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World Bottled Beers: 50 Classics

World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour“World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour” is a book shaped like a bottle. You might want to consider it as a stocking stuffer, because it doesn’t look fun to wrap.

This is not another “best beers” book but simply one with 50 outstanding recommendations. Adrien Tierney-Jones — who organized and contributed to “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die — gives a brief history of each of the beers as well as descriptions of the aromas and flavors that make each beer unique. He also includes a list of similar beers for each entry.

Here’s what he has to say about Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing:

“Drunk fresh, it has a fiery alcoholic edge on the palate, through it is moderated by a smooth and creamy mouthfeel alongside fruitcake spice, zesty orange-citrus notes and a hint of white pepper, before a long, bittersweet finish. Meanwhile, the nose features hints of ripe apricot, Christmas cake and an earthy, Burgundian hoppiness. As it ages, the beer develops a sweetness reminiscent of an old Madeira wine; on the palate it can be vinous, woody, firey and have a hint of roast banana as well as a brandy-like elegance.”

And thinking about the stocking you might put it in, it is 3 1/4 inches wide and 10 1/2 inches tall.

New books for the beer enthusiast

The Audacity of HopsHere are 10 recently released books we think any beer enthusiast would be happy to find under the tree (OK, nine you can buy now and the tenth does have recipes for a homebrewer, but we’re sure it’s worth the wait and will be enjoyed by beer lovers as well as brewers):

- The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution

- Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

- The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes

- The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries

- The Pocket Beer Guide: The Essential Handbook to the Very Best Beers in the World

- The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers: An All-Excess Pass to Brewing’s Outer Limits

- California Breweries North

- Craft Beer World

- Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana

- And due out Jan. 1: The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1950

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Essential brewing books: new and old

Sadly, those who were hoping to find Randy Mosher’s new book, “Mastering Home Brew: The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer,” under the tree next month will have to wait — the release has been delayed until spring. Mosher showed off some of the pages earlier this year at the National Homebrew Conference and it is clear it will belong on any list of essential homebrewing books.

Here are some others, starting with the newest release in Brewers Publications “Brewers Elements Series”:

- “Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers”

- “Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation”

- “For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops”

- How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time

- “Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles”

- “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition”

- “Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass”

An IPA book for drinkers and brewers alike

 IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale AleWhat should “the authoritative guide to the brewing techniques and history behind” India pale ale include?

- A complete and accurate history of the style, one that addresses the various myths. Check.

- Plenty of historic recipes. Check.

- Lots of recipes for modern day versions, including many variations, and details about ingredients and process. Check.

- All the data beer and brewing geeks could ask for, packed into handy appendices. Check.

- An author who knows a little about brewing IPAs. Check.

The book is IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale and the author is Mitch Steele, head brewer at Stone Brewing Company.

For the love of honey

Ken Schram, author of The Compleat Meadmaker: Home Production of Honey Wine from Your First Batch to Award-Winning Fruit and Herb Variations, writes: “My goal … is to begin bringing to meadmakers the breadth and depth of knowledge and resources that are available to beer brewers and winemakers. I sought to cover the many aspects of meadmaking in a comprehensive but easy-to-read fashion, and to provide readers with an understanding of the role quality ingredients play in creating a really pleasing mead.”