Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition 4th Printing edition (October 18, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.7 x 9.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #112,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #61 in Books > Business & Money > Industries > Restaurant & Food #104 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Beer #153 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Entertaining & Holidays > Seasonal
There are two kinds of beer drinkers in the world--those who are rabid fans of Stone Brewing Company, and those who don't like it at all. I've never met anyone who's neutral about Stone beers. I've never seen anyone take a trial sip of a Stone beer and say, "Well, I guess it's all right." No, the response is either, "Wow, that's great! Pour me another!" or "That's the worst beer I've ever tasted. Gimme a glass of one of those fizzy yellow beer-like substances instead." For those of us who ARE fans of extreme beers, those that go far beyond any reasonable limits of flavor, strength and hoppiness, Stone is a beer geek's Nirvana.I first learned about Stone in 1998 at a beer festival in Tucson, Arizona, two years after founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner started the company in San Marcos, California. At the Stone table was an intriguing beer I'd never heard of called "Arrogant Bastard." "I gotta try me some of that," I thought. But it wasn't that easy. Before the staff would serve it, one had to prove to them that one was "worthy" enough to drink such a powerful beer. That was a stroke of marketing genius (as is the label on AB bottles, by the way, which starts out, "This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it."). Anyway, I don't remember how I proved I was worthy, but after just one sip of AB, I was hooked. And I really mean hooked. For the next ten years, my wife and I (we have identical beer tastes) flew or drove 1,700 miles round trip from our home in El Paso, Texas, to southern California specifically to attend Stone's annual anniversary parties. We got to know Greg a little--at first, he couldn't believe we'd traveled so far just to drink a few of his beers, but then he got used to seeing us there every year.
When I first saw this book, I really liked how the cover looked. It's sturday looking, and it feels nice. The colors in the photos on the front are nice, as well.Here's what I like about the book:It explains how beer is made in Layman's terms, and as a homebrewer, I have to say that the explanations of the malts in the book are really nice. It would be a good place to start for review if you're getting into all grain brewing. It's not that you could buy this book and brew (some people could, but not me), in my opinion, but it's again, a nice way to explain the process to someone who might be slightly interested.The story of Stone Brewing and how it came about is also a pretty inspiring story. I wish everyone had the gumption to do their job as ambitiously as Greg and Steve do/did.They have a lot of their recipes in this book, even ones they used to make but don't anymore (Heat Seeking Wheat), but that brings me to the next part of this review.Some of the things that irk me about this book:No recipe for Arrogant Bastard. Why not? There is a podcast called Can You Brew It with Jamil Zainasheff where they talk with the head brewer, Mitch, and he is pretty nebulous about what the ingredients are. Regardless, after the first show which produced a beer that was close, but not a clone, they re-brewed and the second batch was declared a clone. The recipe is available on the Northern Brewer forums, and here's a personal anecdote - I've had a bottle of beer that was brewed using that recipe and it was SPOT ON, other than the fact that the homebrewed version was probably fresher than the Stone version. What's more, my friend who brewed it, had NEVER had Arrogant Bastard before, since he can't get it in Iowa.
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