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Microbrewed Adventures: A Lupulin Filled Journey to the Heart and Flavor of the World’s Great Craft Beers

Microbrewed Adventures: A Lupulin Filled Journey to the Heart and Flavor of the World’s Great Craft Beers

Microbrewed Adventures: A Lupulin Filled Journey to the Heart and Flavor of the World's Great Craft Beers

From trading recipes with the bad boys of American beer to drinking Czech-Mex cerveza in Tijuana and hanging out in the beer gardens of Africa, Charlie Papazian has seen, and tasted, it all.Microbrewed Adventures is your shotgun seat to unique, eccentric and pioneering craft-brews and the fascinating people who create them. Travel with Charlie as he crisscrosses America and circles the globe in search of the most flavor-packed beers. Along with discovering the master brews of Bavaria, secret rec

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  1. David Huber "Practicing zymologist"
    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A very enjoyable and inspirational read, May 1, 2007
    By 

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    This review is from: Microbrewed Adventures: A Lupulin Filled Journey to the Heart and Flavor of the World’s Great Craft Beers (Paperback)

    Charlie Papazian is the homebrewer apostle best known for authoring “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing”. He is also the founding president of the American Homebrewers Association and the originator of the Great American Beer Festival. In many ways he might be considered the father of the American microbrew renaissance that began in the 1980s and exploded in the 1990s (a good deal of the people who run and operate microbreweries started as homebrewers, and a number of them got their start with “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing”). He is certainly very adventurous and a wonderful beer enthusiast. Though “only” an amateur homebrewer who brews 5 gallon batches at a time like the rest of us, his stature, position, and impressive resume has opened doors to him all over the world to lecture, visit, and just have a beer. This book is a diary of sorts of these travels over the last twenty-five or so years.

    Though the book is presented as a travelogue, it is not organized chronologically. It is divided into three parts: “Microbrewed: American Style”, “Microbrewed: The World”, and “Recipes”. The first two sections are divided into chapters, which are further divided into short topics such as a visit to a brewery or to see a brewmaster. These short topics are only two to six pages long, so the book is very easy to read in spurts, or during brief interludes such as on a lunch break or on a plane.

    What made this book special to me is that almost every short topic ends with a recipe that covers the kind of beverage discussed in that topic. These recipes were either given to Charlie by a brewmaster he visited, or (most often the case) a recipe he came up with that best approximates the brew. The recipes are all formulated for five gallon batches, and they are presented in both all-grain (with instructions for step-infusion) and mash/extract versions; in short, both the novice and experienced brewer can enjoy making theses brews. About a quarter of the book is recipes (the book cover states there are more than 50 recipes, but I didn’t count them).

    Mr. Papazian has a very conversational style of writing that works very well for this kind of book. The way the work is presented as a series of short pieces makes you feel almost as if you were sitting around the table swapping stories and sharing a homebrew with him.

    Going in I thought I would enjoy most the first part because it covers many American microbreweries and the people who run them. Indeed Mr. Papazian has visited many of which I have heard and a good deal that I haven’t and/or are no longer in business. He interviews the people who make the beer, and he has very good descriptions of the beers they make (not to mention the clone recipes he provides). Now that I reflect upon the book, I think I enjoyed the second part the most. Perhaps because of Mr. Papazian’s celebrity status in the American beer world, his American brewery visits seem more like Norm walking into the Cheers bar where everyone knows his name and buys him a beer, so the events seem more about him. The stories related through his world travels are more about his journeys and adventures and the people he meets. I particulary enjoyed his visit to see Brother Adam of the Benedictine monks, or his visits to Cuba and Latvia to experience the passion of people who want to (and do) brew excellent beer with very limited resources.

    Beer is certainly a huge part of Mr. Papazian’s life and this book shows the riches (both material and spiritual) that it has bestowed upon him. But it is also very clear from his writings that beer is as much the journey as it is the destination. He shows his pride in connecting with a tradition that is thousands of years old, and how it connects him to people around the globe.

    I purchased this book without any recommendations or reviews, and I only became aware of it as I was searching for homebrewing books. I paid particular attention to this book because I too own “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” and I was familiar with Mr. Papazian’s writing style. I also am making the move to all-grain brewing so the recipe section had particular appeal. Now that I have read the book, I will recommend this without hesitation to anyone who likes to brew. Even if you have only brewed one extract batch from a kit, you should have no trouble with the extract recipes here (if you haven’t done any brewing yet, what are you waiting for?).

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  2. 7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Enjoy with your favorite home or craft brew, January 1, 2006
    By 
    Steve (Nashville, TN USA) –

    This review is from: Microbrewed Adventures: A Lupulin Filled Journey to the Heart and Flavor of the World’s Great Craft Beers (Paperback)

    Like many, Papazian’s “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” helped introduce me to making my own beer. So when I saw his latest book at my local bookstore, I felt it deserved a look. In this volume, he brings his readers on a tour of the microbreweries and early beer festivals that helped create the commercial craft-brewing landscape that a youngster like me (27) can take for granted at times. The added bonus is that for each one of his anecdotes or reminiscences he includes a homebrew recipe (in both all-grain and malt extract versions). Often these recipes are recreations of early versions of classics like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Redhook Ale (I can’t wait to brew the recipe for the original, more flavorful Killian’s). Other recipes push the envelope like a “Belgian” stout or Pumpernickel Rye Stout.

    Much like Garrett Oliver’s “Brewmaster’s Table” or Michael Jackson’s “Beer Companion”, this book offers a spirited look into the delicious world of craft beer. Not a comprehensive history, but a fun romp through American craftbrewing past and present (as well as some recent international beer adventures). I highly enjoyed this book.

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