Beer School: A Crash Course in Craft Beer

Beer School: A Crash Course in Craft Beer

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Beer School ─ An insider's guide to craft beer, the world's greatest drink

The wonderful world of craft beers: Beer has come a long way in the 6,000 years since the first taste. The legends of the craft beer industry have made sure everyone’s within reach of the perfect pint. But, how do you get the right brew for you? And, can you learn to make a beer that will add to the lager legacy?

Beers of the world: Welcome to Beer School, brought to you by the heroes of YouTube sensation the Craft Beer Channel, a guide to everything you need to know about the wide and wonderful beers of the world. In Beer School, Jonny and Brad explain the intricacies of the finest artisan craft brews, including: ales, lagers, porters, stouts, IPSs, and bitters.

How to make beer: The lads have the inside scoop on everything from hop varieties and barrel aging, to serving temperatures and glassware. Beer School helps you learn how to make beer and how to get the most out of every sip. You will learn about: grain, mash, water, hops, boil, yeast, fermentation, serving, storing, pouring, and tasting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633533684
Publisher: Mango Media
Publication date: 11/22/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 155
Sales rank: 513,970
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jonny is a writer and now (apparently) filmmaker who has had a short but glittering career in blagging freebies. After an unsuccessful period of being a music journalist, and an even less successful stint as a real journalist, he got a job writing for Jamie Oliver as deputy editor of It was there that his love of food, beer and Youtube collided and he’s never looked back. He is now one of the UK’s most recognisable beer experts, writing for national newspapers, magazines and now his own books.

A graduate of Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, Brad has spent over a decade working throughout the creative industries in London as a graphic designer, illustrator, art director, animator and branding expert. His clients have included the BBC, Channel 4, Jamie Oliver, Vice and MTV. With a love of adventure, travel and food, the burgeoning craft beer market in the UK resonated with his experiences in America and he launched the Craft Beer Channel with Jonny to hopefully become a part of the developing scene. Brad hopes to one day pack it all in and open up a cheeky little brew pub, where he can live the good life kicking out the jams and perfecting some stonking IPAs with his mates.

Table of Contents


The contents page will be an illustrated chronology of the brewing process, across a double page spread. It will go from growing grain and hops through mashing, boiling, fermenting and dry hopping beer – through to kegging, pouring and tasting. Each part of the process will have a chapter title and page number.

Introduction - beer starts with an idea

We introduce the idea of brewing beer being like a recipe. You have ingredients you add at certain times to achieve a certain flavour. Every beer starts out in the mind of a brewer – it might be a beer that tastes like coffee, or grapefruit, or peanut butter. This book will explain how he achieves that aim.

We then look at the great men who wanted more from beer (Ken Grossman, Steve Hindy, Evin O’Riorden, and Widmer Bros.).

We also explain the broad styles and geographical spread of them across the world, looking at who makes them best and who invented them. All this feeds into how a recipe is interpreted and then made.


This chapter will explain what malts are used (barley, wheat, rye, spelt) and how they are turned into malt, as well as its input into the final flavour of the beer.

- Interview with a key malt-focused brewer (Fullers)

- Details of the growing and malting process

- Explanation of what it adds to the beer

- Malting process illustration


A look at why good water is so important to brewing, and a historical look at how it used to be very hard to get hold of. We look at the brewers who adapted their styles according to what was available (London Porter, Czech Pils). Nowadays people can treat the beer, but water is superstitious.

- Interview with Paulaner (about the well that it has to draw the water from to be part of Oktoberfest [feeds into superstition])

- Details of purification

- Explanation of what it adds to the beer

- Paulaner images


Introduction to the first process in brewing, turning the malt and water into sugary “wort” and extracting all the flavour from the malt. We talk about how it’s done best, how it can go drastically wrong, and give a recipe for the Brewer’s Breakfast – a mix of wort and whisky that kept brewers warm in winter.

- Explanation of the science of mashing

- Explanation of the art of mashing

- Mashing illustration


A brief history of hops and why they were first used – IPA history could be used in this. We then look at the ingredient that changed the way beer was made and thought of in the early 1980s. We also talk through how hop bitterness, like chilli heat, can be addictive to some people – hence why beers are getting more and more bitter!

- Interview with a key hop-focussed brewer like The Alchemist

- what hops are

- Look at lineage and experimental hops

- how they are grown and what makes them like grapes

- Dissection of hops or pictures of the harvest


In depth look into the maillard reaction (like the browning of meat) that is so addictive to human palates, and the way that hops are added to beer to achieve the desired flavour and bitterness.

- Pilsner Urquell with the two kettles and open fires

- science of it

- art of it

- Illustration of boiling/convection etc


An investigation into how yeast affects the flavour of beer, from the sour wild yeasts of Belgium, to the clean ale yeasts of the US and the estery, fruity yeasts of the UK.

- Interview with a key yeast-focussed brewer like Cantillon

- where does it come from

- what does it add


We expose how fermentation is perhaps the most important moment in a beer’s life – affecting all the flavours that have been put into it and either making or murdering the beer.

- science of it

- art of it

- talk through the different temperatures and yeasts

Photos of yeast going crazy

Dry hopping

We look at this ultra modern technique for getting big fruity aromas (Trillium), but also its origins with the Trappist monks of Belgium in the early 1900s (Orval).

- science of it

- art of it

- Orval photos?


We dive head first into the emotional (seriously!) topic of how to best serve beer. We look at CAMRA’s work in the 80s to protect and campaign for cask ale as the only true beer, then tear their ideas apart with the new definitions of good beer in keg, bottle and can.

We conclude by explaining how different beers are best in different mediums and it’s down to the brewer to decide.

- cask (sparkler or not!)

- draught

- bottles

- cans

- Old CAMRA adverts vs new cans and such


We break down the different styles of beer and look at how some should be aged for years and others drunk fresh to get the best from beers. We also explain how to care for a beer to make sure it is in the best condition when you come to drink it.

- Photos of really old bottles in wine stores and such (mock up ourselves?)


Looking in depth at how beers are best served leads to how to pour them best. Belgians believe in large, creamy heads, while the Brits want as much beer for their buck as possible! We look at the science of the perfect pour and advise people how to achieve maximum flavour.

We look at the evidence behind using special craft glassware and whether it makes a difference. We also look at how the Belgians serve their beer and give it the reverence it deserves with chalices, proper bar blades and perfect pours.

- head or no head

- sprinkler or no

- temperature

- glassware

- Belgian bar lifestyle shots, real ale shots


Finally, after all the hard work of conceiving, brewing, storing and serving a beer, we look at how to best enjoy it – whether straight from the bottle because you deserve it, or from a craft glass, carefully poured and analysed.

We also explain how professional beer tasters deconstruct beers for reviewing to testing.

- how to get the most from a glass of beer

- How to train your senses to perceive more flavours.

- Palate diagram

Epilogue – how to enjoy beer

An essay to not overthinking things when you have to. Avoid hype and over analysis. We learn everything we can about beer so we can relax and enjoy it at its best. Sure we should talk about and get excited about beer, but we should never turn into the wine crowd, coveting things to much, analysing too much, and forgetting that the joy of beer is in the taste and the company.

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