Freshly Brewed: Book Review of Brewed Awakening

By: Ashley Bode

Oktoberfest may be over but there's no need to empty your pint glass now. Many people consider beer to be the refreshing drink of summertime barbecues and baseball games, but consider learning more about beer's heartier brethren that is sure to keep you warm throughout the winter. Former New York Press columnist Joshua M. Bernstein released his first book Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution last Tuesday. Inside, Bernstein offers readers an extensive knowledge on craft beer and the blossoming industry in both the United States and abroad.

Much like the wine craze that began in the 1970s, Americans have begun to fall in love with craft beers.  Although craft beer makes up only 4% of beer consumption, craft beer has seen an annual growth around 12% for the last 8 years.  It is estimated that because of the growth in craft and micro-brewing, that most Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery, with over 60 breweries in New York State.  This places us on the brink of a craft beer revolution and the beginning of a long-lasting trend.

Bernstein draws the reader into this revolution instantly.  His book is designed to resemble a notebook or journal, complete with photos and handwritten notes that give the reader a peek inside Bernstein's favorites, as well as recommending some of the best in the business. The book is a great read for those new to craft beers and is also a good refresher for a knowledgeable beer aficionado, all told in a voice that is authentic, laid back and engaging. He thoroughly explains the brewing process by simplifying the terminology and while some experts give a pretentious, know-it-all impression, Bernstein clearly just wants to share the wealth of his knowledge.

Find time to pick up Brewed Awakening and you're guaranteed to learn something new and perhaps develop your own love for a local craft beer. Learn about the difference between wet and dry hops, session brews, ryes and nano-breweries; no topic is off limits. As Bernstein says "There's a story in every pint glass," so let's drink up!

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