During the medieval and early modern periods beer was as much a daily necessity as a source of inebriation and amusement. It was the beverage of choice of urban populations that lacked access to secure sources of potable water; a commodity of economic as well as social importance; a safe drink for daily consumption that was less expensive than wine; and a major source of tax revenue for the state. In Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Richard W. Unger has written an encompassing study of beer as both a product and an economic force in Europe.
Drawing from archives in the Low Countries and England to assemble an impressively complete history, Unger describes the transformation of the industry from small-scale production that was a basic part of housewifery to a highly regulated commercial enterprise dominated by the wealthy and overseen by government authorities. Looking at the intersecting technological, economic, cultural, and political changes that influenced the transformation of brewing over centuries, he traces how improvements in technology and in the distribution of information combined to standardize quality, showing how the process of urbanization created the concentrated markets essential for commercial production.
Weaving together the stories of prosperous businessmen, skilled brewmasters, and small producers, this impressively researched overview of the social and cultural practices that surrounded the beer industry is rich in implication for the history of the period as a whole.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to brew beer from an expert, look no further. Award-winning homebrewer Chris Colby of Beer & Wine Journal offers recipes for every major style of beer to teach novice, intermediate and advanced brewers more about the craft and science of brewing. From classic styles like pale ales, IPAs, stouts and porters, to experimental beers such as oyster stout, bacon-smoked porter and jolly rancher watermelon wheat, brewers will learn more about brewing techniques and beer ingredients. Chris also shows how recipes can be modified to suit an individual brewer’s taste or to transform one beer style into a related style, creating a lot of different and fantastic beer options.
Quench your thirst for brewing knowledge on a journey through 101 different beers, spanning all the major beer categories in the 2016 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines and most in the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) guidelines.