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High on Hops: Haynes Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual

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The iconic Haynes Publishing line of DIY manuals launched in the 1960s as detailed, step-by-step guides for auto repair. Its books show how to completely take apart and rebuild a vehicle with line-art diagrams and dozens of close-up photographs, making the titles popular references for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

The exact same format of education through illustration continues more than a half century later, with hundreds of Haynes-branded print and online guides for almost every make and model vehicle imaginable.

With the car, truck and motorcycle markets cornered, Haynes has recently branched out into more absurd choices, often with its tongue firmly planted in cheek. New releases from the publisher have expertly covered the Star Wars spaceship The Millennium Falcon, how to be a “brilliant father” and yes, beer.

The Haynes Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual is a fun, irreverent sourcebook packed with information about the brewing process, international styles and how to properly consume a pint.

Related Post: Experimental Homebrewing Book Review

The book’s case bound format, wrapped in large, brightly colored images, is reminiscent of children’s encyclopedia sets from the 1980s. The interior follows that aesthetic with bold block headings, simple lists and tons of flow diagrams and photographs.

Boasting to cover beer from “7,000 BC onwards (all flavours)” Haynes Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual provides just a taste of each topic before moving on to the next, preventing it from being a bloated reference material and instead keeping it in the acceptable realm of coffee table conversation starter.

The history chapters lean heavily on British brewing, but the international beer selections and chapter on the American craft beer revolution include inspired choices from lesser-known breweries.

Nearly half the book concerns itself with the mechanics of the brewing process. Starting with the industrial aspects of commercial breweries, it then scales down to how potential home brewers can get involved themselves. After a thorough explanation of the necessary tools, ingredients, and how they work together, the brewing section ends with the creative side of the equation and ideas on how to design your own custom recipes.

While not a hard-core reference from the Haynes automotive technical tradition, Haynes Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual is a fun addition to any beer fans’ library. The approachable format makes the book especially well suited for newcomers to the hobby or those looking for a well-rounded overview of beer history and brewing principles.

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