Best Beer Books For Beer Lovers

25 Best Books About Beer

Posted in BOOKS, GEAR GUIDES By

Whiskey may make you frisky and you might pour Brass Monkey on your face when it’s time to get ill, Beastie Boys style, but if you’re looking for something a little more sedate to drink on a Saturday night at the bar or during a weekend football game, it’s hard to deny the appeal of beer.  In shades of light, to amber, to dark, with a wide range of hops, malts, and flavor additives to please every palate, beer is an extremely versatile beverage that won’t get you too buzzed to trip the light fantastic or strike up a conversation.

The only question remaining is: how can you learn more about beer (aside from guzzling it by the gallon)?  Whether you’re interested in a primer for your taste buds, you want to explore the burgeoning craft beer scene, you’re looking to pair some suds with your supper, or you’re ready to brew some bathtub beer, there are beer books designed to take you by the hand and lead you through the wide world of fermented grains.  Life’s short and it’s beer-thirty somewhere, so grab a frosty mug of your favorite froth and settle in for a good read about lagers, ales, malts, sours, and everything in between. These are the 25 best beer books the world has to offer.

1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die

1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die

Some people are happy to sip the same Heineken, Guinness, or Coors from the day they turn 21 until they shuffle off this mortal coil.  Others are more adventurous.  This is the book for the beer-lover whose bucket list includes sampling the very best beers on the planet – all 1001 of them.  With suggestions ranging from European faves, to American microbrews, to the strange and exotic, this is a compendium of must-try brews that will keep even hearty drinkers busy. – Buy It

Cooking With Beer

Cooking With Beer

Food and beer go hand-in-hand, so why not wed them over open flame?  You’ve no doubt tried classics like steaming your brats in beer, but there’s a wide world of tipple-tinged recipes you should definitely add to your repertoire.  Beer geek Mark Dredge has won awards for writing about food and beer, and now he’s paired his two passions in a single pot with recipes ranging from beer-cured bacon sandwiches to Double IPA Carrot Cake.  You’re guaranteed to drool on the pages. – $79

The Homebrewer's Companion

The Homebrewer’s Companion

Homebrew guru Charlie Papazian hit a home run with his previous offering, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, but his latest how-to could be considered a volume two, thanks to a lot of new and updated information for DIY beer aficionados.  This tome doesn’t skimp on charts, tables, handy tips, and recipes that newbies and old hats alike will love, and common-sense troubleshooting and FAQs take a lot of the guesswork out of getting the perfect batch of beer every time. – Buy It

Beer and Food

Beer and Food

If you didn’t know there was such a thing as the science of taste, you’re about to get schooled in the beeriest way possible.  Just about anything goes with a burger and fries or buffalo wings, but what do you pair with a sandwich or dessert?  This compendium from Mark Dredge (of Cooking with Beer acclaim, above) covers 35 different styles of beer, including 350 different drafts, and cunningly pairs them with everything from curries to Caesar salads.  Cooks will love the included recipes featuring beer. – Buy It

The Beer Book

The Beer Book

Most people aren’t shocked to discover that Americans like to drink a bit of beer.  What may surprise you is that we only rank 11th on the list of top beer drinking nations.  In other words, it’s time to nut up and start knocking back beer!  This beautiful book detailing more than 800 breweries and over 1,700 beers from across the globe should help to get readers on track to make America a contender on the international beer drinking scene. – Buy It

Complete IPA: The Guide to Your Favorite Craft Beer

Complete IPA: The Guide to Your Favorite Craft Beer

India Pale Ales have gained a lot of steam over the last few decades, thanks to a palate pleasing blend of bitter hops, citrus notes, and medium-bodied appeal.  The fact that they pair well with everything from salty, spicy, and fried foods to sweet desserts doesn’t hurt, either.  Consider this book by Josh Bernstein as the definitive guide to IPAs, a veritable tour of brewers and beers that takes you from the most popular pints, to the bitter rivals sought only by a select few IPA enthusiasts. – Buy It

The Beer Pantry

The Beer Pantry

Many a beer is palatable enough to pair with a variety of foods, but wouldn’t you rather have the perfect selection to go with every dish?  This book by Adam Dulye, who bears the distinction of serving as executive chef to the Brewers Association, provides not only a slew of delectable dishes to try, but also a listing of beer recommendations for every recipe.  If you have yet to pair a different beer with your salad, entrée, and dessert, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. – Buy It

