After you get past the distinction between extract brewers and all grain brewers, home brewers tend to fall into two philosophical camps: Religious Recipe Followers or the Just Wing It crew. We fall into the second category, and rarely follow a recipe to the letter, or even use a recipe as a base to begin with.
Most brewing books seem to be written as cookbooks for the recipe followers, and it’s rare that you find a book that actually does a good job taking you through the decision process for designing your own brew. Emma Christensen‘s book, Brew Better Beer, does just that.
While she does share some excellent recipes and intro material for first time brewers, she also has a heavy focus on the veteran:
“You’ve been brewing beer for a while and you’ve already got a system that works for you-I respect that. Here’s what I want for you: I want to help you brew the beer or your dreams. Your beer is already good; lets make it even better.”
The subtitle says it all, “Learn (and break) the rules for making IPAs, Sours, Pilsners, Stouts and more.” She does an excellent job of teaching how and when it’s appropriate to stray from the recipe and rules by teaching you why you’re doing what you’re doing.
The book itself is beautiful, turning photographing the perfect pour into an art form. It’s hard to make a simple glass of beer picture pretty, and because of that brewing books usually have few pictures. This book is laid out like a food blog, with inspiringly attractive photos of each brew to get you excited about the craft.
Enjoy the book, but more importantly, enjoy the tools it provides you to make you very best brew!
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.