Journalist, editor at Realbeer.com and amateur brewer Stan Hieronymus knows what he’s talking about when it comes to our favorite libation. The author of several popular beer books including For The Love of Hops, Brew Like a Monk and Brewing with Wheat, Hieronymus’s most recent release, will make you think about beer in a whole new way. In Brewing Local: American- Grown Beer, he presents brewers and craft beer drinkers with interesting and often unconventional, American-grown ingredients that can be used to flavor beer, many of which can be used in place of hops. The book begins where “science and art meet and considers why some beers taste of a specific place,” explains Hieronymus.
With a foreword written by Dogfish Head Brewery president and founder Sam Calagione, who is passionate about brewing quality beers using local and unusual ingredients, Brewing Local highlights the value of brewing (and buying) local with an emphasis on the many breweries that are leading the way in the movement. Calagione says of the author, “Stan takes the reader on a journey – not just through the beer brewing community, but also through the agricultural community. Moreover, he celebrates how much these things overlap.”
Americans have been brewing with indigenous ingredients for centuries. And today many brewers are at the forefront of the locavore movement using locally-grown ingredients to create beers that are not only unique, but also have an association to the place where they were made. Hieronymus says in the introduction, “The goal is not to offer a complete history of brewing, but to examine specific beers, ingredients and processes that influenced where beer is today.”
Hieronymus dedicates six chapters to ingredients alone. From grains, trees and plants, to roots, mushrooms and chiles, these chapters warrant a book of their own. And because he shares brewing recipes from across the country, Brewing Local is a great resource for homebrewers and professionals alike.
About Hieronymus’s latest work, Jeff Alworth, author of The Beer Bible says, “It’s one of the few books with the capacity to make you think anew about beer.” Hieronymus hopes his book helps readers understand the history of American beer with a peek into what beer can be.