This large format (8.75" x 11.25", 621 pages) encyclopedia of the plants used in making beer is a botanist's delight, one from which a careful brewer can extract useful information, though the book is not specifically set up as a problem-solving guide.
Author Giuseppe Caruso teaches forest botany and agricultural biotechnology at universities in Italy. The illustrations in this book are his own and speak to a sweeping knowledge of plants from around the world.
Entries are arranged alphabetically by plants' Latin names and detail synonyms, common names, descriptions of the plant, notable subspecies and related species, geographic distribution, parts that are used in beer making and how, the chemical composition of these parts, and beers in which they are typically used.
Icons help identify those which are commonly used, those which are used only occasionally or experimentally, which are poisonous or toxic, whether they are starch-producing or sources of simple sugar, and so forth
Brewers will not find detailed descriptions of the flavor qualities beyond what can be extrapolated from examples of the plant's use, but the book sets out an astonishing number of possibilities to explore.
Hardcover. Line illustrations throughout.