Author John Holl has traveled the country, exploring and documenting craft brewers. His writing has appeared in New York Times, Indianapolis Star, and elsewhere. Lara Ferroni is a photographer with a food obsession. These two foodies unite for a beer lover’s dream: ‘The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries,’ newly published by Storey Publishing.
Recipes were compiled from beer fans across the United States: pubs, craft brewers, and other beer fans. Not all recipes include beer within the specific meal item; others are simply paired well with a frosty glass on the side. Even so, the 155 recipes all shine in one way or another. From pub fare like barbeque wings to more refined main dishes like Crawfish Bordelaise, each recipe is handled with as much care as the craft brewers who inspired this collection.
Readers with a sweet tooth will enjoy dessert recipes like the stout cupcakes or the simplicity of making a beer float on a hot day. Recipe categories include sauces and spreads, salads, soups and stews, side dishes, and more. Holl includes a few bonus sections on Road Trips, Beer Festivals, Breweries, and a handy index that makes finding recipes easy based on ingredients or key words.
Holl does well to offer background information on beer selections and Ferroni’s artful eye offers stunning photographs, which most often showcase craft beers and breweries. It would have been more helpful to the average reader-chef, though, to include more recipe specific photographs. Amateur home chefs who prefer to see a photograph estimate of what the resulting recipe should look like will be disappointed as most recipes do not include an image of the final menu item. The step by step instructions do guide the reader, so a little vision can go a long way.
With the approaching holiday season, this handy guide and cookbook will make a great gift.