Books, Gadgets, and More
Thesecretsofmasterbrewers: Techniques, Traditions, and Homebrew Recipes… By Jeff Alworth (with a foreword by Stan Hieronymus), Storey Publishing
Listening to professional brewers talk about their craft and technique is something we never get tired of, so this inside look from respected author Jeff Alworth was a welcome arrival. Brewers of all abilities will appreciate the in-depth, approachable advice for brewing classic beer styles, and despite the complexity of the subject matter, the book manages to artfully and accessibly present difficult topics in manageable and understandable bites.
The book is organized geographically, with sections on British, German, Czech, Belgian, French, Italian, and American traditions (plus an additional section on “Brewing Wild”), and chapters within cover major styles that country is known for. The real meat of the book is the recipes and step-by-step instructions from renowned brewers like Fullers, Duvel, Ommegang, Birrificio Italiano, Breakside, and pfriem (among others).
It’s a thorough, information-dense journey through classic beers styles, and has earned a spot on our brewing bookshelf. —Libby Murphy
Corkcicle Decapitator corkcicle.com
It’s not normal to nerd out on bottle openers to the degree we do, but the amount of time we spend opening bottles has led to a particular appreciation for openers that do the job well and add some amount of satisfaction (dare we say, pleasure?) to an otherwise mundane task. You name it, and we’ve used it.
The Corkcicle Decapitator arrived a week too late for our gear guide issue, but that didn’t stop of us from pressing it into service here at the Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine™ office. Did we cap some office homebrew just to enjoy opening it with the Decapitator? You bet we did. The metal construction feels great in your hand, and the mechanism operates with a subtle and sturdy “thunk” as you depress the opener over the cap and neck of the bottle.
It works great on 26mm crowns, with only an occasional hang-up. It’s not compatible with 29mm crowns used on some heavyweight Belgian-style bottles, so you’ll need another opener for those. But at only $19.95 (plus shipping), it feels more valuable than the price. —Jamie Bogner
Custom Nucleated Glassware egrandstand.com
Nucleation points etched in glassware can be great for certain styles of beer that benefit from the continuously refreshed head and enhanced aromatics (beers you’re not going to nurse for hours until they’re completely flat), but up until now a custom nucleation pattern in a glass was only available at prohibitive cost. When our friends at Grandstand approached us with the opportunity to try out their new (affordable) custom option, we jumped at it.
The result (as seen above in the Craft Beer & Brewing Nonic pint glass) is really, really fun— our brewers symbol etched in the bottom of the glass, providing nucleation points to pull CO2 out of solution as you drink. If you’re a brewery with custom glassware, this is an affordable option for adding extra enjoyment to every glass. If you’re a consumer and simply want a cool Nonic pint glass with this brewing logo etched inside, head on over to shop.beerandbrewing.com and pick up a set of ours! —Jamie Bogner