Hops, Bar­ley, Wa­ter, Yeast and the Na­ture of Beer

Foreword Reviews - - Gift Ideas -

Pete Brown, Chelsea Green Pub­lish­ing (OC­TO­BER) Soft­cover $19.95 (304pp), 978-1-60358-769-3

Civ­i­liza­tion be­fell hu­man­ity in spurts of luck and clev­er­ness: man­ag­ing fire, shar­ing food, af­fec­tion com­mu­ni­cated in the gift of a flower, speech, dis­cov­er­ing that a bunch of ripe grapes left in the hol­low of a boul­der or grain soaked in wa­ter would con­vert into in­tox­i­cat­ing al­co­hol, writ­ten lan­guage, and so on.

If you flinched at see­ing wine and beer make the list, ask your­self what trig­ger might have led to free-rang­ing fire­side chats, artis­tic ex­pres­sion, ro­mance, and other aspects of a thriv­ing civ­i­liza­tion, and ine­bri­a­tion jumps to the fore.

We’ve been drink­ing beer for 10,000 years or so, but did you re­al­ize that, in spite of its low­brow rep­u­ta­tion, beer is one of the most com­plex and dif­fi­cult to make bev­er­ages of all?

Pete Brown’s Mir­a­cle Brew: Hops, Bar­ley, Wa­ter, Yeast and the Na­ture of Beer makes the case that beer is also beau­ti­ful, fas­ci­nat­ing, and wor­thy of your full at­ten­tion—even if you’re a wine drinker. Brown pro­files each of beer’s in­gre­di­ents and ex­plains the pre­cise, not-com­pletely-un­der­stood role they play in brew­ing. An ex­tra­or­di­nary sto­ry­teller, his­to­rian, and drink­ing com­pan­ion, he may play a cru­cial role in es­tab­lish­ing beer as the world’s great­est bev­er­age.

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