I had the idea that part of my playing at training brewery staff might be to recommend the beginnings of a library. I figure most long distance sales rep and junior brewers have plenty of hours to flip through the pages of text books. I just needed to figure out which ones to select. Right? Then they'll immediately be converted into book wormery. Right?
I figured I had a tough job on my hands. Then I turned on my computer this evening and found that Martyn had posted a piece mere hours ago entitled "How to be a Beer Historian in Just 10 Books" and soon I was in that golden place where I know that someone else has done the heavy lifting already. Except I was not thinking of only beer history and specifically not British brewing history as a focus for my young students. So, here for now is the beginning of my list of works in no particular order to build a beer library around:
- Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Richard W. Unger
- A History of Beer and Brewing by Hornsey
- Booze by Craig Heron
- The Brewmaster's Table by Garrett Oliver
- The English Pub by Michael Jackson.
- Three Sheets to the Wind by Pete Brown
- Brewing with Wheat by Stan Hieronymus
I won't repeat my book reviews or references, other than care of the links above, but there is some reasoning behind it. You have to remember that the class in question meets in Canada so Heron's book is essential to understanding why a brewer in Ontario finds himself or herself where they do in relation to everything from styles and laws. Pete's second book is a genial introduction to the world's relationship with ales and lagers. Brewing With Wheat by Stan will give an example of the latest thinking about style largely from the brewer's perspective. The English Pub is Jackson's best and most accessible book which focuses on the consumer's experience in a context analogous or at least related to the British North American scene. The Brewmaster's Table is the best statement on the current key trend in beer marketing even if it is not one I would rely on too heavily. And the work of both Unger and Honsey is stunning in both their scale and detail.
There are many more books to add. This is only the start of the library. But I think this selection displays the range of text that are out there. What would you add?