Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Beer Cook Book

For some time now I have been seeking an addition to my bookshelf in the form of a beer cook book. Not just any beer cook book. but The Beer Cook Book by Susan Nowak that was published in 1999.

It has been out of print for some time and whenever I have looked on Ebay or Amazon, the search has proved fruitless. (admittedly it was only an occasional search). Last week, I looked on Amazon and there are now plenty of second hand copies available through their merchants scheme. I paid 24p plus £2.75 postage but I notice there is now even a copy available for 11p. It is a 300 page paperback with an original cover price of £9.99.

Many books on beer and food published more recently are more lavishly illustrated but often do not hit the mark for me - though I admit The Brewmaster's Table by Garrett Oliver is an excellent read, it is not really what you might call a cook book. Personally, I am not really one to intellectualise on beer, preferring simply to enjoy drinking the stuff. However, I am interested more in beer used as an ingredient rather than beer and food matching.

Susan Nowak's book is not particularly well illustrated but it is clearly written by an enthusiastic beer lover. It is not just a collection of over 150 recipes including beer. It covers all parts of the menu from soups to desserts, vegetarian, baking and pickling. It also includes every style of beer that you can think of. Her passion for beer comes across in her writing making it a good read as well as a reference volume.

Some of the beer choices do seem a little dated (remember King & Barnes Festive ?) some 10 years later but that is just the passage of time. It does not detract from the enjoyment of this book and will not prevent me coming up with my own suggestions when trying out some of the recipes.

Bon Appetit and Cheers !

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