Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beer Books Make Reading Fun!

I have never been known to judge a beer book by it's cover.  I like to open it up, check out the Table of Contents, thumb through it a bit and decide if it looks like a winner.  When I picked up "Tasting Beer, by Randy Mosher, and thumbed through it briefly it seemed like a good pick up.  So I bought it.  Later that night I knew I had found a real gem.  I wasn't even on the official page one of Chapter 1, when it came to me.  It was in the preface (who really reads that stuff? Glad I did!), where it said in BIG BOLD LETTERS:

                         "Don't even consider starting this book without a beer in your hand."

Hello, what was I thinking!  I quickly grabbed a homebrew and moved on to Chapter 1.  The book bills itself as "a lively exploration of the culture, chemistry, creativity that makes craft beers so wonderfully complex.  Heighten your enjoyment of every glass with an understanding of the finer points of brewing, serving, tasting, and food pairing."  I would say they summed it up pretty good!

Overall, I really liked this book.  As a homebrewer, lover of all types of beer, and someone who is eager to learn more about beer, it was a good book for me.  I especially liked Chapter 3 (Brewing and the Vocabulary of Beer Flavor).  This chapter has helped me to be able to identify more flavors and aromas when I am tasting beer.  This has helped me when I attempt do beer reviews.  I always could taste and smell the beer, but now I am better able to identify what it is that I am tasting and smelling.  Sometimes it makes me sound smart in front of people, other times I just sound like a beer geek.

I also really liked Chapter 5 (Tasting Judging, and Evaluation) and Chapter 6 (Presenting Beer).  As a craft beer lover, I really like to turn other people on to good beer.  To do this, I like to have beer tasting parties every once in awhile.  These two chapters have helped me to host a few killer beer tastings over the last year or so.  Here's some visual evidence!

                I used to be a merchandiser at a beer distributor, hence the Miller Lite uniform

                                                I was feeling pretty good at this point!

This book as a whole is really good.  The other chapters are:  The Story of Beer; The Qualities of Beer; Beer and Food; Anatomy of a Style; British Ales; The Lager Family, Continental Ales, Weissbiers, and Ale-Lager Hybrids; The Beers of Belgium; Craft Beer in American and Beyond; A Sip Beyond.

This book is one that I have read more than once, and find myself thumbing through quite often.  I have been thumbing through Chapter 7 (Beer and Food), and am thinking of maybe incorporating some food pairings to go along with my next beer tasting.   What do you think, sound like a good idea?  So I recommend if what I talked about sounds interesting to you, then you should go out and buy the book.  It lists for $16.95 at my local book store.  I found it online at Amazon for $11 bucks or so and have it available on this my website in "My Favorites Store."   It's definitely a good pick up in my opinion!  It will have you before you get to Chapter 1, when it reminds you:

                     "Don't even consider starting this book without a beer in your hand."



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