A Gorgeous Guide To Six-Packs From Scratch

A new book called Beer Craft can help you become a better bottler.

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When freelance writer William Bostwick and designer Jessi Rymill started sharing an apartment in Carroll Gardens a few years back, they were already into making things from scratch: They cooked like crazy, made pickles and even roasted their own coffee beans. So it was inevitable that the two craft beer drinkers would eventually try homebrew.

Both fell hard for filling their own bottles, but the artistically minded duo (back then, Bostwick’s beat was design) struggled with the copy shop-like layout of most brewing guides. “They look,” says Rymill with a smile, “like appliance manuals.” As they started keeping track of their own recipes, Rymill would apply her design skills to the layout and they realized they had the makings of a book.

The result is Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer. The Ready-Made magazine style guide in retro pop-art tones boasts brilliantly colored charts, graphs and illustrations—all created by Rymill—that could revolutionize homebrewing. “We realized we were visual learners,” says Bostwick, “and figured other people would be, too.” So the book presents detailed illustrations to the six steps of brewing; dozens of easy recipes in brilliant one-page charts; and useful diagrams throughout, including a visual guide to beer styles and an ingenious way to measure hops without a digital scale. And don’t forget the extensive chapter on designing and making your own labels, for the homebrewers who like to do it Martha Stewart style.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.