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A journey into the world of the four remarkable ingredients of beer – Hops, Water, Barley and Yeast – by the UK’s most read, recognised and enjoyable of beer writers.

Shortlisted for the 2017 André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, but few who enjoy it know much about how its four ingredients – malted barley, hops, yeast and water – miraculously combine.

We’ve been brewing and drinking beer for thousands of years, without understanding how or why the brewing process works. In the Middle Ages, yeast was called ‘godisgoode’ because no one had any idea what fermentation was. Malting barley, too, has for centuries seemed genuinely wondrous: it’s only in the last 200 years that science has identified and understood how man and yeast work together to gently (or not so gently) persuade this humble grain to give up its sugary stash for fermentation into beer.

From the birth of brewing (and civilization) in the Middle East, through an exploration of water’s unmurky depths and the surreal madness of drink-sodden hop-blessings in the Czech Republic, to the stunning recreation of the first ever modern beer – Miracle Brew is an extraordinary journey through the nature and science of brewing.

Along the way, we’ll meet and drink with a cast of characters who reveal the magic of beer and celebrate the joy of drinking it. And, almost without noticing, we’ll learn the naked truth about the world’s greatest beverage.

Reviews

Manages to make you appreciate the magic of beer even in its most everyday form.

TLS

Staggering … Pete Brown’s new work has bowled me over

Roger Protz, editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide

[Brown] leavens his magisterial tour of fearsome science and vast brewery history with cheery anecdotes, humor, vivid you-are-there prose and a clever eye for personality . . . His rhapsodies about the meaning of life and the meaning of beer are stirring . . . His expertise and insight will leave you with a glimmer of infinity every time you hold a bottle of it in your hand.

New York Times

Entertaining, engaging, and simply fun … Put down your scientific journals and remind yourself what beer is really all about

Charlie Papazian, founder of the Association of Brewers

A book full of amazing facts ... combines history, a look at today’s vibrant beer world and some very well-explained science about how the four magic ingredients come together to create the world’s most popular drink.

Guardian

Brown profiles each of beer’s ingredients and explains the precise, not-completely-understood role they play in brewing. An extraordinary storyteller, historian, and drinking companion, he may play a crucial role in establishing beer as the world’s greatest beverage.

Forewords Reviews

Pete is, no question, the most stylishly dextrous and verbally entertaining writer about beer in the English language right now, and because of that, Miracle Brew is a great read even, probably, if you’re barely interested in beer at all.

Zythophile

There is no shortage of books on beer or its four primary ingredients. So what sets Pete Brown’s latest work apart? Pete Brown does.

All About Beer

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781783525461

    June 15, 2018

    Unbound

    448 pages

    RRP $22.99

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