I really enjoyed The Craft of Stone Brewing Co, a book chronicling the brewery's history, along with beers and recipes from their restaurant. When I discovered that Greg Koch, co-founder/CEO of Stone, had written another book, I jumped at the chance to read it -- his style is very casual, funny, yet delves deep into the subject. Even though the book, The Brewer's Apprentice, is subtitled "An Insider's Guide to the Art and Craft of Beer Brewing, Taught by the Masters," I hoped it would also offer some insights on how to brew at home at a higher level. I was not disappointed.
Koch travels the country and also Europe, interviewing masters of the craft. The book is laid out chronologically through the brewing process, with chapters interspersed specifically dealing with grains, malts, and so on. Hops, water chemistry, Lambic brewing, Big Beers, you name it, there's probably a chapter on it, all the way to hard cider. Each chapter stands alone as a mini essay on the topic, yet fits in and expands on the whole of the brewing process. Fantastic group of masters sharing their wisdom and experience, written in Koch's casual yet educational style, with resources galore - if you're not inspired to at least drink good beer, let alone try to brew it yourself after reading this book, there's something awry.
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