Beer Book Review: The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.
I have often told the story of how Stone Brewing‘s Arrogant Bastard Ale was one of the catalysts for my love of craft beer. Discovered on a shelf in a store in Prescott, Arizona in 1997, I was taken by the gargoyle and the name. It was only $2, and I figured the beer would be terrible, but the bottle was cool so I would put it on my shelf after trying – and ultimately pouring out – the beer. But I was dead wrong. The beer was amazing. Rich and complex, and I laughed loudly at the “you are not worthy” diatribe from Owner Greg Koch on the back of the bottle.
Fast forward to today, and Stone is one of the “big guns” in the craft beer world, and Arrogant Bastard is known to all. Stone has expanded rapidly, opened a restaurant, and even started its own distribution. Chronicling this journey is the book written by Koch, along with Steve Wagner and Randy Clemens, The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance. But it is more than a history lesson. Also included in these pages are pairing suggestions from “Dr.” Bill Sysak, homebrew recipes for 18 different Stone brews, and a history of every beer ever brewed by the SoCal brewery. There are recipes from the Bistro, serving tips, and a lot of great pictures of the brewery over the years.
It is also simply just a fun read. It is light and engaging without being vapid, chock full of information without being too heady, and ultimately inspirational as the true passion for what they are doing shines through on every page. This is a must for any beer lovers bookshelf.