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on 30 August 2017
Great book
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on 23 March 2017
Really good informative read.
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on 28 November 2010
A good book if you are into the history of beer, and more specifically into the history of Trappist/Abbey beers. It also gives you a full picture of places to visit if you decide to tour around Belgium. However, I would have expected more indications and technical details on how to brew those beer styles mentioned in the book itself. When talking about recipes, the author limits himself to a summary excursus of the ingredients used, as well as rough data about fermentation. Every now and then he mentions what percentage of malts to use, but nothing more!
If you are a novice and looking for recipes, well don't buy this book! If you are an advanced brewer, trust me you don't need to spend £9.13 to know that to brew a Belgian Trappist beer you need: Pilsener Malt, sugar (dextrose or Belgian candy), some dark/roasted malt, Saaz and/or Styrian Goldings hops and some sort of Trappist yeast.
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on 27 March 2014
This book is primarily aimed at Trappist beers but also covers some similar styles that reflect the range of beers produced by Trappist breweries.

As the author says, this is not a step-by-step on how to clone Trappist beers and does not contain any homebrew recipes as such. In the context of complicated beers such as these, 'recipe' is in fact a misnomer; replicating the grain bill, hop schedule, water profile and buying the 'right' yeast are not enough to produce accurate replicas of these famous beers. Having said this, anyone with a passing knowledge of recipe formulation should easily be able to knock up a recipe for any of the beers listed from the info provided, which is ample.

So, instead of 'recipes' he gives you an enormous amount of information on a range of breweries and beers, and leads you through an exercise in discovering how these beers come to be. The book is packed with breakdowns of beers and commentaries and details of brewing practices, and covers every aspect of production. Many pages are also devoted to individually introducing all of the Trappist brewing monasteries as well as a select few Belgian and American breweries, and for anyone with an interest in Belgian beer these are fascinating.

This is an excellent primer on Trappist and Belgian brewing, well written and entertaining to read. It is never dry, even when discussing the minutae of brewing practice, and the author is obviously very enthusiastic about the subject,
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on 1 December 2008
If you like abbey and Trappist beers and want to brew them this title should be self recommending and you will not be disappointed. It is packed full of information some of which is quite surprising. I am pretty sure I would be worried if my fermenting beer got to 30 centigrade. Apparently this is OK if brewing a abbey/Trappist beer. Blimey.

If you are not keen on this variety of Belgian beer but want to expand your brewing horizons I would still recommend this book. It will surely make you think about your processes and maybe change them.

Recommended.
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on 28 March 2010
This book was recommended to me and I was not disappointed. It is full of great information on trappist beers and has plenty of recipes for you to try out.
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on 19 February 2015
This book is getting a little long in the tooth now, but the information contained within is all still very relevant. Despite what the title suggests it’s more of a history lesson on the beers and breweries of Belgium, than it is a guide to brewing beers. The recipes for all of these famed beers are closely guarded secrets so what you’ll find instead are some best guess approximations, but even then you’ll probably struggle to replicate some of the complicated brewing methods. Thankfully the last part of the book has recipes of Belgian style ales from brewers at various well known US breweries that are a little easier to follow. You probably won’t end up brewing like a monk, but it is still an excellent read and gives a great insight into some of the inner workings of famous Belgian breweries.
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on 30 December 2013
A book I'd highly recommend, both for the home brewer and for the beer enthusiast who simply wants to know more about Belgian beer styles. A homebrewer myself and one who actually lives in Belgium as a result of having married a Fleming, I quite enjoyed the well-researched insight into the Belgian brewing mystique - and indeed Belgian culture - that the book has to offer. As other reviewers have surely pointed out, there are no recipes as such in this volume, but the general guidelines presented for each Belgian style will surely suffice for the experienced home brewer who wants to create his own interpretation of a particular Belgian brew.
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on 6 September 2010
A great book for any homebrew enthusiast or indeed anyone interested in belgian beers. Mainly a history book with style guides and some recipes. A great informative read that I would reccomend.
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on 31 December 2010
Entertainingly written monograph on all aspects of Trappist beer production and appreciation. Insight and anecdote in equal measure. Enjoyable enough for a recreational read; technical enough as a reference book. If you're looking for a book from which you can learn more about Trappist beers, you won't be disappointed with this one.
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