Monday, February 22, 2010

Beer Man’s Wisconsin

As an overview of the Wisconsin beer scene, Beer Man’s Wisconsin is about the best thing currently going. Written by Todd Haefer, whose Beer Man column appears in the Post Crescent, the book touches on everything from homebrew to Miller. Haefer calls it, “a snapshot of the current brewing industry in the state.”

The meat of it, though, concerns Wisconsin craft beer. There’s a lot of handy information here on small Wisconsin breweries, brew pubs, homebrew clubs, and a nice overview of some of the better craft beers to be found around the state. Oshkosh and the Fox Valley are particularly well represented. Haefer was a member of the Society Of Oshkosh Brewers in the early 90s and his roots are clearly on display in the pieces he’s included on Stone Cellar, Fratellos and Appleton homebrewer Mike Fairservice.

The book is relatively brief at 74 pages and it looks great with full color pictures throughout. I like that Haefer avoids the beer snobbery that often dogs this kind of writing. His tone is conversational and inviting. The book would be particularly helpful to someone just getting into this stuff.

The cover proclaims this the First Edition. Does that mean there’ll be a second? We’ll see. The shelf life for books of this type is notoriously short as the velocity of change in the beer world dates them quickly. If you want to get a jump on the 2nd edition go to the section where Brian Allen is listed as the brewmaster at Fratellos. Cross that out and write in Kevin Bowen. You’ll be a step ahead.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Beer Man’s Wisconsin you can get it online HERE. Or you might be able to find a copy at Festival Foods in Oshkosh or in Appleton at Woodman’s and Flanagan’s Liquor.

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