Brooklyn Brewshop's Beer Making Book

Brooklyn Brewshop’s Beer Making Book

If you’ve been through all the best beers in your local environs and you’re craving something new, you could take a trip across the pond to pub-crawl Europe.  Or you could get creative brewing your own small batches at home.  In this book, you’ll get 52 home-brew recipes (one for every week of the year) designed to take you through the seasons, from the blondes of spring, to a s’mores beer for summer, to an apple crisp ale that’s perfect for fall, to a gingerbread ale in time for the holidays. – Buy It

Locally Brewed: Portraits of Craft Breweries from America's Heartland

Locally Brewed: Portraits of Craft Breweries from America’s Heartland

Delving into the craft brew scene is no easy feat, with new breweries springing up by the day, it sometimes seems.  This thoughtfully executed tour of 20 small craft breweries spanning the Midwest provides more than a peek behind the curtain, thanks to product descriptions, interviews with brewmasters, and stunning, full-color photos.  Each brewery is unique, but the real story is the people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into following their passion for preparing porters, pilsners, and more. – Buy It

How To Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time

How To Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time

Although your top priority when brewing up your own beer might be to create a superlative flavor, this book introduces DIY ale architects to the six priorities of consistently good brewing: sanitation, fermentation temperature control, yeast management, the boil, good recipes, and water.  Charts, graphs, and equations serve as a handy resource, and updates add info for brewing new faves like fruit flavors, sour beers, and more.  Whether you’re making your very first batch or branching out into new techniques and flavor profiles, John Palmer has you covered with this fully revised and updated edition. – Buy It

The Great American Ale Trail

The Great American Ale Trail

This treasure trove of American bars has been updated more than once, and this latest version adds 150 destinations, for a total of more than 500 fabulous watering holes you won’t want to miss.  It covers restaurants, bars, and breweries, as well as festivals, bottle shops, and more.  Some travelers tour the nation by car in search of national parks or the home of the world’s largest ball of twine (Cawker City, Kansas claims that dubious distinction).  If you love the smell of malt in the morning, follow this American trail in search of notable ale. – Buy It

The Brewmaster's Bible: The Gold Standard for Home Brewers

The Brewmaster’s Bible: The Gold Standard for Home Brewers

All hail the mighty beer, bringer of joy and frivolity!  With over a million homebrewers and rising (according to the American Homebrewers Association), there’s high demand for distilled information that makes every batch of DIY beer superior.  Stephen Snyder’s beer bible delivers the goods, starting with recipes for 30 classic styles, providing profiles of grains, malts, and more, and delving into the details of liquid yeasts and local waters.  One look at the vast resources outlined within and you’ll realize this book is the definitive source for home brewers. – Buy It

American Craft Beer Cookbook

The American Craft Beer Cookbook

Sometimes it’s easier to head to the pub for some beer and grub than to try to replicate your faves at home.  You no longer need to strain your brain reimagining pub classics like BBQ meatballs or beer steamed clams.  Award-winning beer writer John Holl has complied a bounty of recipes contributed by breweries, brewpubs, and beer lovers to give you a new lease on craft brew creations.  With 155 recipes spanning breakfast, dinner, dessert, and more, not to mention vegetarian and gluten-free additions, you’re sure to find a slew of satisfying food-and-brew combos. – Buy It

Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles

Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles

Some homebrewers prefer the “fly by the seat of your pants” approach to crafting ales and IPAs.  If you’re the more studious type who doesn’t want to waste barley and hops, you’ll appreciate this technical addition to the DIY arena.  This how-to manual from Ray Daniels is heavy on handy resources like formulas, tables, graphs, and stats, but the calculations are balanced by brewing lore.  Broken into categories focusing on 14 major styles, readers will not only learn how to brew the classics, but also find out why they stood the test of time. – Buy It

Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink

Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink

Basic beers are nothing if not drinkable, and arguably more so than complex counterparts like wine or spirits that require studious sampling to find a favorite flavor profile.  Still, there’s a lot more to beer than the ease with which it can be chugged.  This book discusses the difference between drinking beer and truly tasting it, from learning about ingredients to identifying what different colors, flavors, and mouthfeels add to the experience.  Included are recommendations for more than 50 types of international beers everyone should sample. – Buy It

Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass

Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass

Randy Mosher (who also wrote Tasting Beer, above) lets loose his views on the radical side of brewing, with an exploration of the weird and wonderful world of beer experimentation.  Brewing beer begins with knowing how to mix ingredients and dutifully ferment.  It starts with charts and tables.  From there, however, many brewmasters are keen to get creative.  This is the best book for homebrewers looking to branch out and try something new, creating unique craft beers that are sure to delight. – Learn More

