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Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass Paperback – May 6, 2004


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Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass + Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles + How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937381837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937381830
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Radical Brewing: The New Classic of Beer Literature

History, humor and homebrewing converge when the creative and prolific mind of Randy Mosher explores the expressive side of beer in Radical Brewing.

Mosher sees homebrewing—and by extension craft brewing—as an antidote to corporate, mass-market beers. Over two decades of brewing and beer research, he has probed the depths of beer history in both his reading and his brewing. Radical Brewing displays the many unique ales and lagers that have resulted from his celebration of beer while serving as a vehicle for discussing a creative, "outside the lines" approach to modern brewing. Through it all, the reader is treated to Mosher’s irresistible love of beer and brewing as well as some very humorous asides on beer history.

The infectious spirit of homebrewing is hard to resist when one reviews Mosher’s recipe for "Electric Aunt Jemima Maple Buckwheat Ale," checks out the section on "(Not so Dumb) Blonde Ales" or chuckles through his fanciful description of the birth of beer featuring the ancient Harl’eh-riding Ur’s Angels. Best of all, the two-color visually rich content comes in self-contained segments that instantly engage readers no matter what page they turn to.

Typically, modern brewing books focus on the science of how to brew—and Mosher has mastered all of that. But in Radical Brewing, he focuses on the creative, expressive opportunities available to those with a brew kettle. Each chapter offers techniques and recipes as well as ideas for independent exploration of new brewing frontiers. The result is a text that both informs and inspires experienced brewers while providing an engaging and intelligent introduction to the hobby for newcomers.

Famed beer writer Michael Jackson once called Mosher "some kind of homebrewing genius" and in the forward to Radical Brewing, he further lionizes this genius, saying "His activities are probably a threat to our morals. Passion, imagination and tenacity are a challenge to the established order." These two masters of beer have collaborated in the past, as Jackson notes when he tells how Mosher accurately recreated the flavor of a now-lost beer style that even Jackson had only once tasted himself. And though Jackson’s accolades for Mosher are great, one can only imagine that they will pale as practicing brewers of all stripes begin to digest Mosher’s treasure-trove of beer ideas and render their own reviews of this delightful book.

From the Inside Flap

From the Foreword, The Marvel of Mosher, by Michael Jackson:

The world desperately needs more Moshers. If only we had more Moshers, the Tasmanian tiger might return from extinction. Mike Tyson at his peak would be able to step into the ring with Muhammad Ali. We would be able to see and hear the great performers who pre-dated the recording of sound. I might even now be sipping a pre-Prohibition beer and checking whether Buddy Bolden could be heard across Lake Ponchartrain. Or I might be sampling Harwood's Porter in a London pub, or an India Pale Ale aboard a clipper heading for Calcutta.


More About the Author

A master of brewing science, Randy Mosher (Chicago, IL) applies his restless curiosity and creative energy toward the art of brewing.

As a veteran and award winning brewer, Randy Mosher knows the rules of brewing and when to break them. He is the author of The Brewers Companion (Alephenalia Publications, 1994), the homebrewing columnist in All About Beer, a regular contributor to Zymurgy (the Journal of the American Homebrewers Association) and is a frequent lecturer on beer across the country. He is also on the board of directors of the American Homebrewers Association and the Chicago Beer Society.

With a background in advertising graphics, Mosher has been a creative force in homebrewing for more than 20 years. In Radical Brewing, he shares his many discoveries and secrets (try the recipe for Tangerine Porter) with an amusing tone and gently bent approach that will engage new brewers and captivate creative thinkers of all types.

Customer Reviews

I recommend it as one of the first books you read when you start brewing.
D. Bilby
If you brew beer or are planning to, this book is full of useful info for recipes and ingredients.
Eric Barnes
There is a lot of information in here about beer, but the book is easy to read and enjoyable.
Menagerie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

277 of 279 people found the following review helpful By John Palmer on August 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have a new favorite brewing book - Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. I must admit that I was put off by the title at first. "Radical Brewing? I don't want to brew weird stuff, I want to brew good stuff..." But after I had a chance to browse thru a copy, I realized there was nothing weird about it. It is radical like Copernicus was radical. It is full of really interesting information that I had not known or barely heard of before. This is a spectrum of brewing, brews, and brewers.

