Beer Book Holiday Gift Guide

When not reading websites like ours, you might get some good out of a book actually printed on paper with ink. There are a lot of good beer books out there, plus they make you look smart when displayed on your shelf. Beer books also make great gifts and it’s not too late to order one to be delivered ahead of the holidays from Amazon or Here is our list of ten of the best books on beer from recent releases to classics.

Trappist Beer Travels

This combination beer journal, history book, and travelogue grants readers rare access inside monastery walls for an in-depth look at the legendary breweries of Trappist monks. Join three American beer writers as they travel the globe, and come to appreciate each abbey with a reverence informed by the brewery directors and monks themselves. Read about the origins of the Trappist religious order and the monks long enduring relationship with the art of brewing. Then, journey to the 11 abbey breweries themselves, including the expansive production facilities at Chimay, the coveted gates of Westvleteren, the ancient sun-baked walls of Tre Fontane, even America s first Trappist brewery in Spencer, Massachusetts. Learn about their histories and beers along the way, gain helpful travel tips, and enjoy both new and historical photography and original artwork capturing the spirit of each destination.

How To Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time

The modern classic “How To Brew” by John Palmer has been updated for a new generation. Now in its 4th edition, this fully revised printing is considered the best up-to-date introductory to intermediate homebrewing guide and a must-have for any homebrewer or aspiring homebrewer.

Fully revised and updated, How to Brew is the definitive guide to making quality beers at home. Whether you want simple, sure-fire instructions for making your first beer, or you’re a seasoned homebrewer working with all-grain batches, this book has something for you. John Palmer adeptly covers the full range of brewing possibilities―accurately, clearly and simply. From ingredients and methods to recipes and equipment for brewing beer at home, How to Brew is loaded with valuable information on brewing techniques and recipe formulation.

A perennial best seller since the release of the third edition in 2006, How to Brew, is a must-have to update every new and seasoned brewer’s library.

This completely revised and updated edition includes:

  • More emphasis on the “top six priorities”: sanitation, fermentation temperature control, yeast management, the boil, good recipes, and water.
  • Five new chapters covering malting and brewing, strong beers, fruit beers, sour beers, and adjusting water for style.
  • All other chapters revised and expanded:
    • Expanded and updated charts, graphs, equations, and visuals.
    • Expanded information on using beer kits.
    • Thorough revision of mashing and lautering chapters:
      • Expanded tables of recommended times and temperatures for single-infusion, multiple-step, and decoction mashing.
      • Complete discussion of first wort gravity as a function of water to grist ratio.
      • Complete revision of infusion and decoction equations.
    • Revised and updated information on managing your fermentation:
      • Yeast pitching and starters.
      • Yeast starter growth factors.
      • Yeast and the maturation cycle.
  • And much more!

The Comic Book Story of Beer

If you’re a visual learner, a fan of comic books, or just want an interesting way to learn the history of beer, then this New York Times Best Seller is for you. The Comic Book Story of Beer is a full-color illustrated graphic novel that recounts the many-layered past and present of beer through dynamic pairings of pictures and meticulously researched insight into the history of the world’s favorite brew.

The History of Beer Comes to Life!
We drink it. We love it. But how much do we really know about beer? Starting from around 7000 BC, beer has emerged as a major element driving humankind’s development, a role it has continued to play through today’s craft brewing explosion. With The Comic Book Story of Beer, the first-ever nonfiction graphic novel focused on this most favored beverage, you can follow along from the very beginning, as authors Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith team up with illustrator Aaron McConnell to present the key figures, events, and, yes, beers that shaped and frequently made history. No boring, old historical text here, McConnell’s versatile art style—moving from period-accurate renderings to cartoony diagrams to historical caricatures and back—finds an equal and effective partner in the pithy, informative text of Hennessey and Smith presented in captions and word balloons on each page. The end result is a filling mixture of words and pictures sure to please the beer aficionado and comics geek alike.

American Sour Beers

American sour beers might be the hottest growing segment of craft beer in the world and this book the preeminent resource on brewing them. From their historical traditions in Europe to modern day brewing advances, this book explores innoculating with souring bacteria, fermented with wild yeast or fruit, aged in barrels or blended with younger beer.  This book details the wide array of processes and ingredients in American sour beer production, with actionable advice for each stage of the process. Inspiration, education and practical applications for brewers of all levels are provided by some of the country’s best known sour beer brewers.

The Beer Bible

Written by Portland author and beer blogger Jeff Alworth, The Beer Bible is a great introductory inclusive resource on the world of beer. Check out our Q & A with Jeff on The Beer Bible release. Parsed by beer styles from the world’s ales and lagers to other major categories like wheat beers, IPA’s and sour and wild ales this book is the perfect guide for the new brew enthusiast working on becoming an expert. Each style is a chapter unto itself, delving into origins, ingredients, description and characteristics, sub-styles, and tasting notes, and ending with a recommended list of the beers to know in each category. Infographic charts throughout make understanding the connection between styles and families immediately understandable.

