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Booze for Free [Hardcover]

Andy Hamilton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

Home brewing and wine-making is fun, easy and hugely satisfying. If you garden or forage,

can follow a recipe or make jam, and you enjoy a drink, this is the book for you.

Andy's no-nonsense, easy-to-follow guide will enable the beginner and inspire the expert

with over 100 recipes including beer made from hops and but also yarrow, mugwort, elder

and other foraged plants, great tasting wines from fruit, vegetables and the hedgerows,

cider and perry from apples and pears, cordials from the leaves of a range of trees, and teas and

fizzy drinks from herbs and wayside flowers.

- Discover the secret language of home brewing and drinks making.

- Make cheap, wholesome drinks, to your preferred taste and strength

in little time, with minimum fuss and no need for expensive equipment.

- Turn your garden into a drinkers' paradise.

- Find where and how to forage for success.

- Impress your friends with the weird, wonderful and just plain tasty.

Try Carrot Whisky, Sloe and Damson Rum, Parsnip Sherry, Elderberry and Blackberry Wine,

Pumpkin Beer, Broom Tonic, Meadowsweet tea as well as classics such as Elderflower

champagne, sloe gin, prison brew... Cheers!

Frequently Bought Together

Booze for Free + Brewing Britain: The quest for the perfect pint
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Eden Project Books (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905811705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905811700
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andy Hamilton is one of those rare authors who will live a subject rather than just write about it. At the time of writing, (2014) this has meant that Andy has brewed award winning beer commercially, lived off nothing but wild food, lived a near self sufficient life, brewed hundreds of bottles of country wine, taught himself beer tasting having imbibed thousands of beers and lived with no telecommunications or power. He is nothing if he isn't dedicated.

Like most authors Andy has lead a chequered and interesting life. He grew up in Northampton the town famed for its wayward clown. He left school early to pursue a career in appallingly bad jobs. Jumping from pushing trolleys, to putting lasagne sheets on ready meals (all day), to stapling (all day) eventually becoming a mash potato man in a food factory and then stepping up again to the dizzying heights of "operative in charge of cardboard box making" for a clothing warehouse.

Andy finally left his salubrious career in Northampton to return to education. He studied a social science access course in Nottingham. He then moved to Bath where he received a psychology degree.

Whilst studying for his degree and working part time in a psychiatric hospital, Andy co-created a website on self sufficient living with his brother Dave: It quickly gained a huge following and it success led Andy and Dave on to write the much-coveted and critically acclaimed book, The Self Sufficientish Bible.

Andy continued to brew and forage and later released Booze for Free, a book that has been one of the best selling homebrew books in the UK since its release. Then all of Andy's dreams came true as he managed to convince his publisher that he wanted to drink beer for year. The result, Brewing Britain, delves into almost every aspect of UK beer and it has won many awards.

Andy now lives in Bristol and he appears on TV and Radio in the UK and abroad and is very fond of his life and family.

Product Description


"Some guys have all the luck. Andy Hamilton has 'road tested' over 100 DIY drinks - many of them pleasantly alcoholic- to be made from the plants of the garden, hedge, field and wood, and has brought the results to the pages of his Booze for Free. The result is a home imbiber's delight, full of lore, sense, entertainment, humour, botany, history and tongue-tantalizing recipes. Hamilton has that wholly underrated, but absolutely essential skill in a practical matters, of writing with pure clarity and absolute readability. His recipes won't let you down. You may fall down after sampling some of the stronger brews, but that's another matter" (John Lewis-Stempel, author of THE WILD LIFE: A YEAR LIVING ON WILD FOOD)

"For those who give a damn about the planet but still want to enjoy a beautifully crafted pint of the finest, Booze for Free is absolutely compulsory reading. Sláinte Andy" (Mark Boyle, author of THE MONEYLESS MAN)

"Wow... it's brilliant! So many mouthwateringly delicious ideas and recipes!... But this is so much more than a 'recipe' book. Packed with fascinating and useful information about the world of foraging, not to mention a good pinch of humour, it makes me want to abandon life as I know it" (Brigit Strawbridge, star of ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’)

"Booze for Free is a book-of-the year contender... a book which I'll be reading again and again (trying out recipes and techniques as I go along), and you'd have to be drunk not to want to do the same!" (

"Andy's book reveals the treasure trove in our hedgerows, fields and woodlands" (Kate Humble)

Book Description

The definitive guide to home brewing hedgerow and garden wines, sherries and liqueurs, beers,

ales and porters, ciders, and also cordials, teas and other soft drinks.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home brewing made fun and easy 5 Sep 2011
This is a really comprehensive book, with so many different kinds of drinks, from cordials to wines to beers, to spirits infused with a variety of different flavours. I always thought that home brewing your own drinks was a long laborious process but I now know that I can have beer in a fortnight (about the time it takes to plan a party) and horseradish vodka in a few days.

