Beer – Ale, Lager…Oh My!
Here we are in October – a month which often has various Oktoberfest celebrations occurring. And where there’s an Oktoberfest, there’s usually beer. Recent years have seen a growing interest in the craft of brewing. With all this interest in beer, it’s amazing that there is not yet an official national beer month; although, according to BeerConnoisseur, there are many beer holidays celebrated throughout the year. And beer has been around a long time. History Reference Center has these articles for our Beer history fans:
- Eberts, Derrek. “To Brew or Not to Brew: A Brief History of Beer in Canada.” Manitoba History, no. 54, Feb. 2007, pp. 2–13.
- Marschall, Laurence A. “A Natural History of Beer.” Natural History, vol. 127, no. 4, Apr. 2019, p. 46
- Breig, James. “Standing the Test of Time: 18th-Century Products in Use Today: James Breig Reminds Us That Sometimes, the Old Ones Are the Best Ones.” History Magazine, vol. 11, no. 4, Apr. 2010, pp. 42–44
So, let’s talk beer. What are the different types of beer? Do you know the difference between an ale, lager, pilsner, stout, or guinness? Insider.com has a great article which discusses not only the differences of all the different types of beer, but also provides a brief history origin for each. If you’re looking to learn more, check out these books from the Library:
- Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth.
- In Praise of Beer by Charles Bamforth.
- Beer: what to drink next by Michael Larson.
- Illustrated Directory of Beer [a Beer Lover’s Guide to Over 1500 Brews From Iconic Breweries to Artisan Beermakers]
There are lots more titles found by searching the subject: Beer in the library’s catalog.
Of course, along with finding out about the types of beer, it’s handy to know which foods match with them.
Here’s some books from the Library:
- Beer at My Table: Recipes, Beer Styles and Food Pairings by Tonia Wilson
- Beer Bites: Tasty Recipes and Perfect Pairings for Brew Lovers by Christian DeBenedetti
- Beer Pantry: Cooking at the Intersection of Craft Beer and Great Food by Adam Dulye
- Guide to Craft Beer
Hoopla has these eBooks:
- Beer Cheese Stories: Stories of hops, whey and the magic of fermentation by Michael Landis
- Beer, Food and Flavor: A Guide to Tasting, Pairing, and the Culture of Craft Beer by Schuyler Schultz
- The Beer and Food Companion by by Stephen Beaumont
- Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros by Julia Herz and Gwen Conley
- Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer: An Unpretentious Guide to Craft Beer by Ashley V. Routson
- Best of American Beer and Food: Pairing & Cooking with Craft Beer by Lucy Saunders
- Foodie’s Beer Book: The Art of Pairing and Cooking with Beer for Any Occasion by Brooke and Luther Fedora
Moving on from learning about types of beer, you can see that it is not just an industry, but an actual craft, when it comes to brewing beer. As you will have discovered from reading about the types of beer, the main ingredients in beer are various types of grain, yeast, hops and water. Once you have the ingredients, you then go into the art & science of brewing them together to craft beer. In fact, craft breweries have been a growing industry and created all sorts of flavors and types of beer.
For more on this, check out these ebooks from Hoopla:
- Brewing Local by Stan Hieronymus
- Brewing Revolution: Pioneering The Craft Beer Movement by Frank Appleton
- Craft Brew: An American Beer Revolution by M. B. Mooney
And the craft brew industry is alive and well here in the Mahoning Valley!