The book is written for passionate beginners, who will love its “if you like X, try Y” feature; for intermediate beer lovers eager to go deeper; and for true geeks, who will find new information on every page.

The Oxford Companion to Beer

If Alworth’s previously mentioned The Beer Bible is the great introductory resource for all things beer than Garrett Oliver’s The Oxford Companion to Beer is the ultimate advanced resource. This huge thick tome is like an encyclopedia for all things beer, search through it’s back pages for listings on even the most obscure beers, styles and subjects. The Oxford Companion to Beer is a 1st Place Winner of the 2012 Gourmand Award for Best in the World in the Beer category.


Edited by Garrett Oliver, the James Beard Winner for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional, this is the first major reference work to investigate the history and vast scope of beer. The Oxford Companion to Beer features more than 1,100 A-Z entries written by 166 of the world’s most prominent beer experts. Attractively illustrated with over 140 images, the book covers everything from the agricultural makeup of various beers to the technical elements of the brewing process, local effects of brewing on regions around the world, and the social and political implications of sharing a beer. Entries not only define terms such as “dry hopping” and “cask conditioning” but give fascinating details about how these and other techniques affect a beer’s taste, texture, and popularity. Cultural entries shed light on such topics as pub games, food pairings and the development of beer styles. Readers will enjoy vivid accounts of how our drinking traditions have changed throughout history, and how these traditions vary in different parts of the world, from Japan to Mexico, New Zealand, and Brazil, among many other countries. The pioneers of beer-making are the subjects of biographical entries, and the legacies these pioneers have left behind, in the form of the world’s most popular beers and breweries, are recurrent themes throughout the book.

Packed with information, this comprehensive resource also includes thorough appendices (covering beer festivals, beer magazines, and more), conversion tables, and an index. Featuring a foreword by Tom Colicchio, this book is the perfect shelf-mate to Oxford’s renowned Companion to Wine and an absolutely indispensable volume for everyone who loves beer as well as all beverage professionals, including home brewers, restaurateurs, journalists, cooking school instructors, beer importers, distributors, and retailers, and a host of others.

Beer Bites

If you enjoy eating as much as you enjoy drinking, or if your a home or aspiring cook who wants to learn how to integrate and pair craft beer than this is the book to have. Co-Written by Christian de Benedetti, Portland author and founder of Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery the Beer Bites book is comprised of sixty-five recipes that elevate the typical pub grub that goes with beer to eye and palate opening pairings that showcase the best that craft beer has to offer. These recipes range from familiar snacks and appetizers to international dishes but makes everything simple to prepare and approach. Beer Bites is ideal for the growing cadre of craft beer lovers eager to explore the basics and nuances of beer and food pairings, whether they are hosting tasting nights or just enjoying one good brew at a time.

Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros

If the previously mentioned Beer Bites is like the cookbook for beer, then Julia Herz’s Beer Pairing is more of a how-to on how to pair beer and food as well as accurately evaluate and describe flavors, aroma, taste preference and more. Think of this as a guidebook on how to approach tasting and pairing. The publisher says Beer Pairing will help you become a tasting Anarchist–throwing out the conventional advice for what foods go with what beers and learning the myths and development of your own palate and pairings. Begin with beer styles, start with your favorite foods, or join the authors on a series of wild palate trips. From classics like barbecue ribs with American Brown Ale to unusual matches like pineapple upside-down cake with Double India Pale Ale, you’ll learn why some pairings stand the test of time and you’ll find plenty of new ideas as well. With complete information for planning beer dinners and cooking with beer, tips from pro brewers, and geek-out science features, Julia and Gwen will make sure you never look at beer–or food–the same way again!

For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops

The ultimate resource on the world’s most popular beer ingredient by legendary beer writer Stan Hieronymus. This is an advanced analysis suitable for pros or aspiring experts that explains everything from the origin of hops to their nature, growing patterns, origins, qualities and utilization. There is a full chapter on dry-hopping for brewers and a reference catalog of more than 100 varieties of hops and their characteristics. Learn everything there is to know and more than you even knew was out there about hops with this must-have book for the beer expert.

IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale

Learn the true history of the world’s most popular craft beer style from one of it’s top experts, former Stone Brewing Brewmaster Mitch Steele. In this detailed examination of the beer style, Steele explores everything from the styles origins to it’s most popular sub-styles to brewing techniques. In this book you will find the evolution of the IPA from Europe to America with everything from water treatment to hopping procedures and historical brew logs. You will even get recipes and tips from some of the craft beer world’s top professionals from the likes of Pizza Port, Dogfish Head, Stone, Firestone Walker, Russian River, and Deschutes.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact:


  • napoleon bonerparte
    napoleon bonerparte
    Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:33 PM

    Shoot Dang! I should pick me up a couple-o-dem books.