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Publisher's Summary

A celebration of beer - its science, its history, and its impact on human culture

What can beer teach us about biology, history, and the natural world? From ancient Mesopotamian fermentation practices to the resurgent American craft brewery, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall peruse the historical record and traverse the globe for engaging and often surprising stories about beer. They explain how we came to drink beer, what ingredients combine to give beers their distinctive flavors, how beer's chemistry works at the molecular level, and how various societies have regulated the production and consumption of beer. 

Drawing from such diverse subject areas as animal behavior, ecology, history, archaeology, chemistry, sociology, law, genetics, physiology, neurobiology, and more, DeSalle and Tattersall entertain and inform with their engaging stories of beer throughout human history and the science behind it all. Listeners are invited to grab a beer and explore the fascinating history of its creation.

©2015 Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle (P)2019 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about A Natural History of Beer

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More chemistry and biology than history.

The book covers more explanation of scientific methods than actual history of beer. The same book could written substituting potatoes for beer and the main focus in explaining the scientific methods used would be the same.

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More like lazy textbook

This book is a complete disappointment to its title. I was expecting to be educated on beer use throughout time and in different societies, instead the bulk of the book is a summary of one year of college physics, biology, and chemistry courses. The last chapter was interesting, yet the entirety of the book felt unorganized and lazy. Great idea, but its essentially a podcast episode with hours and hours of scientific filler. Moreover, the speed of which the scientific concepts are presented don’t leave the listener with any satisfaction, as concepts are presented and finished in one sentence. Highly recommend skipping this title.