Introduction

In the past two decades we have witnessed unprecedented changes in the U.S. beer industry. The emergence of craft brewers and consumers' newfound appreciation for quality beer have resulted in what is often called the "Craft Beer Renaissance." Beer has taken on a new excitement and relevancy to the average person. It is no longer thought of only in the context of large commercial brewers with their mass-marketed beers. The marked increase in the number of brew pubs and microbreweries and the burgeoning growth in the number of home brewers indicate how deeply brewing beer has captured the popular imagination.

The Brewer's Handbook is intended to provide an introduction to brewing beer, and to give a balanced, reasonably detailed account of every major aspect of the brewing process. This book not only discusses brewing beer on a large-scale commercial basis, it has made every effort to address brewing practices typically used by craft brewers. Thus its applicability extends to home brewers and to individuals working in the brewing industry and related fields.

It is written in a language that can be easily understood by anyone not having a background in brewing beer. However, the material is not so elementary that it insults your intelligence, nor is it so difficult that its makes you lose interest in the subject. Clarity is the touchstone that has been employed throughout this book.