Here comes a new book for your brewery bookshelf — The Botany of Beer: An Illustrated Guide to More Than 500 Plants Used in Brewing — and it’s beautifully illustrated by its author. Buy it right here. From mass-produced lagers to craft-brewery IPAs, from beers made in Trappist monasteries to traditional techniques created by innovative local brewers seeking to capture regional terroir, the world of beer boasts endless varieties. The diversity of beer not only reflects the differences among the people and cultures who brew this beverage, it also testifies to the vast range of plants that help give different styles of beer their distinguishing flavor profiles.
The Botany of Beer is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated compendium of the characteristics and properties of the plants used in making beer around the world. The botanical expert Giuseppe Caruso presents scientifically rigorous descriptions, accompanied by his own hand-drawn ink images, of more than 500 species. For each one, he gives the scientific classification, common names, and information about morphology, geographical distribution and habitat, and cultivation range. Caruso provides detailed information about each plant’s applications in beer making, including which of its parts are employed, as well as its chemical composition, its potential toxicity, and examples of beers and styles in which it is typically used. The book also considers historical uses, aiding brewers who seek to rediscover ancient and early modern concoctions.
This book will appeal to a wide audience, from beer aficionados to botany enthusiasts, providing valuable information for homebrewers and professional beer makers alike. It reveals how botanical knowledge can open new possibilities for today’s and tomorrow’s brewers.
Giuseppe Caruso teaches forest botany at the Mediterranean University in Reggio Calabria and biology and agricultural biotechnology at the Istituto Tecnico Agrario “V. Emanuele II” in Catanzaro, Italy. He holds a doctorate in environmental and applied botany and researches the flora and vegetation of southern Italy, as well as habitat recovery and restoration processes. He is also a beer expert and taster.
The forward is by Marika Josephson, who is a James Beard Award–nominated co-owner and brewer at the Scratch Brewing Co. in Ava, Ill. She is a coauthor of The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your Own Beer from Scratch (2016).