly about all alcoholic beverages so let’s not leave oenophiles hanging without a book recommendation. I’m not sure why I never wrote a review of this book since I learned a lot from it. Honestly, it should be called Tasting Wine and go near the top of the list with Tasting Whiskey and Tasting Beer. It’s a simple no-frills guide to the history and styles of wine presented in a very simple fashion. The stereotypical wine snob holier than thou image is done away with and replaced with straight-forward information. I’ll eventually update this article with a link to the review that I’ll hopefully write one day until then you can pick it up on Amazon.
Well, those are my eight suggestions. If you have ideas for numbers, 9, 10, 11, or more, leave them in the comments!