Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

Marsden Hartley graphic "Handsome Drinks"

This is my collection of books of modern how-to on beer and mead – all the books I currently have in my library plus a few.   There are even a few country-wine-and-liqueur books here.  Suggestions for additions are welcome; so are corrections.  Maybe there’s something here you haven’t seen before that answers your lingering questions? It’s all in the name of making us all better brewers.

Thing is, there are wonderful new books coming out every week.  I am not trying to keep up, particularly.  So I was serious about taking your suggestions.

The links to Amazon are affiliate links, meaning that your purchase through this link will allow me to earn a little money to keep this website running, thank you!  That doesn’t mean you can’t find legal copies of some of the ones out of copyright on Google Books or the Gutenberg Project, and should probably check there first. Always, corrections and  additions are welcome.

Alewife’s Garden: 7 Radical Weeds for Brewing Herbal Ales.  VanNostrand, Jillian and Christie V. Sarles.   Radical Weeds, 2002; ISBN10
0966424638, ISBN13 9780966424638

Brooklyn BrewShop’s Beer Making Book, Shea, Erica and Stephen Valand.  Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York. 2011

These folks are foodies with all of New York City at their feet, and it shows.  Their real charm is 1-gallon recipes (5 gallon versions too) that you can make in a NYC kitchen; enough beer to tailor for dinner party next month.

Brewing Mead: Wassail in Mazers of Mead   Gayre, Robert and Charlie Papazian.   Boulder, CO: Brewers Publications. 1986.

The British Beekeepers Association   Dennis, Brian P.  (Homepage) http://www.britishbee.org.uk/index.php. Great source for English folklore on bees and beekeeping.

The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds, second edition  Barth, Roger, PhD.   Greene Publications LLC, West Chester, PA  2010

Perfectly organized for the chemist and non-chemist alike, Dr. Barth provides early chapters telling you everything you need to know to understand him when he starts to really talk about chemistry and beer.

The Compleat Meadmaker   Schramm, Ken (2003).  Brewers Publications,  Boulder, CO.

If you’re only going to own one how-to on meadmaking, this is the one.

The Complete Book of Spirits : A Guide to Their History, Production, and Enjoyment   Blue, Anthony Dias. New York: Harper Collins. 2004.

The Complete Guide to Making Mead: The Ingredients, Equipment, Processes, and Recipes for Crafting Honey Wine.  Platz, Steve. Voyageur Press, 2014.

This last one is very recent and probably has some good updated info (Ken Schramm hasn’t had time to revise the Compleat Meadmaker in ages; too busy opening a meadpub and continuing as one of the leading lights in meadmaking).  The similarity in names between the two books is really unfortunate, Platz and Schramn agree on that point.  Apparently the editors at Voyageur insisted on it. They may not realize how much respect Schramm has among meadmakers worldwide.

The Complete Joy of Home Brewing (3rd edition).  Papazian, Charlie.  HarperCollins Books, New York, 2003. One of the early (in the current craft beer movement) classics on home brewing.  Lots of us started out here.

Handbook of Brewing: Processes, Technology, Markets. Edited by H.M. Esslinger, copright 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., KGaA, Weonheim ISBN: 978-3-527-31674-8 Has one chapter on the history of beer brewing, but otherwise covers the last 500 years of industrial-scale brewing. The history chapter is cited on Books for Brewers: Secondary Sources under “A Comprehensive History of Beer Brewing”.

The Homebrewer’s Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs    Fisher, Joe and Dennis Fisher. Storey  Publishing, LLC. 1998; ISBN10 1580170102, ISBN13 9781580170109

Homemade Liqueurs  Meilach, Dona and Mel (1979).  Contemporary Books, Inc., Chicago

How to Brew.  Palmer, John J.  Boulder, CO: Brewers Publications, 2006. Print.

Enormously helpful primer on brewing your own beer.

Mad About Mead: Nectar of the Gods   Spence, Pamela (1997).   Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN

Her history is shite, if charming, but this is not a bad basic primer for a beginner.  Read it and move on – to Schramm if possible.

Making Mead   Acton, Brian, and Duncan, Peter (1985).   G.W. Kent, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI.

A lot of the early-in-the-current-craft-movement authors started out with this, and with Morse, below.

Making Mead   Morse, Roger (1992).   Wicwas Press, Cheshire, CT.  ISBN 1878075047; ISBN-13: 978-1878075048

A lot of the early-in-the-current-craft-movement authors started out with this, and with Acton and Douglas, above.

 Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers   Buhner, Steven Harrod (1998).  Siri Books, Boulder, CO.

If someone’s going to quote a source on herbs in beer it’s likely to be Buhner.  Some of the recipes are pretty good, too.

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