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Cheese & Beer Hardcover – April 16, 2013

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Seeing how both beer and cheese are universal, this is a global tour of gastronomical and sensory delights that will have you scouring both the local and import ailes." (John Holl, All About Beer Magazine)

"The rise in cheese connoisseurship has coincided with a delicious growth in quality beer appreciation. Janet draws on her keen palate to describe nuances in the many different beer styles and then recommends great cheese partners for each category. Cheese & Beer is an excellent guide that explains how different beers are crafted and what gives these different types their synergies with superior cheeses." (Max McCalman, San Fransico Chronicle)

About the Author

Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of more than 20 books on food and wine, including Cheese & Wine (more than 80,000 copies sold);The Cheese Course; and Eating Local. She writes a weekly cheese column for the San Francisco Chronicle and is a former staff food writer for the Chronicle whose journalism earned three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award. Her food writing has appeared in numerous national consumer magazines, including Saveur, Bon Appétit, Better Homes & Gardens and Food & Wine, and her bimonthly cheese column for Specialty Food reaches a trade audience. Janet trained at the Culinary Institute of America and at Berkeley's celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant. She resides in Napa Valley but teaches cheese-appreciation and cooking classes around the country.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449421849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449421847
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy D. Hotze on June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As far as I know, this is the only recent book that has paired two of my favorite indulgences, clearly noted in the book's title (yes, cheese and beer).

The book has clear descriptions of several kinds of cheese and beer, and gives top-to-bottom instructions on how to get the most out of your purchases (from how to save and store cheese and beer, to how to serve both - what temperature and under what conditions - to get optimum flavor). I found the instructions on storing cheese especially informative; my girlfriend and I frequently buy a few varieties at a time and only consume a fraction of each. Fletcher's advice on storing has helped ensure that the other half is still fresh when we come back to it.

Having said that, the book just isn't as great as I'd hoped. First, the book is far from encyclopedic. It covers most of the bases of cheese and beer, but if you're looking for a comprehensive guide with tasting notes and pairing ideas for a variety of cheese and beer, look elsewhere (or start making your own- I'd be glad to help, er... research).

However, the real knock against this book is that it really skews towards the easy-to-find in terms of both cheese and beer. This may be intentional (no one wants a list of products you can't find anywhere), but it means that the pairing options are really middle of the road. The beers skew first towards Belgians, and additionally towards Californian craft beer. I love Belgian beer, and California has some amazing breweries, but it feels to me like someone is giving instructions on how to shop at a central coast Whole Foods instead of giving the variety of options that are available at a rapidly growing number of stores. And that's the biggest shame.

For a book published so recently, the beers listed feel dated already, and that's a shame because I wanted this book to be featured prominently on my shelf for years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.P. Bary on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Devotees of craft beers will undoubtedly love this well organized, succinctly written and lavishly illustrated guide since it focuses on the subject of beer and cheese pairings, but anyone who enjoys the challenges of experimenting with taste will find it rewarding.

Wine and cheese are often erroneously thought of as natural companions. In fact, only a limited number of the myriad possible wine and cheese combinations make great pairings. They are simply such outstanding exceptions to the rule that they obscure the fact that, in general, the vibrant flavors and creamy consistency of most cheeses interfere with the ability to taste the subtle flavors in a great wine. (They can also mask the flaws in lesser wines, however, which can make them useful in another way.) Beer and cheese, on the other hand, are more natural companions because the carbonation in the beer helps to refresh a palate by scrubbing away the creamy residue of the cheese and prepare it for the next bite.

Craft beers, with their pronounced flavors, provide more opportunities for outstanding matches than their blander mass market counterparts. But there is also more risk of a jarring mismatch, so it's helpful to understand the factors that make some combinations work and others fail. Janet Fletcher, cheese columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and a prolific author and coauthor of many books on food, wine and sustainable living (including a companion book on pairing cheeses with wine), is an ideal guide. In this lively and eminently readable book, she gives us the tools to make good everyday pairings and find the surprising and extraordinary matches that make experimenting worthwhile.

Fletcher describes many proven pairings, but her objective is not simply to catalog these consensus match-ups.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Autamme_dot_com on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book had this reviewer daydreaming for a while, remembering long, hot summer lunches in a traditional English pub, consuming a fair amount of English ale and eating crusty sandwiches, overflowing with cheese and onion! Lovely.

So what better way to kill a few hours, dream a bit about good food and possibly broaden your horizons at the same time? This is a little book of discovery, of voyage, of dreams. A book about a good marriage. A union of two things that can vary wildly in isolation, yet when together they can be a "match made in heaven". Forget about mass-produced supermarket cheeses and industrial brewing of beer, look more towards artisan cheeses, craft beers and an enjoyable experience. This book provides both an overview and a pairing-off recommendation to two dozen different beer styles and what cheeses could go best with them. Along the way, a lot of information and education awaits you.

Of course, some of the products might not be available in your locality, but the author has thought of that and tried to focus more on the type of a product rather than a given name. Even if, for some reason, you have difficulty obtaining the same "ingredients" you can have even more fun mixing and matching yourself.

There is more to this book than just a series of food and drink matches. It is very deceptive as the descriptive text could appear to be quite limited yet there is a hidden depth, a clear focus and a directed drive to everything you read. You receive background knowledge, informed guidance and inspiration to lead out on your own and make your own investigations. The world is literally yours for the taking, as long as you don't dislike good cheese and bear!

Some great photographs draw you in.
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