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10th March 2022

A botanical guide to plant species used for brewing beer with distinct flavor profiles (July 2022)

The Botany of Beer: An Illustrated Guide to More Than 500 Plants Used in Brewing

By Guiseppe Caruso

With a foreword by Marika Josephson

July 2022

“Brewers like to talk about how beer makes connections. These are never stronger than when the ingredients used to make a batch come from a world we know. Giuseppe Caruso has created a voluminous guide to making this happen. Open it to any page and you’ll think, “Yea, I can make a beer with that. A connection, too.” –Stan Hieronymous, author of Brewing Local: American-Grown Beer

From mass-produced lagers to craft-brewery IPAs, from beers made in Trappist monasteries according to traditional techniques to those created by innovative local brewers seeking to capture regional terroir, the world of beer boasts endless varieties. The diversity of beer does not only reflect the differences among the people and cultures who brew this beverage. It also testifies to the vast range of plants that help give different styles of beer their distinguishing flavor profiles.

This book is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated compendium of the characteristics and properties of the plants used in making beer around the world. The botanical expert Giuseppe Caruso presents scientifically rigorous descriptions, accompanied by his own hand-drawn ink images, of more than 500 species. For each one, he gives the scientific classification, common names, and information about morphology, geographical distribution and habitat, and cultivation range. Caruso provides detailed information about each plant’s applications in beer making, including which of its parts are employed, as well as its chemical composition, potential toxicity, and examples of beers and styles in which it is typically used. The book also considers historical uses, aiding brewers who seek to rediscover ancient and early modern concoctions.

This book will appeal to a wide audience, from beer aficionados to botany enthusiasts, providing valuable information for homebrewers and professional beer makers alike. It reveals how botanical knowledge can open new possibilities for today’s and tomorrow’s brewers.

Giuseppe Caruso teaches forest botany at the Mediterranean University in Reggio Calabria and biology and agricultural biotechnology at the Istituto Tecnico Agrario “V. Emanuele II” in Catanzaro, Italy. He holds a doctorate in environmental and applied botany and researches the flora and vegetation of southern Italy, as well as habitat recovery and restoration processes. He is also a beer expert and taster.

Marika Josephson is the James Beard Award–nominated co-owner and brewer at the Scratch Brewing Company in Ava, Illinois. She is a coauthor of The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your Own Beer from Scratch (2016).

July 26, 2022

576 pages

978-0-231-20158-2 cloth $34.95 / £28.00

978-0-231-55417-6 ebook $33.99 / £28.00

Science / food and beverage

Columbia University Press

Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History

Press release from Columbia University Press

For more information, to request a print galley, a finished book, cover art, or to check any quotes before publication, please contact Meredith Howard at