Great Beer Reads: Beyond the Pale

Beyond the PaleI’m sitting down to write these words at 8:00 p.m., Friday, September 18, but you won’t read them until at least September 29 when the post publishes, assuming I don’t mess things up. This time tomorrow, I’d better be on a plane nearing Tokyo, where I’ll catch a second plane to Delhi. Internet access will be intermittent and I’m not taking the laptop.

Below is the Amazon review I wrote February 22, 2015 for Beyond the Pale. Since then, I’ve visited Sierra Nevada’s Mills River, N.C. brewery where our beer bloggers’ group was treated to a fantastic dinner, and taken two of the 90-minute tours offered at the Chico, CA brewery. Last weekend, I sat in on Ken Grossman’s presentation, with Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo presenting Grossman, at the first California Craft Beer Summit in Sacramento. The man, the beer and the brewery he created are impressive.


I started reading Beyond the Pale on a leisurely Sunday morning and only stopped when I had to be somewhere else. By then I had read 44% and perused all the photos at the end of the book.

In telling the story of his life and the history of Sierra Nevada, Ken Grossman comes across as a very authentic, likeable guy. He admits to being a workaholic who’s always searching for ways to improve. His money-saving DIY stories from Sierra Nevada’s early days are amazing. Very few craft brewers would be able to build a brewery using tanks from defunct dairies and pumps and pipes from salvage yards.

Grossman’s story is an entertaining and educational read for home and craft brewers, craft beer enthusiasts and business people. The book might get a bit technical for someone without some brewing knowledge, but Grossman does a great job of weaving in succinct explanations.

Hollywood: this beer story has all the ingredients for a terrific movie!

Ken Grossman, Leslie, and German brewers from Brauhaus Riegele, Mills River, N.C.

Ken Grossman, Leslie, and German brewers from Brauhaus Riegele, Mills River, N.C.

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