Stan Hieronymus’s tome, For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops ($11), looks to be the required reading for a college course. An awesome college course, with pints, flights of adult beverages and a professor that’s eternally tipsy. This isn’t light reading. And that’s why it’s fantastic.
This book is more exhausting for your beer-loving brain than a dry hopped double IPA is for your taste buds. It includes molecular studies on hop breeding, an A-Z library on hop varieties (with Alpha/Beta ratios and distinct classification symbols) and even legit recipes from fantastic breweries like Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Victory and Weyerbacher. But beyond the impressive scholarly chops and exciting tidbits for homebrewers, this book’s all quality. Chapters on hop history, agriculture, harvesting, an in-depth look at brewing process and theory and first-hand accounts from beer-wise sources add an inclusiveness that edges on art. Cheers to you, Mr. Hieronymus, for bringing extensive beer knowledge to the happy imbiber.