Pints and Pages: Craft Beer Books

Beer Books

"Shakespeare's Local" and "For The Love Of Hops" add richness to beer's story.

The NPR radio show, This American Life, has a theme to each of its weekly broadcasts. Sometimes it is an overt and easy to spot connection and other times it is a little more obtuse. From my word choice in this paragraph you may be sensing a theme in this week’s beery epistle. Pints and pages.

That means it is once again time to spotlight some great beer related books that you should pick up. One that I have read, one that I am currently reading and one that is on my list to buy.

Shakespeare’s Local by Pete Brown

I am a big fan of Pete Brown’s books. He writes in a relatable and funny style that keeps the pages turning. Plus he knows beer from not only the “I like beer” perspective but from the perspective of it as a business and the historical aspect as well. History is on full display in his latest effort that showcases The George Inn, which has stood in the Southwark area of London for year after year where other bigger or more famous inns have come and gone. If you are interested in not only beer, but the places where we drink our beer, then you will enjoy Shakespeare’s Local.

For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus

For the hopheads out there, this book will give you ALL the information you could possibly want to know about the lupulin. You get farming of hops, breeding new hop varieties, history of hop farming areas, statistics on a plethora of hop varietals and all the science you can handle. I have used the book to match the hops that are in my pint glass with what the book says they contribute to a beer. This is serious beer geek territory.

Cheese and Beer by Janet Fletcher

I am looking forward to this book. It is about time for a book devoted simply to pairing the great cheeses of the world with craft beer that will elevate the taste of both. It is a topic that I could stand to learn more about especially since we are blessed in Los Angeles with The Cheese Store of Silverlake and Sunset Beer Co., both nearby on Sunset Boulevard.

Later this year, you can learn about the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Beyond the Pale.

The Beer of the Week is part of a year-long Odyssey. A series of hop forward beers that the ancient writer, Homer, and current Simpson, Homer, would both applaud Green Flash Brewing. On the heels of the Black IPA that started 2013 comes the Imperial Red Rye, which will be available in April and May. Green Flash beers are On the Road to L.A. a lot but this beer will be on tap only. And this series is not the only news from this San Diego based brewery. They will be opening a sister brew site in Virginia Beach by 2015 so you can get your Palate Wrecked from coast to coast.

Your Homework is to follow the beer writing in the Los Angeles Times. Both Todd Martens and John Verive are doing noble work in bringing craft beer into the pages and website of the newspaper of record for SoCal and hopefully into more hearts and minds of Angelenos. It is a sign that a thriving beer culture is getting closer and closer to being a reality here. I foresee a future where one beer column leads someone to read an L.A. based beer blog which leads to a visit to a brewery and a new convert to beers with more taste and less water which leads more people to open breweries because there are more people drinking and writing about craft beer.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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