The American Craft Beer Cookbook

The Lager Lady

The craft beer sensation that is sweeping the nation arrived in the DC area on Nov. 18 in the form of The American Craft Beer Cookbook. A signing by the author, John Holl, took place at The Salt & Pepper bookstore located just south of DC at National Harbor. Holl has traveled from breweries and brewpubs across the United States to gather the recipes. His cookbook includes both dishes that incorporate or pair well with craft beer. As importantly, it offers a very detailed and intriguing look into the craft beer scene incorporating fascinating profiles of both breweries and brewers.

Holl is a craft beer expert. Aside from two other books on the subject, he has contributed to such notable works as The Oxford Companion to Beer. In recent years, Holl has extensively traveled, exploring the rapidly expanding craft beer universe. For foodies who recognize the complex flavors offered by beer, this cookbook is essential.

Holl does more than simply provide recipes. In profiles scattered throughout his book, he tells the stories of the breweries that he has visited, and masterfully accredits each recipe. It is an attempt to “weave this tapestry of where we are with beer and food and you can only do that if you tell the stories of the people who created the recipes.” The book's images, taken by photographer Lara Ferroni, are whet readers' appetites and stoke their hunger. Holt's take home message is clear. Recognizing the value of the local food markets, Americans are beginning to change their view of food.

For novice beer drinkers, the best step in your beer career may be investing in this cookbook. So grab some craft beer from your local brewery and enjoy it with friends and family this holiday season. As Holl eloquently puts it, “Whether it’s Tuesday night or New Year’s Eve open it and enjoy it because we might not be here tomorrow.”


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