Craft beer does not have a long history, so the first quasi-historical books are coming out, some from the longer-lived breweries that have not only thrived, but survived. The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. - The Liquid Lore Epic Recipes and Unabashed Arrogance by Stone co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner with Randy Clemens is one such book. I heard about Stone long before I had a chance to try their beers; they are probably one of the best-known craft breweries around. Started in 1996, they are also one of the ones that grew well beyond their area and are now a national brand.
Written from Greg Koch's perspective, this book is the 15 year history of Stone Brewing Co. straight from the source. Koch, along with others important along the way, offers the stories behind EVERY Stone Beer (and that is a lot). Beyond the beer and the growth of the business, there are 18 homebrew recipes for Stone Beers, along with recipes for some of the most popular dishes at the Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens. There are even food pairing suggestions from "Dr." Bill Sysak.
If you're daring, try one of the recipes - we tried the "Garlic, Cheddar, and Stone Ruination IPA Soup," loved it paired with the Stone Ruination IPA (of course). With a cup of butter and 2 1/4 pounds (2 1/4 POUNDS!!!) of sharp white cheddar, how could it not be good? While the recipe was for 8 servings (if I remember correctly), we couldn't eat too much at one time, as it is crazy rich. And thick. Thick like a cheese dip thick. We ended up thinning it with extra stock each time we got the leftovers out and probably ended up with at least 20 servings or so.
Humorous, entertaining, and sometimes educational, really a worthwhile read. Grab a bottle or two of Stone beer, sit down, and enjoy learning about what you're drinking.
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