After publishing my book about historic German and Austrian beer styles (including a print version produced on a very short notice!), I went on holidays and decided not to write so much about beer for a few weeks. Instead, I just enjoyed the local New Zealand beer scene, which was absolutely lovely and totally unique. Not so much outrageous stuff, but all just really good, sessionable, local beers of various styles.
Of course, I couldn’t go without my beer history for more than a few weeks. I’m not working on my next book (yet!), simply because I don’t have a good next topic that I want to research. Instead, I decided to do some homework and bring some order into the historic sources that I’ve been working with to put together my latest book. For that, I decided to compile a literature list of historic brewing books, not necessarily limited to only Austria or Germany. For the last week or so, I’ve been gradually going over all the digital archives of public libraries that I knew of and that I could access, and searched for all and any literature related to beer and brewing.
The outcome so far is a list of 144 books, ranging from 1710 to 1947, but mostly from the 19th century and early 20th century, from Germany, Austria-Hungary, the UK and the US. Since I absolutely hate knowledge being kept secret and eventually getting lost (just think of a late relative’s “secret recipe” for some dish you loved that was lost and that you’ve tried to recreate so many times but could never get it quite right), I decided to make this list public under a Creative Commons license. You can access the list directly on GitHub: https://github.com/akrennmair/historic-beer-literature-list/blob/master/historic-beer-literature-list.md
The format in which I keep it is quite primitive for the moment, but I’m trying to come up with a better technical solution to make it better viewable, searchable and usable in bibliographic software. I really want to make this a hub and starting point for explorations of publicly available historic brewing literature. I will certainly use it as my starting point for my next big project.