In which we take a break during today’s Doppelbock mash to answer a reader question about some next-level reading material.

What are your favorite, most indispensable, desert island beer/brewing books?

16 thoughts on “doppelbooks

  1. I like the videos you are doing. Good to see you on camera again. I wanted to brew with you today, but work and life got in the way. Maybe next time…

    I just brought up Michael Jackson’s book on amazon and about fell off my chair. The lowest new price is $900! Zoinks! and there are 2 other options that are more, one at $1,300!

    • Used book stores. I found a first edition of his World Guide to Beer at a used book shop for $10 a couple years ago. Beer Companion is an older title, may no longer be in print, but he has others (3rd Edition of Great Beers of Belgium, Beer) that are newer and should still be available.

  2. Book that gets the most use:
    Jamil’s Brewing Classic Styles. Finally came along a book that no longer leaves you saying, “is it me or is it the recipe?”. Not only great recipes but reinforced by that fact the they have all won national level medals in contest. Most of my recipes have started out of these.
    Favorite US beer History book (so far):
    Ambitious Brew: The story of American Beer. Very readable, explains a lot, provides perspective. From German brewing in the upper mid-west to growth of the big breweries to WW1 to prohibition to WWII to post war comfort…..all having affect on the beer you are drinking.
    Favorite beer Non-Fiction:
    Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer. Pete Brown just rocks it. Beer culture around the world that will keep you laughing throughout. I actually recommend all of his books….and his blog.
    Favorite beer table/bathroom book:
    Tasting Beer. Great pics. Can put it down and pick it up later. Oh, and you can get it for you kindle/iPhone so you can continue to, er, read it on your friends bathroom.

    Dawson, keep up the great work.

  3. Jamil’s BCS is the go to on the day before and during brewday; Gordon Strong’s book is a close second for enjoyment. For fun, I pull out CP’s Joy of Homebrewing for a 70’s retro- kinda hippy funky text to chew on. My daughter gave me a text on the science side of homebrewing and it was a little too much chemistry for me, but it is pretty helpful when trying to understand what is going on at the molecular level…but being multicelled as I am, I rarely care to know.

  4. I recently got done reading Dave Line’s “big book of brewing”, that is a great old shool read. My favorate, however, is and probable always will be Randy Moshers “radical brewing”. With that book I read it till its getting worn out, then give it to someone and buy a new copy.

  5. The next level brewing book for me is Noonan’s (New) Brewing Lager Beer. JZ’s Classic Styles and Daniels’ Designing Great Beers are where I go for recipe design. The most aesthetically pleasing book to me is Koch and Allyn’s Brewer’s Apprentice. High resolution colored photos coupled with candid interviews with brewing legends makes Brewer’s Apprentice a great addition to my library. My copy of Fix’s Principles of Brewing Science is also dog-eared and slightly tattered. In honor of such a brewing luminary I wish a scientific editor out there would correct some of the minor chemistry errors in Fix’s book (e.g. missing formal charge of +1 on the sulfur in SMM on page 33).

    • Time for some sidebar snark: Having been trained as a chemist, I find Janson’s (PhD) Brew Chem 101 very difficult to look at. That book is rife with awful chemical structures. Who’s editing this stuff?!

  6. Michael Dawson is the next Michael Jackson! Maybe soon there will be a practical guide to expanding your beer portfolio by Dawson on this list?

  7. Radical Brewing is really inspiring. Highly recommended.

    I had my copy of World Guide signed by Mr Jackson at a Sherlock’s Home tasting about a million years ago. Excellent experience just being in the same tent with him.

  8. Some favorites:

    Brewing Better Beer, Gordon Strong
    Beer is Proof that God Loves Us, Charlie Bamforth
    A Treatise on Lager Beers, Fred Eckhardt (a groundbreaking work, and a very interesting read for those interested in the infancy of the homebrewing/craftbeer movement)

  9. Designing Great Beers, Brewing Better Beer, and Brewing Classic Styles are both indispensable references. Beer is Proof That God Loves Us and Adventures in Homebrewing for pleasure time with a snifter of something tasty!

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