Library Blog

Beer – Ale, Lager…Oh My!

Hand of bartender pouring a large lager beer in tap. Pouring beer for client. Side view of young bartender pouring beer while standing at the bar counter.

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: 

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? 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 

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: 

Hoopla has these eBooks: 

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 

And the craft brew industry is alive and well here in the Mahoning Valley! 

Youngstown has its own craft breweries: 

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 

From Hoopla: 

From OverDrive: 

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: 


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!”

Group of friends enjoying a beer

Sara Churchill

Sara Churchill is the Digital Services Specialist and Assistant Supervisor in the Information Services Department at Main Library. A major fan of technology devices and computer research resources at work, she enjoys helping everyone learn to use their devices and the library's many online resources.  She loves reading Science Fiction/Fantasy books, British cozy mysteries, True Crime and other true stories, plus a past reader of horror fiction by the likes of Stephen King and John Saul (among others).  Also, she’s a big fan of Sci-fi, action, horror, spaghetti westerns, and based-on-a-true story movies.  Her blogs are for adults and the entire family to enjoy reading and trying out the many online resources free for PLYMC library cardholders to use.