REVIEWS

Ray Daniels, Designing Great Beers

I agree with Michael Jackson's assessment that Randy Mosher is a homebrewing genius. I've known Randy for 15 years and learned more from him than any other brewer I know. Now he has put a big chunk of that knowledge into a book that wanders through the history of beer challenging our assumptions about what beer is and how we should go about brewing it. What a fun book! How it makes me want to run into the brewery and start creating new beers. What a genius!

Bob Townsend, Atlanta Constitution-Journal:

A radical passion for brews that honor spirit of the craft

The book is ostensibly a how-to manual for expanding the horizons of home-brewing. But because Mosher covers so much history and lore, and presents so many different styles and recipes in such an irreverent and imaginative way, the book is a thoroughly enjoyable read for just about anyone who wants to learn more about beer.

John Foyston, The Oregonian:

Radical Brewing is written for the home brewer but can be unhesitatingly recommended to anyone who wants to better understand the art and passion of brewing.

Veteran beer writer Randy Mosher previously wrote The Brewer's Companion, and he begins his new book with 10 suggestions that hint at the fervor with which he approaches his subject: "Brew as if beer is a gift from a benevolent universe: Because it is. Brew as if it's a magic spell: Incant the names: barley, hops, water, yeast, fire...

"Brew like a good shepherd, with billions of tiny creatures at your mercy. Brew as an act of benevolence. . . . Brew like an artist, with your senses and whims. . . . Brew with balance. . . . Brew with simplicity. . . . Brew with reckless abandon. . . . Brew with meaning. . . . Brew beer with all this in mind, and the world will remain an amazing place."

Which is not to say that Mosher gets all serious on us: He has great fun with beer and its 12,000-year-old history, as "An Embellished History of Beer" and its accompanying timeline plainly shows.

"1350-1450: Hops replace other herbs, weakening the church's grip on beer revenue and eventually allowing free-willed scalawags like Martin Luther to vandalize church doors, inexplicably opening the floodgates of the Renaissance."

Mosher is an exuberant guide. Clearly, this is a man for whom brewing has never been a chore and he passes that on over the course of 22 chapters that even the best brewers will likely find informative and fun.

And that's why this is also a great book for people like me, who love good beer but will never attempt to brew a batch.

Understand the effects of different ingredients and techniques on the beers you might make, and you'll better understand and savor the beer you drink. And judging from Radical Brewing, there are few more knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides to the arcana of brewing than Mosher.

K. Florian kemp, All About Beer:

Reknowned homebrewer Randy Mosher, a name familiar to anyone who regularly reads brewing and beer publications, could be described as unconventional, but to leave it at that would be a gross understatement. Technically, he is on a par with anyone who has ever fired up a burner. Mosher's real, and unique, contribution to the skill is his cunning manner of pushing the envelope. By combining his insight with a true reverence for beer, Mosher sits on a lofty perch that is shared by few other homebrewing experts. The fruits of his lust are compiled in his new book,Radical Brewing.

The gist of his treatise is a series of cleverly written chapters that weave history, classic beer style recipe formulation, and, of course, his own wild-eyed take on the brews. Any conceivable ingredient is investigated for its contribution and implementation in a brew. Virtually any kind of classic beer style, whimsically and functionlly twisted, can be found in this book. Hardly daunting, he caters to every level of brewing proficiency with an uncountable number of recipes. Mosher's bright and jocular presentations make his text all the more enjoyable.

Radical Brewing rivals many other homebrew books for simple nuts and bolts brewing. But for sheer offbeat enjoyment, this one stands alone.

Mosher knows well the nature of the beast, and can't help tickling his belly. Far from Frankenbrewing, his chicanery is tempered by sound methodology. Surely jaggery, mint, quinoa, smoked malt, and tangerine can be used in a brew, but how? Let Yin and Yang Brew Master Mosher show you how. Radically, of course.

John Palmer author of How To Brew, www.howtobrew.com:

Radical like Copernicus!

I have a new favorite brewing book - Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. I must admit that I was put off by the title at first. "Radical Brewing? I don't want to brew weird stuff, I want to brew good stuff..." But after I had a chance to browse thru a copy, I realized there was nothing weird about it. It is radical like Copernicus was radical. It is full of really interesting information that I had not known or barely heard of before. This is a spectrum of brewing, brews, and brewers.

How to describe it??

Broadly, it is like Designing Great Beers in that it presents the ingredients of brewing, the methods for using them and how various beer styles were developed by using those ingredients.

The difference could be described in this way though: If DGB were described as a university course in the main lecture hall on brewing, then Radical Brewing is sitting down with the Prof one-on-one, while he regales with his experiences and pours you samples as he talks. And, if you know Randy, then this description of his book is self-explanatory. It really is a book that you will pick up and read for the fun of it. There are lots of interesting recipes, and his discussion makes you want to try them. A great book to further your homebrewing education.

 

If your publication would like to obtain a review copy of Radical Brewing, please contact the author or Brewers Publications at:

PO Box 1679
Boulder CO 80306-1679
(303) 447-0816