The Essential Homebrewer’s Reading List
Books about beer have gotten pretty fashionable on bookstore shelves as the rise of beer fandom has not only become a beverage choice, but to many, a way of life. You’ve got books delving into the history of beer, books outlining the best breweries near you, cookbooks, memoirs, and the like. For the die-hard beer fan, a penchant desire to fully immerse one’s self into the world of beer often leads to the age-old hobby of brewing your own. Looking to get started on your homebrew quest? There are books for that, too. Here’s our homebrewer’s reading list.
With dozens of books about brewing beer out in the market, do keep in mind that in the sake of brevity, we’ve fine-tuned our selections to a select few. So if you’re contemplating investing in the Brewers Publication’s inventory of books pertaining to the history of specific beer styles and raw ingredients – they’re great and worth every penny. We just didn’t want to write about all 15+ of them.
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian
The godfather of homebrewing (and founder of both the Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association) first published his guide to brewing at home nearly four decades ago, but it has remained a staple for beer lovers looking to get their hands dirty (or it is clean?). Papazian not only demystifies the brewing process, but his also develops an approachable narrative and beginner-level recipes to get you started.
How to Brew by John Palmer
I’ve said this time and time again – if there’s one piece of advice I universally received when getting started in my quest for homebrewing knowledge it was to “read the fucking Palmer book.” Not only does he lay out the fundamentals of brewing science in a simple way without watering down the material too much, but he also takes the time to continuously update this book digitally every few years with new or updated information. Palmer is not only one of the most well-regarded personalities in homebrewing – but he himself, is admittedly a lifetime student of it; always willing to learn or develop new techniques.
Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels
If there’s one book you’re likely to see on both a homebrewer AND a commercial brewer’s shelf, it’s definitely Designing Great Beers. Ray Daniels challenges brewers to tap into their critical thinking skills with tables upon tables of formulas and data presented in a way meant to aid a brewer’s creative streak. Whether you aim to brew a classic style or manifest your own creation, this book is a valuable resource to those looking take their understanding of recipe development to the next level.
The Dictionary of Beer & Brewing by Dan Rabin and Carl Forget
No matter how much you think you know about beer…sometimes you just need things spelled out for you. If you don’t feel like a complete know-it-all, this could be a handy guide for you. Because sometimes Google just doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for (seriously).
Experimental Homebrewing: Mad Science in the Pursuit of Great Beer by Drew Beechum & Denny Conn
Experimental Homebrewing is a much newer book that probably hasn’t quite hit your radar yet. Released in 2014, this fun book from Drew Beechum and Denny Conn is a fantastic read that will not only give you solid brewing bones, but also encourages creatives to dive into the deep end. With over 3 decades of combined brewing experience, Beechum and Conn have taken the seriousness of brewing science and applied a playful approach to some very technical topics. Credible insights paired with a refreshing dose of whimsy. A must-have.