Brewing & Beer Literature

I had a few different ideas running around in my head for today.  I was considering throwing something up about music, but I ultimately decided that I didn’t want to do three music blogs in a row.  Yesterday’s was on Bamboozle and tomorrow’s will be a music review, so I thought it would be good to stick in a little blog on something I’ve been thinking about for a little while now.  Being an English teacher, I tend to really rely heavily on the written word for my main source of information on things.  I suppose that really isn’t all that strange.  I do also enjoy having conversations about different issues with informed and intelligent people, but if I find it in a book I’m far more likely to believe it.  A few days after receiving my homebrewing kit, I immediately went out and purchased a book on hombrewing and a clone book.  I figured I needed to get right into figuring out what I was doing, and the best way to do that was to research it.

This led me to wondering what literature my readers relied on when it comes to different beer related things.  Ultimately I’m really looking for good websites and magazines to look into.  I would definitely appreciate a good book, but I was considering getting a subscription to a magazine that would be informative on homebrewing and beer related issues in general.  I really can only compare what I’m looking for to what I currently receive for music.  The music magazine I receive is called “Under the Radar”.  I personally hate the name because it sounds ultra pretentious, but I think it has good information on music.  It tells me about what is up and coming, gives me articles and interviews on current popular artists, and it gives me a heavy volume of reviews on recently released albums.  I would like to find a magazine that does a similar thing for beer.  I want talk of up and coming beer releases or brewing styles, interviews with brewers and other beer related gurus, and I want reviews of current beers I could see in my store everyday.  Mixing in some homebrewing info would be great too.

In the end, this led me to thinking of sharing a few of the resources I’ve found to be helpful as I develop my interests and expertise on beers.  So, I guess this post is mostly a “I’ll show you mine if you show me your’s post”  (Gross I know)  Here are a few of the sites and resources I like to read, now you tell me what you like.

Books: I am starting with books because I really only have three, maybe two, books in my collection that could count as beer books.  The first book is the one that I probably read the least: The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.  This is interesting as a book about Stone, and it has recipes in it as well, but I really don’t think it gives me all that much information in general.  So, it kind of just sits there while the others get more use.  The next book that gets some use, but it isn’t as much as it could be, is The Complete Joy of Homebrewing edition 3.  I like this book to give me information on different homebrewing issues, but I haven’t really read it all the way through.  I end up using it as a quick reference if something pops up I don’t have an answer for; however, otherwise it just sits in a pile.  Finally I have Clone Brews.  Clone Brews really doesn’t have all that much information in it on homebrewing, but it does have a lot of info on different brews to create.  I’ve used it for brewing one beer, and I am planning on using it for more.

Magazines: Like I said earlier, I think I really want to hear most about good magazines out there.  I’ve looked at a few at the stores, but I have two in my possession that I think are pretty good.  “Zymurgy” was the magazine that I was first given by a good friend who happened to receive two after moving.  I thought it was a pretty good magazine; however, I didn’t like that it seemed to cater more to all grain brewing.  I’m fine with it, but I don’t have the ability to do all-grain just yet, so I would like to find one that is a little more equal rights for extract brewers.  The other magazine I was given was “Brew Your Own”.  I liked this one for the homebrewing advice and recipes.  It doesn’t really seem to talk a whole lot about professional craft brews, but it does give you a lot of advice on brewing techniques.  I actually used the saison article to put my saison together.

Websites: These of course are the easiest research to find, and you can access them at any time.  I would like to think this site gives people a lot of info on good brews out there, but I don’t have a whole lot of advice on homebrewing just yet.  I have a pretty fair amount of other blogs I check out for info as well, but I have a couple of pro sites I use as well.  Beer Advocate and Ratebeer are two sites to check out for normal beer reviews.  I’m assuming everyone knows about them. I also like to check out Advocate for some basic information on beer types as well. Homebrewtalk is a site I’ve gone to for advice on different homebrewing issues, and I have looked at different recipes for it as well.  My friend John showed me a bunch of different resource sites for hombrewing as well, but I was bad and didn’t write them down.  If you have any other really helpful websites out there I’d love to take a look at them as well.  Like I said, these are quick and easy to check out, so I would love to do so.

So what beer resources do you head to for advice.  I would love to check them out!

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2 Comments

  1. The Joy of Home Brewing is a classic, I also have John Palmer’s How to Brew. It’s very good and thorough. I also have a subscription to Zymurgy through my membership to American Homebrewers Association. Zymurgy usually does a good job of including mini mash recipes with the all grain, but does have a focus on all grain brewing, but the AHA website has a whole homebrewopedia that is really helpful including recipes. Finally hopville.com is a great brewing resource. For social nedia I use untapped and pintly

  2. I haven’t bought a “beer book” in years. Maybe I should rectify that.

    I had Joy of Home Brewing and Zymurgy when I started as well. They were kind of default purchases back in those days, not sure about now. Later I picked up Randy Mosher’s Brewer’s Companion as it was the first book I found that really explained the processes going on while brewing, and his calculations took in account other factors in your mash rather than assuming all things were linear. I’ve never read Palmer’s book, but having heard him many times on Thebreweingnetwork.com, I’m assuming his is along the same lines.

    If I were to get a magazine now it would probably be Brew Your Own and maybe one that was more info/style oriented like Beer Magazine. Along those lines, keep your eyes open in liquor stores for free (or not) trade papers like Ale Street News or Mid Atlantic Brewing, both of which are packed with information across the board. Obviously depending on where you live Mid Atlantic might not do you any good, but I’m sure you can find something similar for your region.

    I don’t go to sites like Beer Advocate. I find them to have to much “noise” separating the reviewers that are doing a decent job. I’d rather spend that time searching out blogs where I can gauge an understanding of the author’s perspective, rather than have 2000 people tell me that on a scale of 1 to 5, Arrogant Bastard is either a 1.1, or a 5 – and leave me to figure out where they’re all coming from.


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