Known for relentlessly pushing boundaries and crazy beer-centric antics, BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie have released their latest business venture in the form of craft beer literature. Written in conjunction with Richard Taylor, Craft Beer for the People is exactly what the name suggests, a craft beer book written for craft beer lovers and craft beer drinkers. As a lover of craft beer and BrewDog shenanigans myself, I picked up a copy to see what these guys had to say, and like all BrewDog ventures, I found myself thoroughly entertained.
Before even getting past the introduction, I could hear Watt and Dickie's Scottish accents narrating my way. Unlike other beer books, they trade industry jargon for a humorous, educational approach that everyone including you and your grandma can understand. Running the gamut of craft brewing topics, the book covers everything, like how to brew beer, beer styles, tasting notes, different beer styles, and beer-centered recipes for craft beer fans looking to cook with their favorite high quality beers.
With pages featuring "drop ticks" for every new beer you try, the visually appealing interactive approach makes this book an excellent resource guide to your beer adventures, and unsurprisingly gives you an overwhelming urge to share them with the dude sitting next to you at the bar. To reach the widest possible audience, this one of the best beer books that emphasizes how fun craft beer is.
"That's because this book is to be learned from, have notes added to, spilled on. This is a journal, not a coffee-table deadweight; a window into our world and a repository of information. Take it to heart and take it to bars."
A repository of information it most certainly is. As I worked my way through the book, I was greeted by bold visuals loaded with a wealth of information. It starts with a little BrewDog history, then jumps into the world of brewing through an iconoclastic approach. Describing the brewing process as well as highlighting the four main ingredients, any beer novice could easily pick up on the fundamentals of good beer from this great book.
The founders of the major brewery then move on to discussing aging and beer styles, highlighting a few favorites with descriptive notes. They even cover how to host your own beer tasting, along with a guide to homebrewing. Regardless of why you enjoy craft beer, this knowledge makes visiting craft breweries less intimidating and makes finding a particular beer you enjoy even more fun.
If you weren't beer thirsty enough, they move on to cooking with beer featuring an array of recipes like Mussels in Magic Rock Salty Kiss Gose and Chicken Wings with Brew Punk IPA. Anyone's mouth watering yet?
Now hungry, and not too mention incredibly thirsty, I decided to give a recipe or two a go.
1. The IPA & Citrus Salad
First up I tried the IPA & Citrus Salad. Reading the ingredients, I was already intrigued. It calls for two bottles of Stone Runiation IPA in order to make the beer dressing. The directions only require four tablespoons of beer, however, for the recipe. So the rest?
"Either make a larger batch of dressing for the fridge, or. . .y' know. . ." This is certainly not the Pioneer Women's cookbook. While the dressing was decent, it didn't hurt that there was a bottle plus of Ruination to wash down the beer salad with.
2. Thai-Style Prawn Cakes
Next up I tried the Thai-Style Prawn Cakes. I must say, what the IPA & Citrus Salad lacked this recipe definitely made up for. The tart acidity of the Boon Oude Geuze was the perfect pairing, resulting in a savory, slightly vinegary fish cake.
Word of advice though when popping that Boon Geuze bottle, "Uncork the beer, pointing away from treasured items of pottery or family members." Wouldn't want to poke an eye out.
I have yet to try some more recipes, but judging by the couple I did try, if you've never cooked with beer this is a great way to begin. Even if you don't want to cook with beer, the resources in Craft Beer for the People are intriguing enough to entice the beer lover in you.
Made for the beer drinker, homebrewer, amateur chef, and curious imbiber, this is the ultimate all-encompassing craft beer book. And with the holidays right around the corner, you might want to pick up a few copies for the beer lover in your family. Oh, and don't forget the stocking craft beer to go with it.
Crack open a beer, because it's time the books. Find Craft Beer for the People on Amazon.