A perfect fit for my current lager fixation, “Pilsner: How the Beer of Kings Changed the World” by Tom Acitelli (Chicago Review Press, $19.99) is a surprisingly entertaining history that claims to be “a character-driven narrative that shows how pilsner influenced everything from modern-day advertising and marketing to today’s craft beer movement.” In large part, it delivers on that promise.
“Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles” by Natalya Watson (Kyle Books, $19.99) is both scholarly and fun, as each chapter “focuses on one of beer’s key ingredients — malt, water, hops and yeast — sharing how, as each ingredient modernized over time, new flavors and styles emerged.” The back of the book includes ways to learn more, with suggested books to read and breweries to visit.
“Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing” by Lars Marius Garshol (Brewers Publications, $24.95) is an important and thrilling document of the northern European roots of beer, combining history, cultural anthropology, and social science to rediscover and explain “brewing and fermentation techniques that are vastly different from modern craft brewing.”
“Whiskey Master Class: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, and More” by Lew Bryson (Harvard Common Press, $26.99) isn’t a beer book per se. But Bryson is a longtime beer writer, who also happens to be a whiskey expert, and he shares “everything he’s learned on his journey through the worlds of bourbon, Scotch, rye, Japanese whiskey, and more.”
Though the publication date has been moved to next year, you can preorder “The Dogfish Head Book: 25 Years of Off-Centered Adventures” by Sam Calagione, Mariah Calagione and Andrew C. Greeley — a sure-to-be fascinating and irreverent read that shares the founder’s “hard-earned insights and helps readers navigate life’s adventures.”
Scouting through some other lists of gifts for beer lovers, I found two more ideas I can easily endorse.
Good beer deserves good glassware, and Spiegelau makes some of the best glassware you can buy. The four-piece Craft Beer Tasting Kit (around $36 online) includes its famously curvy IPA glass, also available individually ($10.95) from Crate & Barrel.
Growlers are a good way to grab fresh beer from your favorite brewery, and bringing your own seems like a pandemic kind of thing to do. Deluxe versions include the Black Handmade Ceramic Growler With Loop ($57) from Kaufmann Mercantile, and the GrowlerWerks Copper uKeg Carbonated Growler ($159 online).
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.