My friend Josh Christie and his blog “Brews and Books” has inspired me to write a post about my personal “library.”
Growing up, I was definitely a book geek. On my 10th birthday, my parents gave me 50 books. I woke up to a trail of books from my bedroom door, down the stairs … and into the living room. I was ecstatic. (Especially since a good number of them were R.L. Stine’s Goosebump books.)
My love for reading has never stopped, although my habits of reading have changed quite drastically. Instead of burying my nose in a book, I now find my eyes glued to the computer screen. In order to write my blog, I must read. I do almost all of my research on the Internet and, from time to time, I get a small percentage of information from books.
I am obsessed with all things food and beverage. Food, beer and wine consume my life. So naturally, my current book collection almost entirely involves food & beverage.
My newest toy is “What to Drink With What You Eat.” I wanted it so bad that I bought it for full retail price (which is odd for me because I usually try to buy my books used online).
The most comprehensive guide to matching food and drink ever compiled, by the James Beard Award winning author team of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, with practical advice from more than seventy of America’s leading pairing experts
In a great meal, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. This groundbreaking food and beverage pairing reference allows food lovers to learn to think like a sommelier, and to transform every meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – from ordinary to extraordinary.
The Wench’s Description
This book is ridiculously fun. As someone who knows food & beverage extremely intimately, it is a great reference tool. But more than that, this book helps to confirm and support my own beliefs and decisions about pairings. I do not find myself using this book for suggestions, but more as a checks and balances for my own personal ideas. Sometimes I use this book to give my pairing suggestions. However, sometimes instead of creating a pairing menu based on the information in this book, I turn to the contents of this book to defend my decisions.
Another book in my library is Michael Jackson’s “Great Beers of Belgium.” This book was given to me by one of my best friends, ironically another guy named Josh (having the name Josh might be a predisposition to drinking good beer.)
Many a beer sophisticate is surprised by the diversity, individuality and ubiquity of Belgian beer. Here, beer expert Michael Jackson enthusiastically discusses the history and inner workings of this quiet, quirky brewing behemoth of Belgium. He explains the origins of manstic brewing, the good fortune of spiders on Lambic breweries, the reasoning behind using orange peels, coriander seeds and stale hops in the brewing process. Thorough tasting notes are oncluded, providing a reference point for the reader’s own beer hunting. Fully revised with a brand new layout and 300 more photographs than previous editions, this book contains a list of addresses of the most important Belgian brewers, plus all the practical information on brewery visits, overnight accommodation and local restaurants and eateries.
The Wench’s Description
It is no secret that The Wench admires “The Beer Hunter” … aka Michael Jackson. In fact, I am rather obsessed with him. And I strive to be the female version of him. I understand, however, that his knowledge of beer is not something I can acquire overnight. Heck, it will take decades of studying beer, making beer, traveling the world … to gain even a quarter percentage of his knowledge. However, reading his books is a good starting point.
Plus, I love Belgian beers. And this book is the FOREMOST resource on Belgian beers. Hands down.
The last book that I want to mention (I don’t want to bombard you with my entire collection of food, wine & beer books all at once!!!) … is “Brewing Up A Business”by Dogfish Head Founder, Sam Calgione.
Entrepreneurial dreams do come true! Starting with nothing more than a home brewing kit, Sam Calagione founded Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and made it America’s fastest growing independent beer. This unconventional business story reveals how Calagione found success by dreaming big, working hard, and thinking differently-and how you can do it too.
The Wench’s Description
When I first started reading this book, I was in a huge crossroads in my life. I had left a job in the industry that I loved more than anything itself to pursue what I thought was a more prestigious career in business. Don’t get me wrong, it was a GREAT job with an AMAZING company and WONDERFUL people. But my love for all things food & beverage haunted me every day. I knew that I needed to do something different. But I needed the courage to move on. Reading this book did not help me find my path in life or help me realize who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do and accomplish in my life. BUT it did inspire me to follow my passions. And so … I did.
Not to mention, Sam Caglione is one cool (and very good looking) dude. His approach to entrepreneurship is both refreshing and inspiring. I love his style of writing and the way he speaks to his readers. Regardless of your love for beer, this is a great read!
This is a just a brief peek into my personal library. I hope that some of your will find these books as important and useful as I have and continue to every day.