Looking for that last “little something” for the beer lover on your list? Fortunately, if you’re buying for a book-lovin’ beer enthusiast, the last 18 months has provided plenty of ideas for gift-giving.
Here is a cheat sheet for recent releases grouped by category. Make a list and check it twice. Oh, and if you’ve been nice this year (heck, even if you’ve been naughty!) go ahead and treat yourself to one too.
Beer & Food
Breweries have been getting into the publishing game a lot recently. Just look at these three cookbooks, they’re perfect for anyone that appreciates beer and food and beer in food can choose from:
- I have my eye on Cooking Louisiana True by Abita Brewing Company. Cajun cooking and beer—can you say “heaven”? Even Emeril Lagasse has a recipe in there. Bam!
- Looking for approachable but delectable recipes? Alaskan Brewing Company debuted their cookbook Cooking with Alaskan Beer last year. This book is chock full of 101 of the best recipes culled from many years of annual cook-offs with the Brew Crew and Alaskan investors, the results are all tested by Chef Stefani Marnon.
- While The Dog Chow Cook Book seems like an irreverent name for a cookbook, it makes more sense knowing it comes from the fun-loving folks at Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery. Their Doggie Style Mac & Cheese is featured on craftbeer.com. Short and sweet, it’s reasonably priced and there is even an option to add a “Beer: It’s What’s for Dinner” apron. I want one!
Business of Beer
- Recipes also play a role in The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance by Greg Koch, Steve Wagner, and Randy Clemens. Homebrewers will enjoy making their favorite Stone beers at home with the clone recipes. Stone fans will enjoy Stone philosophy and their 15-year history of celebrated arrogance.
- Do you have an entrepreneur on your list? New this year is an updated and revised version of Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from Sam Calagione, Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. This book takes small business development outside the box using true entrepreneurial spirit and showcases what it takes to start and grow an idea into a success. Also included are some of Dogfish Head’s most successful marketing ideas and tips on how to maximize your social media presence.
- Not to be outdone, Jeremy Cowan of Shmaltz Brewing published his memoir, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How It Took 13 Years, Extreme Jewish Brewing, and Circus Sideshow Freaks to Make Shmaltz Brewing an International Success, in September. From shtick to success, the book chronicles Cowan’s journey through challenges, while he shares strategies and small business advice with wit and humor.
At 3.8 pounds, The Oxford Companion to Beer, edited by Garrett Oliver, is probably better off under the tree than in a stocking! This 900-page book, was one of the most talked about new releases this year, and covers everything about beer from A to Z. From brewing terms, beer styles and traditions to history and personality profiles—all can be found authored by over 160 prominent experts.
Guides to regional, national and even some international beer areas abound this year! To begin with, Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium is back in print in time for the holidays and is a great resource on Belgian beers. There are new guides for the Pacific Northwest, Indiana, Colorado plus books covering the nation’s best craft beers and the stories/people behind them.
- Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium by Michael Jackson
- Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia by Lisa Morrison
- Indiana Breweries by John Holl and Nate Schweber
- Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado’s Breweries by Ed Sealover
- The Great American Ale Trail by Christian DeBenedetti – an intimate account of breweries, beers and trends around the country.
- Great American Craft Beer by Andy Crouch
- One of the newest and most popular homebrewing books this year was our own, Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers by Gordon Strong. This new release is full of practical advice, inspiration and Gordon’s award-winning perspectives—a shift in how you think about your brewing can have you brewing better beer quickly.
- Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff covers everything you’d need to know about yeast and its role in the fermentation of beer. From selection and storage to culturing and troubleshooting, this continues to capture a lot of reading time.
- While brewers tend to make up much of the audience for Brewing with Wheat: The ‘Wit’ and ‘Weizen’ of World Wheat Beer Styles by Stan Hieronymus, it is so well written that the romance, history and culture of wheat beer is an entertaining read for enthusiasts as well.
So there you have it—as far as getting them to fit in the stocking, I can’t help you with that one. But, you could always go get a bigger stocking and add a companion six pack of their favorite craft beer. After all, reading is thirsty business when it comes to beer. Cheers!
Kristi Switzer has spent over 15 years in the craft beer community starting her career at the Alaskan Brewing Company as director of marketing communications. Most recently as Publisher for the Brewers Association’s Brewers Publications, she shepherded both Brewing with Wheat by Stan Hieronymus and Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff into print last year. Switzer is also a certified beer judge as well as a fan of cooking with beer and pairing craft beer and food.