MAKING BEER by William Mares


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A rambling and ambling disquisition on matters cerevisial--by a Vermont newspaperman and inveterate home brewer who seems to have tried every wrinkle in the (amateur) trade. There is a loose autobiographical framework recounting the stages of Mares' obsession with the art of brewing. Strung along this is the hard stuff: a clear, sensible introduction to crucial ingredients, equipment, and technical procedures. Mares' ambitions took him as far as a half-cocked idea of building his own miniature commercial brewery, a notion that he regretfully abandoned after taking a cold look at financing, marketing, and operating realities, but that he obviously hopes many other people will pursue. For attache? brewers, this is a likably-told account of a love affair--from the first Guinness stout in the neighborhood of Harvard Square through many an ugly-duckling batch of nameless brew, the discovery of reliable methods, and the gradual mastery of half a dozen styles (from elegant quasi-Pilsener to sorghum-consistency stout). For the aspiring home suds artist, it's a pretty good (though informal) manual, with six simple recipes--not to be used without a thorough reading of the text--and a lot of hammering away at unromantic necessities like sanitary standards. For the would-be-entrepreneur, there are interviews with a number of people who made it--Fritz Maytag of Anchor Steam Beer, William Newman of New Amsterdam--or didn't make it, and a guide to evaluating initial costs and practical difficulties. Amiable and wise.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1984
Publisher: Knopf