Youngstown has its own craft breweries:
- Biker Brewhouse
- Noble Creature Cask House
- Paladin Brewing
- Penguin City Brewing Company
- Coming soon: Steel Valley Brew Works
And just north in Warren, there’s:
Heading south to Columbiana, you’ll find:
With this craft brewery growth, there’s always competition. And Hoopla has these documentaries, covering the brewing industry (including some of those competitions):
So, are you now interested in trying to make your own beer? If you are, we have lots of titles to help you learn how. If you hadn’t noticed already, the word ‘craft’ is often tied into beer making. A great resource to find information on beer making is Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center. Once you open this resource, go to Browse by Category, click on View All Topics, then scroll down and click on Beer & Wine Making. There are over 5,000 articles to browse! To find the most on brewing, use the Subject filter on the left to narrow your results to Brewing. This resource includes the full text from 2013-present of Beer Connoissieur. Plus, it has the entire book: Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Hops, Malts & Brewing Herbs: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply by John Peragine.
From the Library:
- Beer Brewing for Everyone by Hlatky, Michael
- Brew Better Beer: Learn (and Break) the Rules for Making IPAs, Sours, Pilsners, Stouts, and More by Emma Christensen
- Brew Like a Pro: Make Pub-style Draft Beer at Home by David G. Miller
- The Brew Your Own Big Book of Clone Recipes: Featuring 300 Homebrew Recipes From Your Favorite Breweries
- The Brew Your Own Big Book of Homebrewing: All-grain and Extract Brewing, Kegging, 50+ Craft Beer Recipes, Tips and Tricks From the Pros
- The Complete Homebrew Beer Book: 200 Easy Recipes From Ales & Lagers to Extreme Beers & International Favorites by George Hummel
- Craft Beer for the Homebrewer: Recipes From America’s Top Brewmasters by Michael Agnew
- Home Brewing: a Practical Guide to Crafting Your Own Beer, Wine, and Cider by Kevin Forbes
- How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time by John J. Palmer
- Simple Homebrewing: Great Beer, Less Work, More Fun by Drew Beechum
- Brew It!: 25 Great Recipes and Techniques to Brew at Home by Corey Herschberger
- Brew It Yourself: Professional Craft Blueprints for Home Brewing by Erik Spellmeyer
- Brew Ware: How to Find, Adapt & Build Homebrewing Equipment by by Karl F. Lutzen and Mark Stevens
- Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer
- Brewing Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Beer at Home by Dennis Fisher, Joe Fisher
- Brewing with Wheat by Stan Hieronymus
- Craft Brew by Euan Ferguson
- Home Brewing by John Parkes
- Home Brewing: 70 Top Secrets & Tricks To Beer Brewing Right The First Time: A Guide To Home Brew Any Beer You Want by Jason Scotts
- Make Your Own Beer: A Guide to All Things Beer and How to Brew it Yourself by John Shepherd
- For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops by Stan Hieronymus
- Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse by John Mallett
- Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers by John J. Palmer and Colin Kaminski
Before we end this blog, let’s take a look at some of the many ways you can use beer in cooking. For myself, I’ve eaten beer battered fish and heard of beer can chicken. Do you have a favorite recipe that uses beer? If not, maybe you’ll discover one. Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center finds many recipe articles on cooking with beer when you type ‘Beer Cooking’ in the search box.
Here’s some Library recipe books to enjoy as well:
- The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes From Your Favorite Brewpubs & Breweries by John Holl
- Beer Bread: Brew-infused Breads, Rolls, Biscuits, Muffins, and More by Lori Rice
- The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Sliders, Skewers, Mini Desserts, and More — All Made With Beer by Jacquelyn Dodd
- The Craft Beer Cookbook: From IPAs and Bocks to Pilsners and Porters, 100 Artisanal Recipes for Cooking With Beer by Jacquelyn Dodd
- Cookies & Beer by Jonathan Bender
- The Gourmet’s Guide to Cooking with Beer: How to Use Beer to Take Simple Recipes from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Alison Boteler
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog – created by a non-drinker – as the closet I come to drinking beer (or any alcohol) is Ginger Ale and Root beer! Although, I have enjoyed eating beer-battered fish in the past. And, I enjoyed watching the TV Show, Cheers, in the past. So, I raise my frosty & frothy root beer float to you and say “Cheers to all you!”