As long as there’s been beer, there’ve been brewers pushing the envelope of what we traditionally define the beverage as. Extreme brewing is as old as beer itself but it’s come to new heights with the craft beer explosion of recent years. For those looking to brew their own extreme beer, Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home by Sam Calagione and Todd & Jason Alström may be just the book you seek.
Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home
This isn’t the first time Sam Calagione has written about extreme beer. This new book is really just his 2006 book, Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide To Brewing Craft Beer At Home, rebranded with some extra worthless babbling from the Alström Brothers. The old book has been updated a number of times and had additional recipes added over the years also.
Project Extreme Brewing takes the homebrewing basics contained in Sam’s earlier books and adds over 50 homebrew recipes from more recent commercial craft beer examples.
Like any homebrew book, this one begins with explanations of ingredients, equipment, and how to brew your first batch. It’s far more brief and less detailed (as you can see in the picture that’s then entirety of the coverage on sanitation, one of the most important parts of brewing) than you’ll find in the most recommended homebrew titles like The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing and How To Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time. If you haven’t read those first, they’re a far better investment to get you started.
While the recipes included in this book offer a range of extreme brews, most aren’t going to excite. Extreme beers take some skill, and starting beginners with these crazy beers will most likely result in less than awesome end product. New brewers should learn the craft first, before attempting to get too crazy (though maybe some of these weird ingredients can cover up the off-flavors often present in beginner brews).
So what do the Alström Bozos add to the book? Absolutely nothing. Their typical lowbrow gibberish and back-patting does nothing to benefit this book in any way. Like their website, they make money off of the contributions and work of others. Go ahead and skip their couple small parts without worry of missing anything worth your time.
Sam Calagione may have written the original book on extreme brewing but this latest release seems to be just a repeat of what he created more than 10 years ago. Though the recipes have been updated, it doesn’t offer much more than some decent recipes and brewing basics.
While it might not be a great reference for the starting homebrewer, this book may be a good starting point for a bit more experienced brewers looking to try their hand at some commercial extreme brews. If you’d like to check it out, grab your copy of Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide To Extreme Brewing At Home on Amazon now.