Chelsea Green Publishing

Miracle Brew

Pages:288 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603587693
Pub. Date October 12, 2017

Miracle Brew

Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer

Categories:
Food & Drink

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
October 12, 2017

$19.95

The Guardian’s "Best Books on Drink” Pick

Most people know that wine is created by fermenting pressed grape juice and cider by pressing apples. But although it’s the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, few people know what beer is made of. In lively and witty fashion, Miracle Brew dives into traditional beer’s four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast, and water, each of which has an incredible story to tell.

From the Lambic breweries of Belgium, where beer is fermented with wild yeasts drawn down from the air around the brewery, to the aquifers below Burton-on-Trent, where the brewing water is rumored to contain life-giving qualities, Miracle Brew tells the full story behind the amazing role each of these fantastic four—a grass, a weed, a fungus, and water—has to play. Celebrated U.K. beer writer Pete Brown travels from the surreal madness of drink-sodden hop-blessings in the Czech Republic to Bamberg in the heart of Bavaria, where malt smoked over an open flame creates beer that tastes like liquid bacon. He explores the origins of fermentation, the lost age of hallucinogenic gruit beers, and the evolution of modern hop varieties that now challenge wine grapes in the extent to which they are discussed and revered.

Along the way, readers will meet and drink with a cast of characters who reveal the magic of beer and celebrate the joy of drinking it. And almost without noticing we’ll learn the naked truth about the world’s greatest beverage.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Foreword Reviews, Starred Review

"Civilization befell humanity in spurts of luck and cleverness: managing fire, sharing food, affection communicated in the gift of a flower, speech, discovering that a bunch of ripe grapes left in the hollow of a boulder or grain soaked in water would convert into intoxicating alcohol, written language, and so on. If you flinched at seeing wine and beer make the list, ask yourself what trigger might have led to free-ranging fireside chats, feasting, artistic expression, romance, and other aspects of a thriving civilization, and inebriation jumps to the fore. Moreover, scholars have great reason to believe that Neolithic humans cultivated grains for beer before bread, based on archaeological finds in the Eastern Mediterranean, Mexico, and other places. So we’ve been drinking beer for 10,000 years or so, but did you realize that, in spite of its lowbrow reputation, beer is one of the most complex and difficult to make beverages of all? Pete Brown’s Miracle Brew: Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer makes the case that beer is also beautiful, fascinating, and worthy of your full attention—even if you’re a wine drinker. Brown profiles each of beer’s ingredients and explains the precise, not-completely-understood role they play in brewing. An extraordinary storyteller, historian, and drinking companion, he may play a crucial role in establishing beer as the world’s greatest beverage."

“In a spirited, engaging romp through the confines of the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law of 1516, Pete Brown pulls apart and examines the four essential ingredients of late-medieval Bavarian lager beer: barley, water, hops, and yeast, which was first observed in the seventeenth century. Earlier European medieval ales, flavored with gruit herbs such as bog myrtle, yarrow, and meadowsweet, stepped aside to make way for the hop invasion. To the delight of modern craft brewers, Pete then deftly puts these seemingly simple constituents back together again to produce a thirst-quenching finished product.”—Patrick E. McGovern, author of Ancient Brews and Uncorking the Past

“Pete Brown is my favorite kind of person—an intellectual hedonist. In this exceptionally engaging and informative book, he lays bare his gleeful pursuit of knowledge into what makes us humans vigorously pursue our passions for the good things in life. I’ve read a lot of beer books; this one tops them all for the sheer thoroughness in which the art, history, science, and plain old enjoyment of this most complex of beverages is explored.”—Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking

“Entertaining, engaging, and simply fun, Miracle Brew offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of beer through the prisms of hops, barley, water, and yeast. Pete Brown takes us on an experiential romp through the world of beer, full of topsy-turvy adventures. Put down your scientific journals and remind yourself what beer is really all about.”—Charlie Papazian, author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing; founder, Great American Beer Festival

“Pete has an enthusiasm for his subject matter that is both hugely entertaining and highly infectious, particularly when—true story!—he climbs behind the wheel of a combine to harvest a field of malting barley! You may think that you ‘get’ beer, all its ingredients and processes, but by the end of Miracle Brew he will have you marveling at how little you fully understood.”—Stephen Beaumont, coauthor with Tim Webb of Best Beers and The World Atlas of Beer

“When Pete Brown describes something, you feel you’ve explored it yourself. Whether it is an investigation of Maris Otter barley or a visit to Carnivale Brettanomyces, he conveys the feel, the facts, and the findings in a way that’s concise yet satisfyingly complete. Miracle Brew enlivens the exploration of beer’s foundational ingredients with colorful details drawn from diverse experiences. Brown’s take will certainly nurture fascination among those new to the territory, but veteran beer fans will also find plenty of new information and insights. For both, Brown’s thoughtful writing makes any dip into this work rewarding.”—Ray Daniels, founder and director, Cicerone Certification Program

“We all know the story of how beer is made and what it tastes like once it’s finished, but Pete Brown takes you back a step in that journey, and describes how each of the four main ingredients—water, barley, hops, and yeast—were grown, harvested, and prepared to arrive at the brewery, ready to be used to brew the miracle in your glass.”—Jay R. Brooks, syndicated beer writer and columnist

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pete Brown

Pete Brown is one of the U.K.’s most respected beer writers. Over the last twelve years he’s written five and a half books about beer, pubs, and cider and why they matter. He also writes one of the U.K.’s most widely read drinks blogs and many articles for mainstream and beer trade press titles. He’s on the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme quite a lot and judges the Food and Farming Awards and Great Taste Awards. He has twice been named Beer Writer of the Year, and with Bill Bradshaw he won Drink Book of the Year in the 2014 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. His books have been translated into over two languages.

