Shelf Talker by | Jun 2011 | Issue #53

Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer
By William Bostwick and Jessi Rymill
Rodale Books, May 2011, $16.99

As more folks in the urban DIY set have fermentors bubbling away under their kitchen tables, it’s about time a new kind of guide be added to the homebrewing canon. With accessible 1-gallon recipes, tips from industry pros on creating your own recipes, and snazzy charts breaking down the science and flavor profiles of every ingredient, Beer Craft is a comprehensive (and inspiring!) handbook. Offers insight for everyone, from the befuddled first-timer with a prefab kit, to the purist veteran who roasts their own grains and fires on hand-painted labels. Laminate your copy, so it can live forever your countertop.

Bread, Beer & the Seeds of Change: Agriculture’s Imprint on World History
By Thomas R. Sinclair and Carol Janas Sinclair
CABI, August 2010, $30

Ancient Egyptians checked the temperature of their mash by bare hand. Citizens of the Han Dynasty loved their fermented, herb-flavored millet so much, the government enacted laws regulating alcohol. Aristotle scorned women who drank during pregnancy. For centuries, people subsisted almost entirely on bread and beer, a nutrient- and calorie-rich diet that fueled long days of hard labor. In their book, the Sinclairs examine 10 historical societies and how fermentable grains helped (and hurt) them.