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Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition Paperback – November 17, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Experienced brewers will discover plenty of information in this book, especially ideas that go against the common convictions about brewing. What about fermenting at high temperatures? Mixing yeasts? Red wine type yeasts? Warm storage? Markowski takes the view that brewing is a process of experimentation, rather than following set recipes. Obviously this book is not for a beginning home brewer.
Markowski argues that though the classification of beer styles is useful, the classifications should not be used to inhibit the brewer from coming up with something much different. I agree with this. What is the use of always imitating commercial beers? Our fascination with brewing is to discover a new taste through experimentation.
This book covers the past and present styles of Biere de Garde and Saison (including an informative essay by Yvan De Baets on how Saison evolved), and provides a list of the breweries producing the styles, detailing grains, hops, temperatures and other brewing details, along with tasting notes on the beers they produce.
In sections on brewing the styles, the sample recipes are just guidelines (in the spirit of experimentation) rather than set formulas.Read more ›
Discussion of historical and geographic influences on saison and biere de garde are interesting and kept to a minumum. Of particular interest is the text devoted to paragons of both styles- describing their evolutions, specific malts and hops used, abv and attenuation, yeasts, gravities, fermentation temperatures, aging, water profiles, and so on... everything one would need to reverse-engineer a clone beer, if one chose to do so.
It is not, however, a collection of clone recipes. The samples recipes for variations of both styles are intended as guidelines, easily adaptable to individual brewhouse procedures and efficiencies. Also, the parameters are so diverse that it is difficult, if not impossible, to define style guidelines, a fact that the author acknowledges. This loose end can be frustrating to the reader.
Overall, a useful book; solid information, and nothing irrelevant or overtechnical.
Well-written and fun to read, this is one of the best books for advanced home-brewers.
Lynn Hoffman, author ofThe New Short Course in Wine
Traditional Farmhouse Ales comprise the family of beers known as Biere de Garde and Saison, although the line that separates the two styles is often blurred by traditions that have struggled to endure, despite the upheavals of changing borders and paradigms, World Wars, and industrialization that led to the closure of countless small farmhouse breweries.
My personal experience has consisted of esoteric discussions that seek to delineate the differences between Bieres de Garde and Saisons. Our conclusions echo the subtle intangibles that Markowski so clearly defines. In his observation about Saison, he states, "These vague and varied descriptions will frustrate anyone foolish or stubborn enough to try to pin down these wildly complex, deceptively simple rustic ales," and of Biere de Garde, he says "If there is any accepted physical or sensory standard, French brewers may quietly acknowledge it, but will put their own spin on it to make it their own."
Markowski pushes onward, however, seeking to define them by presenting their historical significance and the conditions under which they developed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book had easy instructions to follow. Recipes where inspiring. I am really glad I purchased this book.Published 21 days ago by Just Your Average Jane
Phil Markowski, Southampton Publick House’s brewmaster and brewer of the highly acclaimed Southampton Publick House Saison Deluxe writes the book of farmhouse ales. Read morePublished 3 months ago by P. Mulloy
easy to read, short but with a lot of good information about Saison and Bier de Garde. It's a must if you are a homebrewer and looking for inspiration to make this styles of beer,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Eslem Torres
This book was a great read, covering both biere de garde and saison. The author does a wonderful establishing the history behind the styles and changes that have occurred over the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Robert Goetz
The man literally wrote the book on the styles. Seek out his beers when you can.Published 12 months ago by SteinerRecliner
Very informational about style history but isn't very practical for the home brewer. Very GeneralPublished 15 months ago by Ryan Methmann
Good reference on the history of Belgian saisons and French bieres du garde and the current traditions of farmhouse ales from the region. Read morePublished 16 months ago by John B.