How to describe it??

Broadly, it is like Designing Great Beers in that it presents the ingredients of brewing, the methods for using them and how various beer styles were developed by using those ingredients.

The difference could be described in this way though: If DGB were described as a university course in the main lecture hall on brewing, then Radical Brewing is sitting down with the Prof one-on-one, while he regales with his experiences and pours you samples as he talks. And, if you know Randy, then this description of his book is self-explanatory. It really is a book that you will pick up and read for the fun of it. There are lots of interesting recipes, and his discussion makes you want to try them.

A great book to further your homebrewing education.

John Palmer

author of "How To Brew"

[...]
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By a foodie on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow. Radical, indeed. The etymology is apropos; radical comes from the Latin radix, meaning root. Mosher gets to the root of all sorts of subjects with his witty style and erudition. This guy knows his stuff. If there is any grain or sugar or spice or herb in this world that has ended up in a brewpot, Mosher has probably written about it.

At the risk of turning this review section into a lovefest, I agree with the other reviewers. If you've never brewed before, get a good basic text; you can't do better than Palmer's How to Brew, and he's generous enough to put the entire text on line for free perusal--although you'll probably want to go ahead and get a hard copy just for convenience. Others will have their own preferences for a basic brewing book. I started out a couple of decades ago with Papazian's book, and it's fine--but I think Palmer's is a tad better.

One theme Mosher stresses is how the homebrewer can afford to use the best ingredients for his brew, something a corporate brewer can't. So what if using Maris Otter malt and lots of noble hops might make that batch cost a few cents more? You can afford it, and can make a brew that no big corporation would ever make.

If I were just starting out today, I'd probably spring for Palmer's book and this one by Mosher. Between those two you'd be able to brew virtually any style you want to. Plus, after reading Radical Brewing you'd have more esoteric beer knowledge than any sane person needs. But who ever said that homebrewers were sane?
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey S. Erway on January 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Funny thing is, I have read How to Brew and Designing Great Beers, written by two of the other "raters" of Radical Brewing.

If your a beginner looking to get into this hobby, BUY HOW TO BREW TODAY! It is amazing.

If you are a hardcore masher that has been doing everything "right" but still aren't winning those medals that you want, BUY DESIGNING GREAT BEERS TODAY!

Somewhere in no way inbetween these books is Radical Brewing. An informative text about beers of old as well as beers that have yet to even find a style guideline. I'm a BJCP judge and trust me, they ain't there. He completely shakes the platform that much of the American craft brewing scene has stood on, calling for the judicious use of adjuncts in many instances, including many exotic sugars that I had never even heard of.

The book also delves into the history of each style and how they have been produced throughout the years. Early on, he moves through the Belgian abbey ales. Later he tackles the challenges of Belgium with sections on sour browns, Flemish Reds, Lambics, Wit beers, and Saisons (though he doesn't do the best job of explaining proper fermentation of the saisons). He even does a synopsis of the Gose beer of Germany. I've only seen these beers once!

Randy is obviously someone who has taken homebrewing as seriously as anyone could, for about as long as anyone could. His book is entertaining and is a wealth of knowledge (even if I don't agree with EVERYTHING he says) for brewers at all levels. It is not a book that the novice should shy away from, yet it is also one that every advanced homebrewer should already own. And the historical quotes and poems on beer are just awesome. I used a good many of them on the beer menu for my wedding reception. HEHE!

Cheers!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Lerfald on June 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Randy Mosher writes engagingly; but frankly,if you've read books by Korzonas, Palmer, and yeah, Papazian- you have the brewing techniques discussed in Radical Brewing. Where Mr. Mosher excels is his descriptions of ingredients, and quantities. I am delighted by the recipes and can't wait 'til the weekend to brew up one or two (black pepper in beer! Yes!). Overall, I'd say this is a great book for any brewer's library; not a "My First Brew Book", but certainly should be on your shelf with Mosher's other book. And Palmer, and Korzonas...okay, okay, and Papazian.
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