Book Review – Fermenting Revolution

If you read only one book about beer in the next 12 months, you could do a lot worse than ‘Fermenting Revolution’ by Christopher O’Brien. 

This is not your standard beer book. It isn’t 1000 beers to drink before you die, 500 of the world’s best beers, 100 best beers from the last year, 73 beers to drink whilst wearing a hat, or one of the thousands of other beer list books. The giveaway to this might be the subtitle ‘How to Drink Beer and Save the World’

It’s a big claim, and I’m not sure that it ever really convinces me that Beer is the ultimate environmental product, but this was written in the mid 2000’ so ecological fervour was at its zenith, and the sure fire way to sell books was to placate people’s environmental concerns. I also note that the Chris O’Brien does look  like a weedy Steve Irwin (I also think he might have played the landlord in Aussie the movie ‘48 Shades of Brown’) so I feel it might have more than a passing interest in the environment and beer.

What the book does do though is make you feel really fricken good about drinking craft beer, and if you save a the green bellied tree frog along the way then well and good.

Author Chris O'Brien

This is all done in a fascinating way. For instance did you know that every great ancient civilisation was built on beer? That beer is an excellent way to provide both water and nutrition to the starving.  That beer is one of the few products where a majority is distributed in bulk (kegs) meaning there are no empty bottles filling up landfills?

This book is all very American in focus, there is a lot of talk about brew pubs and micro breweries being confided to a single state or region, but it is very interesting to see the parallels between the movement being described in America 5 years ago with the scene in Australia currently.

So if you want to feel better about your place in the world as a craft beer drinker, and you want to learn some cool new stuff about beer to tell your friends about down the pub – then pick up this book, or check out the author’s website here.

The Long Bow YouTube Clip: Here is Chris O’Brien Doppelganger, drinking beer, who would have thought