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Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass


Jonathan Cook
ISBN: 978-1935874300
176 pages / Hardcover
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Just four years ago, if a brewery wanted to use local ingredients, they were limited to what farmers had on hand for other markets, such as honey or fruit. Today, the region fosters numerous small hop farms as well as several malt houses that use local grain exclusively. The public wants to eat local and drink local. As a result, breweries are now able to capitalize on a growing locavore economy by creating “beer from here.”

Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass by Jonathan Cook uncovers the emerging farm-to-glass revolution on the New England and New York craft brewing scene.

“As I studied the maps and travelled the roads—from farms to pubs, mountains to beaches and season to season—I began to get a deep sense of the complexity in this terrain,” explains Cook. “The reason we have this beer today is because a few intrepid artisans decided to pour themselves into the labor of making it happen. This is a book about the people, the land, and the process that makes for very special beer.”

Whether it’s the young mother who began her thriving and unique business by growing barley in her garden and malting it in her kitchen, or the incredible passion for the land of a brewer who began as a farmer himself, Beer Terrain introduces these people, their products and the land that supports them. Enhanced by an extensive resource section that includes information on where to buy beer-making ingredients and supplies, where to drink locavore beer and much more,  Beer Terrain is an essential guidebook for all beer enthusiasts who want to explore this terrain for themselves.

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“Craft beer drinkers rarely need an excuse to seek out the latest and greatest brews. . . . One other book to consider is Beer Terrain by Jonathan Cook. The author interviews locally conscious New Englanders in the industry, from a pioneering artisan malt house in Hadley, Massachusetts to a contract brewer telling farmers that he’ll buy all the organic ingredients they can grow.”

—Gary Dzen, The Boston Globe

“This book is in no sense a dry, technical manual. Jonathan and Suzanne have enjoyed their odyssey and convey it from the wonderful People’s Pint in Greenfield, Massachusetts to the Peak Organic Brewing Company in Portland, Maine.”

 Richard Morchoe, The Sturbridge Times


“Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass is an impressively informed and informative descriptive overview of the domestic brewing movement throughout the northeast. Thoroughly ‘reader friendly’, Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass is enhanced with the inclusion of a section devoted to beer brewing Resources. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass could well serve as a template for similar regional-based works related to micro-breweries and the growing do-it-yourself brewing industry.”

Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Jonathan Cook and Suzanne LePage have been brewing beer with homegrown ingredients since 1999. That year, they toured New England brewpubs on their honeymoon. Beginning that spring, Cook worked at Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine in exchange for a large share of vegetables. Since then, he’s worked at four other farms and two farmers markets. Writing opportunities arose at that time, as well. His 12-year newspaper career resulted in more than 1,000 stories on a wide range of subjects, highlighted by two constant themes: endangered farmland and the regional brewing industry. Cook also runs the 5,000 square foot Chef’s Garden at the historic Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

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