Category Archives: Books

What am I Reading 2 – Long Overdue update

Hello! I’m hoping to get back to posting again after another year long hiatus. The reality is that 2 kids, home-ownership, work and a lot of excuses have gotten the better of me. It’s also true that I’ve been home brewing, doing some beer tutoring, gotten to take some awesome work trips (which I should really share in more depth here), but let me first catch you all up on some beer-related reading I’ve been doing.

The Homebrewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer – Ron Pattinson

Homebrew Guide

A book clearly targeted at homebrewers, but really it can be appreciated by any style or historian geek. It’s full of historic European recipes scaled to 5 gallon batches along with origin facts and other tidbits. It was interesting to see how the grists and hop loads changed across the style between eras and breweries. I think my favorite part of the book is the research Ron has done that disproves or challenges a lot of the beer lore that gets tossed around for fact. I haven’t brewed a recipe from it just yet, but you can  be certain it will be one of the milds when I get around to it.

Session Beer – Jennifer Talley

Miller Lite
(Excuse the beer choice. Limited options in the air.)

A book after my own heart! Jennifer Talley is an accomplished brewer with a personal history of brewing session beers, arguably thanks to starting brewing in Utah. Unbeknownst to be, she spent some time brewing for Auburn Alehouse in CA at which I’ve spent quite a bit of time and for certain enjoyed a few of her creations. This book would be great for intermediate home brewers who are familiar with the process of brewing and focusing more on style development or working on concepts like bitterness/sweetness ratios, etc. While I think I enjoyed this book mostly for the personal connections I found, rather than any groundbreaking knowledge I got from it, I do like that it dipped a bit into the sour brewing realm and published some downscaled versions of some pretty popular commercial recipes.

Yeast – Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff


Truthfully I’ve read this a few times before over the last few years (you can tell by it’s lovingly abused exterior), but I picked this up again this year with the much more focused lens of a brewery lab tech and was specifically targeting their thoughts about unhealthy fermentations and low abv.

What I like about this book is that it’s as nerdy as you want it to be. While it’s definitely not geared toward newer brewers, you can read through the more basic sections and go along until things stop making sense, skip forward and get more basics. And then like I did, go back and revisit it later and figure out all the knowledge you missed. A worthwhile read and reference book for later.

That’s all for now! You all have favorite beer books you’ve read recently?

What Am I Reading? – Number 1

I can’t promise I’ll never write a review for  beer, equipment, or in this case, books, as someday I may feel the need to do so. Mainly though I’ve never been a fan of panning other’s people’s hard work even if it is bad as I’d rather mention worthwhile items and forget about the useless. Not to mention all I really want in a “review” is to hear what it’s about and who should read it. I hope to refine this format over time, but for now here’s the first in a series of “What Am I Reading?”

Which book?Hoptopia by Peter A. Kopp.

What’s it about? – The growth of hop production in the Willamette Valley. Also gets into prohibition, global hop production and the histories of farms in OR, CA and WA among other relevant beer/history points.

Why Did I Read it? – I wound up tending bar at a lecture Peter was giving to the Lane County Historical Society “History Pub” back in October. He mentioned a few things during his lecture that struck a chord with me. I work in in beer and live in the Willamette Valley so  it seemed like an easy thing to pick up and find value in.

Who Should Read This? – While I think this book would be an interesting read for most beer professionals and enthusiasts as it hits on a lot of topics relevant to what we do, even if you’re just an OR resident this makes for a pretty valuable history and engaged read.

So that’s it for this first one, short and sweet. Now I’ve got to get back to this stack of books I’ve been ignoring for too long.