Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Authors: Erica Shea and Stephen Valand
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
“These are the recipes inspired by our travels, the tips we’ve learned from brewing masters, and the regional ingredients we were introduced to along the way,” Erica Shea and Stephen Valand write in their book, Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg.
At one hundred and seventy-six pages, this paperback targets those interested in making gourmet home-made beers based on worldwide breweries. With a few black and white altered photographs, over thirty small-batch recipes are included.
The book begins with an introduction explaining how this couple decided to start their Brooklyn Brew Shop in New York, only to take a seven-week backpacking trip in Europe to explore beer’s historical regions and styles. Being obsessed with not only learning everything about making brew, they fell in love with the master makers of this ancient beverage.
After a short six-step refresher course on brewing and variations for producing five gallons, lists of brewing equipment and ingredients are given, as well as a guide to hops by country, bitterness, and description.
Divided into four seasons of a year, seven to eight breweries are examined in each from around the world with a corresponding recipe along with a total of eighteen dishes that involve beer. Each alcoholic drink has the ABV percent, needed ingredients with preparation times, and directions for mash, sparge, boil, and ferment along with five gallon alternatives.
Spring covers four from America along with one each from England, France, Germany, and Italy, offering names such as Dandelion Gruit, Mulberry Wheat, Celery Salt Gose and Tapioca Ale. Highlights for Summer might be the Cucumber Saison from Cigar City Brewing in Florida or Oyster Singel from Maine’s Bunker Brewing. With several from North Carolina listed under Fall selections, Bacon Dubbel or Sweet Potato Lager may be flavored choices. Ending with Winter seasonings are examples of Smoked Wheat from Germany or the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Stout from Colorado.
Food recipes range from IPA Hummus, Beer Fruit Leather, Farmhouse Ale Risotto, and Shandy Ice Pops to Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese, Abbey Onion Soup, Bamberg Onion, and Black Pepper Beer Poutine. Also added are two spent-grain recipes and tasting yesterday’s beer. The end has tips planning a beer trip, sources, acknowledgments, and an index.
For the novice beer maker who has accomplished standard beer kits, this book takes it to the next level showing how breweries around the world make specialty beers.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.