The Book of Beer Awesomeness

The Book of Beer Awesomeness

Nobody needs to tell beer lovers that their favorite brews are pure awesomeness, but this book gives it a go with a love note to frosty fermentations.  If your drinking habits are starting to feel a little stale, this gem delivers the goods to liven up your next party with beer games galore.  Touted as a definitive guide to the wide world of beer, it’s really a primer on basics like storing and proper pouring, paired with a gaggle of drinking games.  In short, it’s a must for beer enthusiasts. – Buy It

Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

Dating back thousands of years, fermentation could be considered both an art and a science.  In other words, winging it is not advisable.  The good news is, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, especially with this practical guide to fermenting.  Whether you’re a novice brewer or a seasoned brewmaster, you’ll benefit from practical information detailing different types of yeast, how to set up a lab and culture yeast, and best brewing practices, among other things.  Equipment lists, step-by-step instructions, and a troubleshooting section will keep you on track. – Learn More

The World Atlas of Beer: The Essential Guide to the Beers of the World

The World Atlas of Beer: The Essential Guide to the Beers of the World

From America to Asia and Austria to New Zealand, globe-trotting guzzlers will love this tour of more than 35 beer-loving countries.  An astonishing 500 plus breweries from around the world are covered in this masterwork of Dionysian delights, complete with color photos and maps.  Authors Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont bring extensive pedigree to their pursuit with eleven international editions of The World Atlas of Beer, and dozens of drinking guides between them, so take advantage the next time you travel by consulting this feast of beer. – Learn More

The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing

The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing

The happy, hop-loving, Donna Reed types on the front cover belie the completely current data contained in the pages of this comprehensive guide to brewing your own beer.  Chalk it up to retro kitsch and dive into the pages of this compendium, complete with the recipes, charts, descriptions, and tips designed to make one a master of brewing.  Author Charlie Papazian offers up a comprehensive how-to of brewing here, but readers can learn even more with his follow-up, The Homebrewer’s Companion (above). – Learn More

For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops

For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops

If you’ve ever wondered, “What the heck is hops?”, this is the book that explains it all with a journey through origins, quality, and the practical uses of this boozy ingredient.  A handy reference catalog details more than 100 varieties of hops and differentiates by their characteristics.  If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to this essential beer ingredient, author Stan Hieronymous gets positively OCD on the subject.  You may also enjoy his other efforts, including Brewing with Wheat and Brew Like a Monk. – Learn More

The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution

The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World’s Favorite “I wish there was a non-fiction, graphic novel devoted to the history of beer,” said no one ever, until Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith, and Aaron McConnell made it a reality.  This full-color, illustrated, instant classic starts with the emergence of beer over 9,000 years ago and brings us up to the present with historical anecdotes and key figures covered in a variety of art styles, from period-appropriate representations, to caricatures and cartoons more suited to comic styling.  At 170 pages, it’s truly amazing how much information and entertainment value is packed into this graphic novel. – Learn More

Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home

Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home

Not your mama’s homebrewing guide, this arsenal of extreme craft brewing isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it especially geared toward newbie DIYers.  It’s not hard to follow, but it does dive off the beaten path to explore the wilder side of beer as Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Jason and Todd Alstrom, founders of BeerAdvocate, offer up an education on exotic new brews.  If you’re looking for tips, tricks, and recipes to up your brewing game, Project Extreme Brewing will take your homebrew operation to the next level. – Learn More

Beer Alchemy: DIY Beer Brewing Mastery @ Home

Beer Alchemy: DIY Beer Brewing Mastery @ Home

The precursor of chemistry, alchemy was transfixed with the notion of turning base metals to gold.  In Beer Alchemy, you can learn the art of crafting golden-hued libations.  Author Ron Johnson wants readers to know that DIY beer is easy, and absolutely anyone can do it.  It started as his hobby and grew to a business, and now he’s looking to share the wealth with a beginner’s guide to setting up shop, brewing the best beer, and complying with applicable laws for homebrew operations. – Learn More

Cheese & Beer

Cheese & Beer

Sure, you can pair fromage with wine, but all you have to do is dip a pretzel in cheese sauce and chase it with icy Hefeweizen to know cheese and beer are natural allies.  Cheese authority Janet Fletcher lends her expertise to the subject with a study of both beer and cheese and how to pair them to perfection.  This book is downright detailed in terms of which cheeses to pair with different beer styles and even specific brews.  If you’re looking to dazzle the taste buds with two American favorites, Cheese & Beer fits the bill. – Learn More

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