Fall is officially here and it’s the perfect time for curling up with a good book. As mom to three fur baby bunnies, a lop, a mini rex and a Dutch, I’ve been reading Peacebunny Island, a true story about 16-year-old Caleb Smith’s journey to rescue, train and raise comfort rabbits on a private 22-acre island surrounded by water in Newport, Minn.
Like the dreamers in all of us, at a young age Caleb had a dream to make the world a better place through the power of bunnies. He started out selling fur from Angora rabbits to make yarn and has since launched the Peacebunny Foundation, which hosts rabbit-themed STEM educational programs.
Many beverage entrepreneurs also have big dreams and tales to tell about their beverages and the distillation processes that they perfect.
September is Bourbon Heritage Month and several new books are out to educate others about the celebrated 19th century history of whiskey distilling, Whiskey Row storage warehouses and the “backroads” of Kentucky.
These topics are brought to life in Karl Raitz’s book, Bourbon’s Backroads: A Journey through Kentucky’s Distilling Landscape. Blending several topics — inventions and innovations in distilling and transport technologies, tax policy, geography, landscapes and architecture — this primer and geographical guide presents an accessible and detailed history of the development of Kentucky’s distilling industry and explains how the industry continues to thrive. A professor emeritus of geography at the University of Kentucky, Ratz also authored Making Bourbon.
In his seventh book, Buffalo, Barrels, & Bourbon, F. Paul Pacult chronicles how the Frankfort, Ky.-based Buffalo Trace Distiller became the world’s most awarded distillery (more than 1,000 awards) through in-depth storytelling, pictures, timelines, sidebars and more. The book spans the time of Daniel Boone’s late 18th century explorations in uncharted Kentucky through the trials of the U.S. Civil War, two World Wars, Prohibition and the Great Depression to the present era.
Pacult has been writing about spirits since 1989 and his previous books include Kindred Spirits, A Double Scotch and the recently released The New Kindred Spirits.
Within the beverage market, hard kombucha is bubbling up, according to a recent survey from Boston-based Drizly, which found health and wellness is emerging as a top influence on alcohol buying. JuneShine, Boochcraft and Flying Embers are the brands dominating the hard kombucha scene on the Drizly app, it says.
With increasingly trendy fermented foods such as kimchi, sourdough and kombucha growing more popular, The Fermentation Kitchen: Recipes for the Craft Beer Lover's Pantry can prove helpful for the home cook, whether a foodie, craft beer enthusiast or fermentation fan.
The Fermentation Kitchen includes recipes for bread making, pickling, cheese making, methods for making vinegar and kombucha, and how-to steps for making charcuterie.
“It’s not a coincidence that fermented foods and beverages are having a moment right now,” author Gabe Toth said in a statement. “The DIY-craze spurred from COVID-19 lockdowns created a fermentation boom that’s still going strong. The Fermentation Kitchen is part how-to guide, part cookbook, and part reference manual on how fermented foods work and what levers you can pull to tweak your recipe. With the details in my book, readers will learn how to use craft beer to ferment vegetables, kombucha, bread, sausage, vinegar, condiments and more.”
There’s no better time than the present to read a book, learn a new hobby and/or craft a new cocktail from scratch.