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Brewers Publications Response

At the end of January I posted a few thoughts on eBooks and the need for Brewers Publications to make their books available in the format. I didn’t hear anything for awhile and I honestly wasn’t expecting to, but the other day Kristi of Brewers Publications left a comment on my post. I think her response deserves a post of its own, so here it is.

Dear Nate,

I wish I had seen this sooner, I certainly would have addressed this earlier! We have been working on this project for many months (actually probably years now). There are some technological challenges with converting books that are not text only. Anytime you add charts, graphs, equations, etc. to the mix, it complicates the conversion process. Couple that with proofing for different eReaders and checking how an individuals users settings changes how the book appears and it’s a very real challenge.

It is not lost on me that our readers want to be able to read their books on their eReaders. I think about it every day and I am taking steps toward that every day. We do have a couple of new books that are very close to being done but need final proofs before sending them off for the last revisions (For the Love of Hops and IPA). Older books like Designing Great Beers and Radical are still in the trenches. Not only are they technical and graphically rich but they are also larger sized than a “normal” book. The latest versions were unacceptable and so I have a meeting this week to find out what other options are available for books like these and how we can get them moving along. Backlist books built from very old files may even be more challenging but I am working on finding the best solution for those as well.

My priority is seeing that when we release an eBook, it is a quality product. There are many different ways of converting books and we have yet to find an accurate way to produce them across the board. I had a long conversation with someone that has worked in the publishing industry for decades and many, many publishers are just deciding to NOT publish eBooks if they are not text only due to the challenges and time associated with making them work for the reader. I know this doesn’t solve your workout problem or those folks that have fully converted to eReading but I hope you will be patient as we continue to work toward (and proof many times!) the best way to make our books accessible in this format.

Our authors work very hard to write these books and I want to make sure we do right by them and produce a quality product we can all be proud of and that is usable/enjoyable to all of you. In the meantime, as we continue to produce new books in print and work toward eBooks, if anyone has any ideas for books they would like to see in the Brewers Publications title list, please email anytime via

Publisher, Brewers Publications

I want to thank Kristi and all the folks at Brewers Publications for their hard work. I really enjoy the products that they put out and I’m excited to hear that they are working on getting their books into eBook formats. I understand the challenges of taking a traditional book and putting it into a non-traditional format. I also appreciate the fact that they want to make it right and make the best product that they can. Thank you Brewers Publications for your response and all of the work that you do.

Beer Styles Introduction


Over the new few months I am going to be building a repository of beer style guides that I can use to refer to during my beer reviews. I’ve been doing lots of research over the past year or so and I am finally ready to start posting. I’ve had the link on the right there for some time, and I have yet to do anything with it. I will start the guide with an introduction to ales and lagers. I will then dive into a major section of a particular style and then explore each subset of that style. For instance I will look into Pale Ales and then explore American Pale Ales, English Pale Ales, and then go into IPAs.

I hope that this journey through beer styles will help increase my knowledge of styles as well as be a solid resource for other to use. Stay tuned, in the next few days the first of my Beer Style Guides will be posted.

A call to Brewers Publications

I’m a huge fan of Brewers Publications. The majority of brewing related books that I currently own are produced by them. For those of you unaware, Brewers Publications is the printing arm of the American Homebrewers Association. The titles that they put out are top notch. I’m currently enjoying For the Love of Hops. So what’s the deal?

I’m a big proponent of technology and it bothers me to no end that the vast majority of their books are not available to read on my Kindle. The Kindle, and other devices like it, make reading so much easier for me. I can carry dozens of books with me at any time all on the same device. They have a search functions so that I can easy find what I need. I can highlight, make notes, and archive anything else that I need right on the device. My eye sight is pretty good, but I like having the option to change the text size and line spacing.

Most of the reading that I get done happens when I am on the treadmill. Books just don’t work for me as I lose my spot often and changing pages is a pain. I usually bring my Kindle or iPad with me and read while running and listening to music. I just wish that I could do that with some of my beer books.

I also find that the cost of a digital book is lower than an actual book. It makes sense since nothing is physical made or sent. May homebrewers are also environmentally conscious, so the idea of not “wasting” paper and saving delivery emissions is enticing. I’m familiar with the process of making an eBook or ePub document and it really isn’t very hard once you have all of the material done.

So, Brewers Publications can you please start releasing your books in both physical and digital formats? You already do it with Zymurgy it’s time to start doing it with your books.


Cider Infographic

I was passed a really interesting infographic from the people at HackCollege. The infographic after the jump has a lot of really interesting facts and figures. They give some really interesting numbers about the growth of cider. It looks remarkably like that of the craft beer industry of the early 80s. I’m not ready to say that cider is the new craft beer, but the trends are interesting. What are you thoughts on cider and its growth.

Full graphic after the jump. (more…)

2012 Review

This was a good year of beer for me. I reviewed 83 different beers this year. I had a lot of favorites but I can’t decide on which beer was my absolute favorite. I’m not going to comment much on the beers I drank as you can read the reviews and see what I thought of them.

My year in homebrewing was outstanding. I brewed 21 different beers this year. I have seen a marked increase in quality of my beers and I have enjoyed the vast majority of what I have made. I added a burner at the end of last year and put it into full use this year. I also have a larger pot and more kegs. I am now up to five kegs, even though I can only have two on tap at a time. The increase in kegs has allowed me to smooth out my chain of beers and make sure that I always have two beers on tap and one on reserve. I also added two additional fermenters which has really helped me do some longer term beers.

Plans for 2013

The only real plans that I have for reviewing is trying to post reviews on every even day for the year. It’s a challenge, but I think that I can do it. When it comes to homebrewing I would like to try some rebrews and also work on developing a house brew. I want to make something that appeals to my friends and I and can also be drank easily but also captures that craft beer spirit. I am also going to be working on a fermentation chamber so that I can have a bit more temperature control in my brewing as well as lager beers year round.

I want to thank everyone who reads this blog. I appreciate your support. I hop that everyone has a happy and health New Year and cheers to 2013!