To Fred Bueltmann, beer is a religious experience.
He is so passionate about the malted beverage and how it complements different types of food, the self-proclaimed “Beervangelist” decided to put all of his thoughts on his favorite subject into a combined cookbook and lifestyle guide for beer aficionados.
The result is his first book, titled “The Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which gets released at 5 p.m. Wednesday at New Holland Brewing Company, 66 E. Eighth St.
“I’ve developed a lot of relationships with chefs and brewers over the years,” said Bueltmann, a New Holland part owner and its vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s part cookbook, part pairing guide and part lifestyle guide with a collection of essays.
“I’ve wanted to write a book for a number of years. My goal is to welcome people to flavor,” he added. “I’m just trying to help the home cook and the home entertainer up their game.”
The book, which features 33 recipes and color photographs of all of Bueltmann favorite dishes, is published by Black Lake Studio and Press in Holland. It retails for $39.99, but is available at the Wednesday release party for $30.
A few of his recipes will be reproduced and served during the party.
Among the special menu items being planned are scallops and onions, paired with White Hatter IPA, and Dragon’s Milk donuts, which incorporates popular Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout beer into the batter of a deep-fried beignet.
The donuts, which Bueltmann admits are “an indulgent bite,” are filled with beer-and-whiskey custard and topped with a Dragon’s Milk caramel drizzle and bacon-almond praline.
“Some of the dishes were inspired by specific beers,” he said.
All of the recipes in the book are his original creations or personal twists on classic dishes. Each includes a recommendation for pairing the perfect beverage with it.
“It’s all about flavors and style. You’ll see New Holland beer featured throughout the book,” Bueltmann said, “but it’s really about being able to make great choices.”
He hopes the book teaches people beer and food are a perfect marriage.
“I’ve had personal connections to all of these recipes. It’s pretty hard to pick a favorite,” said Bueltmann, 44, a music major in college and who played the electric bass and tuba professionally before getting involved in the craft beer industry. “Beer is such a beautiful companion to food. I just want people to know how to do it.
“It’s just a matter of selecting mindfully and connecting with flavor.”
“The Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy” can be purchased through Amazon.com, the New Holland Brewing Co. website or at its gift shop in the restaurant.
— Follow this reporter on Twitter @BizHolland.