Book Review – Brewing Eclectic IPA: Pushing the Boundaries of India Pale Ale

Brewing Eclectic IPA: Pushing the Boundaries of India Pale Ale. Photo courtesy Brewers Publications.

In Brewing Eclectic IPA: Pushing the Boundaries of India Pale Ale (Brewers Publications, 2018), Dick Cantwell leads a conceptual journey through the flavor possibilities of India Pale Ales. Cantwell, co-founder of Seattle’s Elysian Brewing Company and currently the Brewer’s Association Quality Ambassador, takes the traditional beer recipe book to intellectual heights in this treatise on the IPA.

Cantwell’s depth of knowledge on hops – and the IPA style itself – is on display in every chapter, from an analysis of the mythology of the beginnings of IPA to the scientific breakdown of the flavors of hops varieties. Exploring how to add almost any flavor to an IPA – from cranberry to habanero to jasmine to oak aging – each chapter leaves the reader with an urge to experiment with the style herself. Cantwell provides a few brewing recipes in each chapter as examples of how exotic ingredients can be incorporated into America’s favorite style.

Brewing Eclectic IPA is a thoroughly enjoyable read for those who have a conceptual interest in the IPA style. The book provides valuable instruction to advanced homebrewers who are considering creating their own recipes; it is not a recipe book for a new homebrewer still fine-tuning his processes. Brewing Eclectic IPA can be purchased for around $19.95 in either paperback or Kindle format on Amazon and on the Brewers Publications website. I thoroughly enjoyed this read – it left me pondering the vast array of possibilities for my next batch of home brewed IPA. I strongly recommend this thought-provoking book!

The Brewholder
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