Drink up, read up: Books on beer, whiskey and wine

St. Patrick’s Day is really a holiday to commemorate Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who is widely credited with mainstreaming Christianity on the island.

Popular legend is that he banished all the snakes from Ireland, but he was much more that.

Most in the world celebrate March 17 as a reason to drink and wear green.

Libations have been around for thousands and thousands of years in its many forms.

Here are some books about how to make drinks, how to drink drinks and about the adventures that the drinks can take you on.

For Drinking

drink-up-2Never developed a taste for wine? Don’t understand ABV or IBUs? Maybe it’s those ales, sours, IPAs and stouts that cause confusion. Or that all whiskey tastes like burning.

Here are a few books to help get any novice sorted and tasting like a pro.

Tasting Wine and Cheese by Adam Centamore – With the subtitle “An Insider’s Guide to Mastering the Principles of Pairing,” this book will help anyone understand their taste palate and make them an expert for the next wine and cheese party they attend, as well as set them up to make pairings of their own.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammock – Creators of the eponymous website put their expertise into a book to give people an approachable introduction to wine through beautiful and informative graphics.

Tasting Whiskey by Lew Bryson – Refine your whiskey tasting skills as Bryson takes you through the different whiskey regions and helps point the unique characteristics.

The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth – Everything, literally everything, from the history, to how its made, the many, many varieties of beer, the stories and, of course, the enjoyment of it all.

For Making

drink-up-3Whether homebrewing or mead making has always been something you’ve wanted to try or something you’ve been doing for years, these books will get you some new recipes or just learn how to do it.

Craft Beer for the Homebrewer by Michael Agnew – Homebrewing is growing in popularity and this book shares production craft brews that are modified to be made in a kitchen, garage or basement by any homebrewer. Different styles and explanations of those styles is included.

Make Mead Like a Viking by Jereme Zimmerman – Mead is a honey-based fermented beverage with a variety of flavors ranging from wine-like to more carbonated like beer or sparkling like champagne. Zimmerman walks through the natural process, using herbs, unpasteurized honey and other items to make chemical free, healthy beverages.

The Irish Spirit by Margaret M. Johnson – Taking some of Ireland’s classic recipes and adding a new spin with Irish beverages and different flavors. Be inspired to cook with Irish drinks.

How to Brew by John J. Palmer – A definitive guide for making beers at home, the fourth edition of this book is sure to give you everything from simple recipes to brew for a first timer to working with more advanced multi-grain recipes.

Experimental Homebrewing by Drew Beechum and Denny Conn – If it’s the stranger concoctions you’re after, this book covers making beers with ingredients such as bacon, peanut butter and more. Delve into experimental recipes and even learn how to tweak and experiment on your own.

For Enjoying

drink-up-1Grab a book to read while you’re sipping on your favorite beverage.

Oh, Beautiful Beer by Harvey Shepard – A collection of the best looking and most innovative craft beer label and logo designs. Each one tells the story of the brewery, its location and together help shape the history of beer.

A Hedonist in the Cellar by Jay McInerney – Called the ‘best wine writer in America’ this book is a collection of McInerney’s essays and writings about wines around the world. Full of wit, wisdom and opinions, this book will surely entertain and delight any wine or literary enthusiast.

Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis – A volume of three of Amis’s works on drinks, it includes recipes and thoughts on hangovers, eating and drinking and of course, the writer’s famous comic wit.

Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die by Chris Santella – The author talked to world beer experts to build trips to the best places to drink beer in numerous countries and even right here in the USA. It includes suggestions for tours, airports, the best time to visit and even hotels.

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