A year or two ago I saw a tweet by Pete Brown (no relation), one of the UK’s most entertaining beer writers, who was publishing a book through publishing crowdfunders Unbound. As I’ve already read a couple of his books (a beer history book, and a great one about taking an IPA from the UK to India via a shipping route), I thought I could find some cash to help get the book finished. “Miracle Brew” is the end result, a book about the main ingredients that makes up our favourite booze. My exclusive hardbound copy has arrived, and I’m 3/4s through it now – and while I consider myself something of a self researched expert, I’m learning lots of good stuff.
I’m off to the official book launch tonight in London (it’s one of the ‘perks’ offered by the crowdfunding effort if you paid a certain amount of dosh), so I’ll update here once I’ve been. Fingers crossed there’s some beer on offer… maybe the night will be themed around some of the things in the book? Some Czech lager maybe? I’m going to make use of my afternoon off – maybe an afternoon in the sun at the Euston Tap beforehand?
The book blurb…
We’ve been brewing and drinking beer for thousands of years, without understanding how or why the brewing process works. In the Middle Ages, yeast was called ‘godisgoode’ because no one had any idea what fermentation was. Malting barley, too, has for centuries seemed genuinely wondrous: it’s only in the last 200 years that science has identified and understood how man and yeast work together to gently (or not so gently) persuade this humble grain to give up its sugary stash for fermentation into beer.
From the birth of brewing (and civilization) in the Middle East, through an exploration of water’s unmurky depths and the surreal madness of drink-sodden hop-blessings in the Czech Republic, to the stunning recreation of the first ever modern beer – Miracle Brew is an extraordinary journey through the nature and science of brewing.
Along the way, we’ll 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.