By Josh Noel, Tribune Newspapers
December 21, 2011
Should you be unclear what to get your favorite craft beer lover for the holidays, I have a suggestion, and no, it’s not beer: a book about beer. An impressive number of books about the world’s most wonderful beverage have come out in recent months and would make ideal holiday gifts. Here are a few possibilities.
“Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution,” by Joshua M. Bernstein The best-looking and most fun to read on this list, it’s a how-to guide for the beginning hipster beer nerd. Extra cool points for the book jacket, which unfolds into a beer map of sorts that shows the relationship among various styles and offers suggestions for the best of each. $24.95
“Chicago by the Pint: A Craft Beer History of the Windy City,” by Denese Neu If interested in Chicago’s beer history long before Daisy Cutter, this is the book for you. Each chapter begins with a brief synopsis of a present-day brewery, followed by a passage about our city’s brewing history — all the way down to the city’s first commercial brewery, Lill and Diversey Brewery, which opened “about 1841.” $19.99
“Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How it Took 13 Years, Extreme Jewish Brewing and Circus Sideshow Freaks to Make Shmaltz Brewing Company an International Success,” by Jeremy Cowan with James Sullivan Cowan, founder and owner of He’Brew and Coney Island beers, writes an interesting and breezy autobiographical account of breaking into the beer world. Heavy on both beer and Judaism, it makes for — needless to say — a killer Hanukkah present, especially when paired with a six-pack of He’Brew. $25