Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recommended Reads: Craft Beer and Provence

We get offered a variety of books to review, some interesting, some not so much. Pretty much anything food, wine, or craft beer has the possibility of transporting you to places you want to be. These books were a welcome source of escapism this brutal winter, along with teaching me a bunch about what they were written about.

Hoosier Beer

Hoosier Beer: Tapping Into Indiana Brewing History, by Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris, is one of the most fastidiously researched books I've ever read, full of minutiae, facts, and stories. Even with such an esoteric subject, this seems as comprehensive as a school textbook, with a minimum of the possibly dryness. See where and how beer was brewed in Indiana, and what that also meant to the surrounding states.

Chicago by the Pint

Chicago By the Pint: A Craft Beer History of the Windy City, by Denese Neu, is almost a disappointment at first, because it's not about the beer, but then you realize how much history surrounds the locations of these breweries and it turns out to be pretty interesting. As the author points out, this is a history book to be read while sitting in the brewery tasting room and contemplating one's surroundings.

Audacity of Hops

Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution, by Tom Acitelli, is far and away the best single book I've read about the history of craft beer making in the United States. Part research paper, part oral history, the author takes us step by step from the very humble beginnings of a few out there guys who wanted to bring back good beer to the now confusing world of what exactly is an American craft beer. Amazingly researched, deeply addictive reading, this is a craft beer primer that every aficionado should read and then re-read.

Provence Food and Wine

Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living, by Francois Millo and Viktorija Todorovska, is exactly what the doctor ordered to dispel any gloominess brought on by the polar vortices experienced this Midwestern winter. Beyond being a beautiful little paperback book, it's a useful primer on the land, wines, and food of this dream land in the south of France. If you're not inspired to live a more gracious life after reading this treat of a book, you may be too far gone to be rescued.

Disclaimer: These books were provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.

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