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Book Trailer - Miracle Brew

Although it’s the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, few people know what beer is made of. In lively and witty fashion, Miracle Brew dives into traditional beer’s four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast, and water, each of which has an incredible story to tell.

British Beer Video Blog - September

In the first of his British Beer video blogs Pete Brown visits Nottingham to sample champion beer of Britain 2010 Castle Rock's Harvest Pale.

British Beer Video Blog - April

Filmed at Moorhouse's in Burnley, this is the country's newest British cask-conditioned beer brewery, Peter Amor explores the brewery with Managing Director David Grant while Pete Brown visits the Bridge Bier Huis to review the beers they have on tap.

BBC 4: Timeshift - The Rules of Drinking

Timeshift digs into the archive to discover the unwritten rules that have governed the way we drink in Britain.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz (DVD)

Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz (DVD)

By Sandor Ellix Katz

Thousands of readers consider Sandor Ellix Katz's Wild Fermentation to be their guidepost for exploring and making fermented foods. Now, in this new DVD, Katz offers fermentation beginners and enthusiasts a chance to "sit in" on one of his popular workshops and learn through hands-on demonstration and instruction, accompanied by an interview on the benefits of fermentation, and social implications as it relates to food security.

Contrary to popular belief, fermenting foods is a simple process. But it needs to be done correctly, and there's no better person to inform us about managing microbial bacteria to produce highly nutritious food. In fact, with Sandor Ellix Katz as their guide, viewers will find fermentation is much more than just a way of preserving food: it's a method of self-sufficiency, a crucial historical component to all agricultural movements, and utterly delicious.This intimate workshop and interview will prove invaluable both for total beginners and longtime fermentation lovers. The DVD includes:

  • The history of fermentation and culturing
  • Information about microorganisms and pre-digestion
  • Demonstrations on making kefir and sauerkraut
  • Tips on fermentation vessels and storage
  • The truth about food safety (botulism, surface mold, and other fears de-mystified)

And more...Complete with cultural commentary, practical preparation guidance (including recipes), and a demonstration for just-right sauerkraut-and featuring an extended interview with Katz-this video is perfect for food-lovers of any kind.

Available in: DVD

Read More

Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz (DVD)

Sandor Ellix Katz

DVD $34.95

Gods, Wasps and Stranglers

Gods, Wasps and Stranglers

By Mike Shanahan

Over millions of years, fig trees have shaped our world, influenced our evolution, nourished our bodies and fed our imaginations. And as author and ecologist Mike Shanahan proclaims, “The best could be yet to come.”

Gods, Wasps and Stranglers weaves together the mythology, history and ecology of one of the world’s most fascinating—and diverse—groups of plants, from their starring role in every major religion to their potential to restore rainforests, halt the loss of rare and endangered species and even limit climate change.

In this lively and joyous book, Shanahan recounts the epic journeys of tiny fig wasps, whose eighty-million-year-old relationship with fig trees has helped them sustain more species of birds and mammals than any other trees; the curious habits of fig-dependent rhinoceros hornbills; figs’ connection to Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad; and even their importance to Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Ultimately, Gods, Wasps and Stranglers is a story about humanity’s relationship with nature, one that is as relevant to our future as it is to our past. 

Available in: Hardcover, Paperback

Read More

Gods, Wasps and Stranglers

Mike Shanahan

Hardcover $22.50

The Vegan Book of Permaculture

The Vegan Book of Permaculture

By Graham Burnett

How we eat is such a fundamental part of what we are; yet, in our present time-poor culture of prepackaged fast foods, food can become an expensive symptom of alienation and disempowerment. It doesn’t have to be this way! The Vegan Book of Permaculture gives us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions. Creating a good meal, either for ourselves or to share, taking time to prepare fresh, wholesome home- or locally grown ingredients with care and respect can be a deeply liberating experience. It is also a way of taking back some control from the advertising agencies and multinational corporations.

In this groundbreaking and original book, Graham demonstrates how understanding universal patterns and principles, and applying these to our own gardens and lives, can make a very real difference to both our personal lives and the health of our planet. This also isn’t so very different from the compassionate concern for "animals, people, and environment" of the vegan way.

Interspersed with an abundance of delicious, healthy, and wholesome exploitation-free recipes, Graham provides solutions-based approaches to nurturing personal effectiveness and health, eco-friendly living, home and garden design, veganic food growing, reforestation strategies, forest gardening, reconnection with wild nature, and community regeneration with plenty of practical ways to be well fed with not an animal dead! This is vegan living at its best.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Vegan Book of Permaculture

Graham Burnett

Paperback $24.95

Fresh Food from Small Spaces

Fresh Food from Small Spaces

By R.J. Ruppenthal

Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens—all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics.

Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food.

With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more.

Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Fresh Food from Small Spaces

R.J. Ruppenthal

Paperback $24.95