As well as all the recipes, the information on equipment etc. and the brilliant glossary (almost a book in its own right) I've really enjoyed reading the narration of this book, which is a lovely, at times humorous, prose, as the author talks of the history behind different plants and drinks, and reminisces on his own home brewing experiences.

I highly recommend this book; I think a lot of people are going to have some great experiences because of it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"But by the fifth consecutive beer sometimes its not easy to care whether you've even got your trousers on".

That line made me cry with laughter because its soo true and was the reason why I purchased in the book in the first place.

I had heard it was good and was fed up of drinking the tap-drivel from pubs and go it alone and make my own.

Having no previous knowledge and using second had equipment from Grampies cellar, I'm actually amazed with Andy's guidance from the book, I've made some really nice tasking ale.

Andy suggests foraging and covers this in a sub chapter, to be honest, I cheated and used almost all supermarket bought products. If I can do this and make ales that actually taste nice, I bet you can too.

Frankly my hopes were not high & vomit bags were to hand at tasting time. The simple hop beer went really well, it was quite tasty & enjoyable. Oh and the Bay & Rosemary Ale was actually quite nice. I was a bit concerned at the bay leaves, they can be really powerful, but Andy was right with just 20 leaves, although it got better as time went on or how drunk I got from it *hic*

Well worth the read, especially if you're going to actually follow the recipes and make some of your own, if I can now brw my own, I'm sure you can too, even without cheating like I did.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for all and some great recipes 9 Oct 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
As a far of real ale and keeping traditions alive, I was more than curious about this title by Andy Hamilton, where it claimed you can get booze for free. What this title does in fact is give you a good all round grounding in the various options that you have available whether you want to make some wine, a beer or even cordials or tea's to help refresh your palette.

All of the options are explained in an easy to follow manner, takes the time to explain the terminology and also provides the reader with easy to follow recipes that will allow them to get to know what they like so that they can develop their own range at home. Obviously I haven't brewed anything up yet due to the time delay for the stock to mature, but I have made some of the cordials of which I have to say that the Dandelion and Burdock is my favourite as it has a fresher taste than the shop bought ones and to be honest, if you want it fizzy I'd say to make it with either soda water or even sparkling mineral, really refreshing and apparently healthy for your liver.

All in I have had a lot of pleasure reading this book and I'll have a lot more making a number of the products within. My only real disappointment is that I couldn't' find a recipe for mead which is one of the oldest drinks around.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmass Read 22 Dec 2013
By Wodgey
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Always looking for slightly different presents for my 'Have a Go' Father. He has been making beer for ages, this seemed a little different. Still to try all the recipies but the 1st few have been good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 7 May 2013
Nice and easy book to read and to follow. Well researched. Well written. Well worth the purchase. Would certainly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 24 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i bought this book for my husband and he loves it. It details everything you need to know and buy along with a lot of humour. would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good 16 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
brought as a present recipient enjoyed book and i look forward to some free booze, would recoment to others .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and informative 21 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has lots of recipe`s for making booze. Clear basic tips on processes and has a lot of information. There is not a lot of pictures and mostly text based.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars CHEAP BOOZE
If your new to home brewing its very good
But If like me who is not you will only like the recipes as it saves time searching the internet
Published 10 days ago by Ricki
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is an excellent book with lots to inspire the novice brewer (me!)
Published 10 days ago by Ms. P. M. Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this book, loads of great tips and very simple top follow.. This guy knows his stuff!
Published 20 days ago by Mr. S. J. Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing you cant find on google.
Its ok! Not quite "for free" but close. Perhaps I was expecting too much, its closer to a standard "how to brew wine and beer" rather than a foragers dream, it's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by R Copson
4.0 out of 5 stars but read and learn and watch nature a good learning
Price made it a 4 / 5, but read and learn and watch nature a good learning tool
Published 1 month ago by Bristol Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, well worth the money
Excellent book, well worth the money, helped me tweak a couple of recipes I've not been happy with and improved my free booze range enough for the money to be well spent.
Published 1 month ago by Ian Peel
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good book with helpful advice and instructions,I can't wait to begin to make my own beer!!
Published 1 month ago by Ita Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
v/good no problems
Published 2 months ago by robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
perfect for what i wanted and arrived in good time
Published 2 months ago by Manda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nicely written
Published 2 months ago by Cate
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