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Time to Read: Open a Good Brewing Book

There are many great books about brewing and homebrewing. There are great how-to books, books on specific styles, books on ingredients, books about experimenting, and more. Here is a short guide of homebrewing-minded books. Disclaimer: There are many books I (Nate) just don’t know about. This list is what I know and recommend. I also have not read all of these but know of them by reputation and have many of them in the ever-growing to-read pile.


How To

How To Brew – John Palmer

The new “Bible” of homebrewing. Palmer goes into everything a new brewer needs very simply to know and gets technical enough for an experienced brewer. A must for any homebrewer and a new edition was just published (June 2017)

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing – Charlie Papazian

Perhaps the original homebrewing “Bible”. Papazian founded the American Hombrewers Association and wrote the original version of this book back in 1984 and has updates it multiple times. The classic.

The Homebrewer’s Companion – Charlie Papazian

The sequel to The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Another great how-to with more information from Papazian.

Brewing Better Beer – Gordon Strong

A detailed and technical look at every aspect of brewing at home.

Experimental Homebrewing – Drew Beechem & Denny Conn

The impetus for their podcast, Beechem and Conn discuss how to experiment with your brewing. Try a new ingredient, test if that step really does anything, design your own experiment.

Homebrew All-Stars – Drew Beechem & Denny Conn

Beechen and Conn interview 25 of their favorite, well-known homebrewers. They talk about equipment, ingredients, and each gives a recipe. By grouping them into categories, you can find the homebrewers most like you and the ones that will challenge your style.

Radical Brewing – Randy Mosher

Mosher explores using unique ingredients and often the history behind them. If you are interested in experimenting with ingredients or making some of your own, this is the book for you.



Brewing Classic Styles – John Palmer & Jamil Zainasheff

Palmer and Zainasheff explain each style and give an award winning recipe to brew it. The base recipes are given in extract with how to alter them for all-grain. This is my go-to book for great homebrew recipes.

Seven Barrel Brewery Brewer’s Handboook – Greg Noonan, Scott Russell, & Mikel Redman

A detailed book of recipes from an award-winning brewery. This book is often sighted by other professional brewers as a go-to for solid recipes.

Modern Homebrew Recipes – Gordon Strong

Strong, Grandmaster BJCP Beer Judge, describes how to brew over 100 beers to BJCP style, more than just recipes.

Designing Great Beers – Ray Daniels

A technical guide to formulating great beers. Includes detailed tables and formulas.


Styles – in-depth book on specific styles

Classic Beer Styles Books from Brewers Publications

Altbier – Horst Dornbusch

Barley Wine – Fal Allen & Dick Cantwell

Bavarian Helles – Horst Dornbusch

Belgian Ale – Pierre Rajotte

Bock – Darryl Richmann

Brown Ale – Jim Parker

Continental Pilsner – David Miller

German Wheat Beer – Eric Warner

Kӧlsch – Eric Warner

Lambic – Jean-Xavier Guinard *ebook only

Mild Ale – Dave Sutula

Pale Ale – Terry Foster

Porter – Terry Foster

Scotch Ale – Greg Noonan

Smoked Beers – Geoff Larson

Stout – Michael Lewis

Vienna, Marzen, Oktoberfest – George Fix


American Sour Beers – Michael Tonsmeire

Brew Like a Monk – Stan Hieronymus

Farmhouse Ales – Phil Markowski

IPA – Mitch Steele

New Brewing Lager Beer – Greg Noonan

Session Beers – Jennifer Talley

Wild Brews – Jeff Sparrow





Brewing Elements Books from Brewer’s Publications – Detailed, and sometimes technical, investigations into the four ingredients that make beer beer.

Hops (For the Love of Hops) – Stan Hieronymus

Malt – John Mallett

Water – John Palmer & Colin Kaminski

Yeast – Chris White & Jamil Zainasheff

Ancient Brews – Patrick McGovern

A historic look at the ingredients used in ancient beer and beer-like beverages. McGovern tells the story of the discovery of the ancient beverage, how to make a modern version, and how to match it with food.

Brewing Local – Stan Hieronymus

Brew with local, native ingredients and how distinctly American beer came about from these available ingredients.

Brewing with Wheat – Stan Hieronymus

How to and the history of brewing wheat beers.

Wood & Beer – Dick Cantwell & Peter Bouckaert

The history of storing, transporting, fermenting, and aging beer in wood. And how to get that wood flavor in your beer.


Tasting Beer & Food

Tasting Beer – Randy Mosher

Mosher tells you how to get the most out of tasting beer. Improve the beer you make by tasting beer better.

The Brewmaster’s Table – Garrett Oliver

Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, describes how to match beer to food and gives suggestions. Want to host a beer dinner, read this first.



The Homebrewer’s Garden – Joe Fisher & Dennis Fisher

How to grow everything you brew with in your own garden.

The Hop Grower’s Handbook – Laura Ten Eyckj & Dietrich Gehring

Everything you need to know, and probably much more, to grow hops.


This should be enough to fill your bookcase, or at least get you started. I think it’s time to sit down with a cold beer and do some reading myself…