• The Brewer's Tale

  • A History of the World According to Beer
  • By: William Bostwick
  • Narrated by: Christopher Sutton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (330 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of 2014 US Gourmand Drinks Award

Taste 5,000 years of brewing history as a time-traveling home brewer rediscovers and re-creates the great beers of the past.

The Brewer's Tale is a beer-filled journey into the past: the story of brewers gone by and one brave writer's quest to bring them - and their ancient, forgotten beers - back to life, one taste at a time. This is the story of the world according to beer, a toast to flavors born of necessity and place - in Belgian monasteries, rundown farmhouses, and the basement nanobrewery next door. So pull up a barstool and raise a glass to 5,000 years of fermented magic.

Fueled by date-and-honey gruel, sour pediococcus-laced lambics, and all manner of beers between, William Bostwick's rollicking quest for the drink's origins takes him into the redwood forests of Sonoma County, to bullet-riddled South Boston brewpubs, and across the Atlantic, from Mesopotamian sands to medieval monasteries to British brewing factories. Bostwick compares notes with the Mt. Vernon historian in charge of preserving George Washington's molasses-based home brew, and he finds the ancestor of today's macrobrewed lagers in a nineteenth-century spy's hollowed-out walking stick.

Wrapped around this modern reportage are deeply informed tales of history's archetypal brewers: Babylonian temple workers, Nordic shamans, patriots, rebels, and monks. The Brewer's Tale unfurls from the ancient goddess Ninkasi, ruler of intoxication, to the cryptic beer hymns of the Rig Veda and down into the clove-scented treasure holds of India-bound sailing ships. With each discovery comes Bostwick's own turn at the brew pot, an exercise that honors the audacity and experimentation of the craft. A sticky English porter, a pricelessly rare Belgian, and a sacred, shamanic wormwood-tinged gruit each offer humble communion with the brewers of yore.

©2014 William Bostwick (P)2015 Audible Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about The Brewer's Tale

Average Customer Ratings
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Good insights!

Covers the history of beer and give information on certain types of beer (abbey, lambic, seasons, IPA..). It's well explained and very insightful.

If you're looking into specific techniques or technical information, I'd recommend YouTube videos. Else, this gives a good overall feel of brewing.

3 people found this helpful

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Hopping Hops

Bostwick tells a lot of the story of America beer, without chronology or causative order; too much jumping around, not coherent and cohesive reading .

2 people found this helpful

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Great history of brewing for beer geeks

A well-written and fascinating tale looking back at how beer shaped so much of the world.

The history of beer evolution in England was particularly fascinating, especially the rise and fall of the porter and the influence pale ales had on the world.

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Fell asleep twice...

Overly descriptive to the point where you forget what the author is talking about. Too whimsical to follow. As a Homebrewer myself I thought this would be fascinating, but it's written and told more like a fairytale rather than a history book.

3 people found this helpful

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Informative

I went into this hoping to learn a lot, and I did. The writing when he was describing the taste and production of beer was on point, but when he narrated and pontificated it felt sophomoric. Definitely worth a listen if you are a beer lover.

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Light and Easy, Like A Pilsner

It’s an interesting tale—or series of tales—that takes you to many places and introduces you to intriguing brewers. It’s not a book about techniques or recipes, except where those things help to tell the story of one beer critic’s journey into beer. There are fascinating historical nuggets, and the occasional elaboration on the more technical or scientific elements. Well worth a credit.

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Great book about the history of beer.

I loved the storytelling and narration. It had the right amount of energy and the feeling I was listening to the author. Makes me wish there was another book in this series. The last chapter left me sad concerning the state of beer today, but the epilog brought it back in and made me hopeful about the future of beer.

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the history of beer is better than I imagined

a well-crafted story about the history, impact, and influence of beer in our world.

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Loved it

A sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, but always interesting look at life...and beer.
I shall approach every next pint with new knowledge, appreciation, and a touch of whimsy.

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Great Research

What a pleasure to read/listen to this book. If you enjoy food history tales then this book is for you, especially if you like beer. The historical research Bostwick delves into and cites is thorough and very interesting.

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  • Frankieg3
  • 04-04-20

So, so

It is not about world beer or brewing. Very American centric so there is very little about brewing in the rest of the world. Most of the craft beers he talks about I would not drink if you paid me and I am sure they would not pass the food laws in Germany. Am I glad I bought this book. NO

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Conor McAlonan
  • 12-03-20

Great Story

Great book and nice timeline. It was a bit over descriptive with flavors, etc. but it did not deter from a great listen

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  • Ben
  • 10-09-16

Excellent.

An informative and interesting read. Highly recommended. Makes me want to go out and brew a historic beer!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-18

A great history, described as if I there!

Loved it, very descriptive and useful information/facts for every home brewer or beer enthusiast. Recommend and would listen again.