Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicago Craft Beer Week: May 17-23

Illinois Craft Brewers Guild is hosting the first ever Chicago Craft Beer Week starting on May 17.  There will be a slew of beer-related events around the Chicagoland area, which you can read about here.  Three local events include a Brewmaster's Dinner at Emmet's in Palatine on May 18th, a Big Sky Beer Dinner at Durty Nellie's (also in Palatine) on May 20th, and an Anchor Brewing Company tasting at Elgin Public House on May 21st (I'm a fan of their Liberty pale ale and Steam beer).  Events are designed to highlight local and lesser-known breweries including Goose Island, Metropolitan, Half Acre, and more.  In honor of Craft Beer Week, here is a selected list of books about beer and home-brewing.

Beer history and tasting:

Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher.
Call No.: 641.23 MOS
I've talked about this book at length before, but it's an excellent guide for learning to appreciate beer's different styles, complex flavors, and history. Highly recommended.
Find it in the catalog!

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle.  
Call No.: 663.42 OGL
Beer wasn't always a favorite drink of Americans.  This books tells the story of how German immigrant brewers, like Frederick Pabst and Aldophus Busch, convinced Americans to embrace this traditionally European beverage.  Ogle also looks at Prohibition and later the rise of craft breweries.
Find it in the catalog! 

Breweries of Wisconsin by Jerry Apps.
Call No.: 338.7663 APP
Wisconsin is almost as well known for producing beer as it is is cheese.  Several of the big-name brewing companies- Miller, Leinenkugel, and hipster favorite Pabst- were founded there.  This book looks at the history of Wisconsin breweries, including lesser known companies like Point, Huber, and the awesome Madison-based Capital Brewery.  This book is a little dated, New Glarus Brewing Company, which now is as ubiquitous as Bud in the state, only gets a mention to stay that the company closed after prohibition.  Still it's an interesting history.
Find it in the catalog!  

Beer Brewing:

Homebrewing for Dummies by Marty Nachel.
Call No.: 641.873 NAC
Part of the For Dummies series, this is a good guide for those considering or starting to brew their own beer.  It walks you through the equipment you need, setting up your own basement brewery, sanitation, and the process of brewing.  Also included are a variety of different recipes for brewers to try out.
Find it in the catalog!    

The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing by Dave Miller.
Call No.: 641.23 MIL
This manual is useful for beginners and more advanced brewers.  Miller explains the science behind brewing to a greater extent than the Dummies book, so it's an interesting read for science and beer geeks who want an explanation of why the process works.  Also, Miller includes several traditional beer recipes.
Find it in the catalog!   

Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher.
Call No.: 641.873 MOS
By the author of Tasting Beer, this is for hop-heads who want to experiment with more unusual styles.  Illustrated and jammed pack with history and science, this is an awesome read for beer geeks.  However, novices should probably check this out along with a more basic brewing guide.
Find it in the catalog!