Brewing Resources (and a hint at EXCELLENT news)

Although I’m young in my brewing experience, I’m old enough to know that many, many people are much more experienced than I am. I’m making good beer, mind you, but there’s always someone who knows more than I do.

So, for those that like to brew, here are some resources I highly recommend:

Books to Read

  • Brew Like a Monk, by Stan Hieronymus. A great companion to Designing Great Beers, specifically aimed at Belgian styles. Fascinating.
  • Brewing Better Beer, by Gordon Strong. Lots of lessons from a master of the US homebrew world. A great check against what you think you know.
  • Designing Great Beers, by Ray Daniels. An excellent reference for just about every beer style you might want to emulate. Great as a sanity-check when designing recipes.
  • How to Brew, by John J. Palmer. The single most important homebrew book out there. Seriously, this is building block zero.
  • Radical Brewing, by Randy Mosher. take Designing Great Beers, throw it into the blender, and add irreverence, and you have Radical Brewing. Rethink what you thought were the rules, again.
  • Self Sufficiency Homebrewing, by John Parkes. The friendliest entry for a newb. My first book, and an excellent start.
  • The Microbrewers’ Handbook, by Ted Bruning. Not really a brewing reference, but an essential business guide to anyone setting up a microbrewery in the UK.
  • Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation, by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. It all comes down to yeast, so we better understand it. My O-Chem and Microbio are very rusty, but this book is accessible.

Clubs to Join:

  • CAMRA. The Campaign for Real Ale: the grand-daddy of beer pressure groups. A bit dogmatic on real ale, but still a great organisation.
  • Craft Brewing Association. A brewing group in the UK with an excellent newsletter.
  • SIBA. The Society of Independent Brewers, representing small brewers (like this one) in the UK.

Courses to Study

  • Brewlab Start up Brewing. It’s the only course I’ve done, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. I am seriously thinking of an additional practical course.

Pubs/Bars to Frequent:

  • Brewdog. Selflessly (and shamelessly) promoting craft keg beer in the UK. They make amazing beer. Go drink some and see what you think.
  • The Craft Beer Company. A lovely bar with an extensive selection, but they don’t let dogs in. So not a regular visit for me and the pup.
  • The Euston Tap. Convenient for commuters, and with an excellent selection.
  • The Great Northern Railway Tavern. It’s what @TonyJLennon did next. It’s as awesome as it can be!
  • The Rake. Great selection, great people, and a perfect location for a bevvie after fighting through Burough Market.

Websites to Use:

  • BrewUK. An excellent homebrew supplier in the UK. Fantastic customer service.
  • HomeBrewTalk. The daddy of Internet brewing forums. A great resource for recipes, hardware ideas, and help.
  • Jim’s Beer Kit. The UK’s number one homebrew forum. Good group purchase deals.
  • Northern Brewer. The go-to for gas hardware. Unfortunately doesn’t ship outside North America, so you need a maildrop.
  • The Home Brew Shop. The first place I bought homebrew supplies from in the UK. My all-grain starter kit is still going strong, but I think newbs are better off with BrewUK.

I’m sure there are more resources out there. What do you use to brew and judge beer?


PS – Big news next week. I’ll give you a hint: it’s shiny, and it should be delivered to the site before any Sabbath is properly underway. We are also working on getting our first BETA Tasting event. And there’s a brewday on the horizon: any suggestions? So much to do!