Beer Cocktails: 50 Superbly Crafted Cocktails that Liven Up Your Lagers and Alesby Howard Stelzer, Ashley Stelzer
The beer cocktail trend has been with us for several years now, and, according to a host of print and online sources, it continues to grow vigorously. Frank Bruni in The New York Times reports that beer cocktails are number-one sellers in many top establishments, such as the restaurant WD-50 in New York, and also that their subtle qualities and intriguing flavors
The beer cocktail trend has been with us for several years now, and, according to a host of print and online sources, it continues to grow vigorously. Frank Bruni in The New York Times reports that beer cocktails are number-one sellers in many top establishments, such as the restaurant WD-50 in New York, and also that their subtle qualities and intriguing flavors have convinced him to rethink his own former aversion to beer-drinking. Despite the popularity of the trend, Beer Cocktails is the first book devoted to the subject. Among the fifty recipes are some classic beer cocktails that predate the trend, such as the Radler, from Bavaria; Mexico's Michelada, a "warm ale flip" from Colonial America; and the most famous of all, the Black & Tan. The emphasis, however, is on newer creations, both the author's own - he is the creator of the respected blog Beyond the Shadow of a Stout (shadowofastout.com) - and ones inspired by cutting-edge bartenders from coast to coast. The four recipe chapters cover pale and American-style beers; Belgian-style beers; stouts and porters; and black and brown ales, plus a wide range of spirits and liqueurs that complement the beer bases perfectly. Front matter answers any questions that rookies or pros might have - does a beer cocktail belong in a mug or stein, or in a cocktail glass? - and dozens of color photographs make these soul-warming, vibrant drinks sing on the page.
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Beer Cocktails50 Superbly Crafted Cocktails that Liven Up Your Lagers and Ales
By Howard Stelzer
Harvard Common PressCopyright © 2012 Howard Stelzer
All right reserved.
Introduction It’s quite possible that beer is the world’s perfect beverage. In his book Radical Brewing (Brewers Publications, 2004), Randy Mosher claims that waiting for grain to ferment is what tempted prehistoric nomads in the Fertile Crescent to settle down in one place. That tale, if you believe it, places beer at the center of the start of modern civilization. Whatever one’s take on Mosher’s wistful interpretation of history (we’re pretty sure there were some additional factors), it is true that beer has been with us for thousands of years. People enjoyed the product of fermented grain in water before the invention of bread. From Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt (where it was used as medicine), beer spread outward across the world. Brewers could be found in medieval Europe and China; explorers and travelers brought beer across the ocean to the Americas, to Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and to nearly every country on Earth. Over time, the humble beverage evolved into an astonishing variety of styles shaped by diverse cultures and native ingredients. Here in America, beer went through major changes in a relatively short amount of time. Most beer before the 1800s was ale, which means that because of the yeast brewers used, it fermented at a warm temperature for just a few weeks. The Industrial Revolution at the end of the nineteenth century brought with it the development of paler malt, pilsner lager, commercial refrigeration, and machines that could perform parts of the brewing process automatically on a large scale. With those advancements came beers that could stay fresh for longer, and ship far away with less risk of spoiling. Technology effectively created competition for small local brewers. In the early twentieth century, the Eighteenth Amendment temporarily halted large-scale beer production, but it also made home brewing illegal. When it was repealed in 1933, industrial brewing returned to the United States, but brewing beer at home remained a crime. That didn’t change until 1978. In the intervening years, Americans’ access to beer was quite limited. National brands such as Budweiser grew during that time, marketing and selling homogeneous products designed to appeal to the most people possible across the widest expanse of demographics and geography. These very pale beers, watered down further with adjuncts (additions) like rice, effectively replaced America’s regional and local styles as the popular favorites. For most American beer drinkers during that time, anything other than these lagers was unfamiliar. Thankfully, the legalization of home brewing also sparked a wave of independent brewpubs and microbrewers. The steadily growing availability of different kinds of beer increased the demand for imports as Americans rediscovered beer. Home brewers began to experiment freely with the new diversity of styles now accessible to them. Interest in noncorporate beer began to surge. The Anchor Steam Brewing Company made a big, early impact by reviving steam beer, a uniquely American style once popular in San Francisco, inspiring other home brewers to go pro as well. We now live in an age in which curious thrill-seeking drinkers can seek out and sample beer from just about anywhere in the world. One used to have to travel to the pubs in England to sample the local brew or visit a Belgian abbey to try the legendary beer made by Trappist monks. Today, geography is not an obstacle. Creative brewers in Tokyo are making American-style India pale ales; a Colorado brewery specializes in Belgian styles; Russian brewers are making German-style maibock; brewers in Seattle are tweaking English styles using hops from the Pacific Northwest; and the list goes on. It isn’t uncommon to find at least a small sampling of beers from Germany, the UK, Canada, and a few American regions in your average corner store or supermarket. The changes are coming with remarkable speed. As recently as ten years ago, the taps of most bars, even in a beer-conscious city like Boston (where we live), offered only the big national brands. Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find a bar that doesn’t offer at least a couple of local brewers’ products. Beer pairing is becoming as common as wine pairing at dinner. This all points in one direction: More and more people are demanding better beer. Which brings us to ... beer cocktails.
Excerpted from Beer Cocktails by Howard Stelzer Copyright © 2012 by Howard Stelzer. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Howard and Ashley Stelzer are beer enthusiasts and creators of the website Shadowofastout.com . Ashley attended the Cordon Bleu and is a food photographer. Howard is an elementary school teacher. They live in Cambridge, MA.
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Wonderful book- lots of variety and clearly written by true beer fans.
This turned out to be more of a coffee table book rather than anything usable. Recipes seemed heavily focused on lambics and many of the ingredients aren't something you would have on hand. The photos were lovely.