Brewing with the Aurochs: Great Resources on Beer
From time to time, we get asked about great resources for learning about beer. We thought we would share a few of the many great resources that we have come across, ordered roughly by level of compexity. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it gives you plenty of information to get you started. The fact is that you could spend the rest of your life learning about beer. This great beverage crosses all disciplines and areas of human knowledge.
Here we go:
Drink a Beer
Honestly, one of the best ways to learn about beer is to enjoy a beer. Behind every beer is a brewer and story. Broaden your horizons and try a brewery or style you have not tried before.
Brew a Beer
Brewing a beer is a great way to understand the ingredients and process that go into this great beverage. Brewing can be as easy or as difficult as you would like. Our recommendation is to just dive in! A great place to start is to check out your local Homebrewers Association club. Most homebrew stores can share a ton of great knowledge as well. Remember to take the time to properly clean and sanitize during each step of the process (we learned this the hard way).
Brew Your Own
Brew Your Own labels themselves as the how to homebrew magazine and they do not disappoint. They provide a great resource for beer styles, beer recipes, and how to brew and enjoy beer.
The Homebrewers Association has a lot of great information. If you are just getting started in homebrewing or would like a quick refresher, be sure to check out their video series starting with Homebrewing 101. Also, they publish a great magazine every 2 months called Zymurgy, which has a lot of great information about beer and brewing.
Tasting Beer, Randy Mosher
This book is geared to really understanding how to taste and appreciate the nuances in a beer. Randy Mosher is one of the world’s most renowned beer authors and this book does an awesome job of how to properly taste a beer and recognize the flavors and potentially off-flavors in a beer. This is a must read for anyone trying to improve their beer knowledge or recipe development.
Radical Brewing, Randy Mosher
In yet another wonderful beer book by Randy Mosher, Radical Brewing provides a look into beer culture and history as well as a vast encyclopedia of possible beer ingredients. If you are looking to step outside the box and get creative with brewing, this is the perfect resource.
Brewmaster’s Table, Garrett Oliver
Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster from the Brooklyn Brewery, cover a lot of ground in this book. He provides a great overview of pairing beer with food as well as history of different beer styles and beer regions. For the gluten-free beer brewer, this book is particularly interesting. If you cannot physically drink a beer the style, you may be able to get a good feel for the style by understanding the foods that it pairs well with. We used this approach to better understand the Belgian-Style White Ale (also known as Wit and Witbier) in developing our flagship White Ale.
The Oxford Companion to Beer, Edited by Garrett Oliver
This book features over 1,100 entries written by 166 of the world’s most prominent beer experts. This is the most comprehensive work on beer to date.
How to Brew, by John Palmer
This is probably the most extensive book specifically on homebrewing that we came across. It is a must read for learning about beer and brewing. John does an awesome job of walking you through each stage of the brewing process and you can work through the book as you progress from an extract brewer to an all-grain brewer.
The Brewer’s Association created this site primarily for people in the beer industry, but for beer enthusiasts who have their own tap system at home, the website and corresponding ‘Draught Quality Manual’ are a great resource. They provide a guide for getting beer from the keg into your glass. It covers everything from balancing a tap system to properly cleaning tap lines and glassware.
Brewing (2nd Edition), Michael Lewis and Thomas Young
Michael Lewis, Phd, is a professor emeritus of brewing Science at UC Davis and Tom Young is a professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Brewing Science is a comprehensive guide on malting and brewing. This book is designed for college and short professional preparatory courses on brewing as well as anyone in the brewing industry looking to expand their knowledge on beer and brewing. This book would also be a good read for any homebrewer that is starting to get really serious about their beer.
The Scientific Principles of Malting and Brewing, Charles Bamforth
Charles Bamforth is an endowed professor at UC Davis in their brewing science program. This book also provides a good comprehensive guide to brewing and malting and is intended for entry level brewing courses. It would also be a good book for anyone trying to get serious about brewing and potentially enter the beer industry.
That’s our list, what about yours? Any great resources we’ve missed? We’d love to know!