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121 Reviews
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and informative. My new favorite beer book.
I read Joshua's other book, Brewed Awakening, and so Amazon recently recommended this book to me. This is a hefty hardcover and the magazine-style layout is eye-catching -- there's a mix of candid photos, behind-the-scenes peeks, and product images, which are really well done. His writing style is casual yet informative, as if you were chatting with a beer-savvy...
Published 11 months ago by Dana E. Cox

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chock full of information
The book doesn't quite live up to its title of guiding readers from "novice to expert in twelve tasting classes" because after the first chapter (a great introductory opening on the wonderful world of suds) the remainder of the book is geared toward the devout and seasoned with a very granular and detailed survey on essential beer categories. For example -- Class...
Published 5 months ago by Sibelius


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and informative. My new favorite beer book., October 6, 2013
This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
I read Joshua's other book, Brewed Awakening, and so Amazon recently recommended this book to me. This is a hefty hardcover and the magazine-style layout is eye-catching -- there's a mix of candid photos, behind-the-scenes peeks, and product images, which are really well done. His writing style is casual yet informative, as if you were chatting with a beer-savvy friend.

The book is essentially laid out in classes, which explore different styles of beers such as lagers, wheat beers, Belgians, IPAs, and sours. The chapters examine the brewing aspects for each beer style, historical background, sub-classes of beer, and facts, facts, facts. I love history, so it's nice to get a thorough explanation of the origins of the Bavarian Purity Law and also of obscure beer styles. There are tasting recommendations for each sub-class of beer. However, living in the Midwest, a lot of the particular beers listed are not available to me here. The author was kind enough to provide alternate recommendations for just that reason.

The final chapter goes into cellaring beer and pairing beer with food (before this, my alcohol-pairing knowledge was pretty much limited to pairing white wine with fish and IPAs with spicy dishes). There are some solid guidelines to follow here, and I'm excited to try some out with friends. As with his previous book, this intriguing tome will help guide me in my travels, so that I'll know where to go and what to try. I can't wait to check out some of the gastropubs he mentions!

I am definitely happy with this book and it will be on my coffee table for the foreseeable future.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, October 21, 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
Not just a big coffee table book, smart, witty and throughly engaging approach. Wonderful gift idea for any level of beer enthusiast in your life.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for beer lovers, October 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
In my opinion this is a must have for beer enthusiasts. The first chapter goes over the brewing process, the ingredients in beer, beer packaging, and how to taste beer. Joshua M. Bernstein, the author goes through the different styles of beers, and gives two different beers that best exemplify the style. There are also alternative beers listed just in case they don’t sell the first two in your area.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like sitting with a beer-savvy friend at the bar, October 25, 2013
This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
Imagine going out with a friend who knows a lot - really quite a lot - about beer and sitting at the bar becomes this great, long conversation about beer and how it is made, and how each style obtains characteristic flavors. This conversation makes you thirsty for more and amazingly, there's a book to read that sounds just like your beer-savvy friend. We all have that friend in Josh Bernstein, who conducts home-brew hours and tastings all around NYC. Though I live far away, in Milwaukee, WI, I really enjoyed the guided tour from Josh, in print. What a treat! Well worth sharing with all your beer-loving friends.
Lucy Saunders
author, THE BEST OF AMERICAN BEER AND FOOD
organizer, conserve-greatlakes.com
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, January 2, 2014
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This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
For the beer lovers out there- this book is a detailed, comprehensive overview of beer drinking necessities. As a beer lover and brewer, I discovered some new tips, tricks, and suggestions that I had not known. Furhter, this would also be a great addition for as novice beer connoisseur. With glass serving tips, pouring tips, and pairing suggestions, this book doesn't disappoint.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chock full of information, April 12, 2014
By 
Sibelius (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
The book doesn't quite live up to its title of guiding readers from "novice to expert in twelve tasting classes" because after the first chapter (a great introductory opening on the wonderful world of suds) the remainder of the book is geared toward the devout and seasoned with a very granular and detailed survey on essential beer categories. For example -- Class #6 = "Trappist and Abbey-Style Ales," Class #8 - "Barley Wines." A more gentle ramp-up would have been appreciated to make this a proper staged learning experience.

Ultimately though this is worth a complete read through based on the strength of the book's visual design. Every page is beautifully laid out with great color and typeface utilization and really keeps your eye engaged across the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could almost be called "Idiot's Guide to Craft Beer", January 23, 2014
This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We love craft beer, have a home brewer in the house, and an existing extensive beer book library, so this book was a natural for us. This book is an easy, delightful read, and also a basic beers of the world guide. It is chaptered nicely in small groupings of styles, plus sections on brewing, history and geography.

It's People Magazine - very user friendly. You can pick it up, read or refer to something quickly, and move on. Surprisingly, it even has small side bars on obscure specialty and ancient brews. The info is solid and correct, and the author has lovingly done his research. I'm personally pleased with the inclusion of some local to us in Pennsylvania breweries.

Having read so many beer books, I'm happy to add this one to the collection. This is the book I would give to or recommend to someone who is interested in learning more about beer. Cheers! and a five star review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who wants to graduate beyond the 'big three' and consume great tasting beer!, November 29, 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
Fantastic!!!
So far so good. I have been reading this book in detail since I received it several days ago. I was intimidated by it's weight in the package when the UPS driver handed it to me :-O

But, as an individual who grew up with an Encyclopedia Britannica, weight = knowledge.

This book is extremely informative and easy to read. It discusses the history, chemistry, business, and classes of the craft beer industry. It dives into the complexity of creating a great beer with fun facts an enthusiasm.

A multitude of beers are described in detail and broken down by ingredients so that particular taste buds are satisfied.

Joshua B. has created a must have book for the slightly geeky to overly geeky about craft beers and everything they are about.

Thanks for taking the time to write this one, Joshua!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat book!, February 17, 2014
This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Everything you could want to know about beer. While nowhere in the book have I seen the author claim any formal certification or practical experience, other than *really* liking beer, he definitely knows his stuff. The book is stuffed with information but the casual writing style makes it fun and easy to read. You won't believe how many different classifications of beer there are, and the author gives you a couple of suggestions for examples that best define their category. I can definitely see the reader down at the local beverage market with a grand list of world-wide beers, hoping to discover a new treasure.

It had a positive effects on me. By the time I read through the first few chapters, I was looking up local beer maker supply shops and visiting our local micro-brew to get a sampler of their finest. I immediately got to put some of the practical knowledge to use - I knew about the glasses, the types, the terms on the menu - "cask conditioned" for example, and a little about the hops and aromas described. One thing that stood out in the text was describing "grapefruit" as a potential aroma in beer. I had never noticed a beer that smelled of grapefruit, but wouldn't you know it, the first sample the waiter brought at the brewery was unmistakably infused with a potent grapefruit aroma.

The only minor improvements I would suggest: a little more focus on domestic micro-breweries, and perhaps a regional map that visually shows where various hops, or breweries originate and what specific type and breweries one could find as they travel around the US. I would have enjoyed a chapter on home brewing. And, nit-picky, I would prefer the semi-gloss pages of many coffee-table books over the lower-contrast matte pages here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How many times can I repeat this class?, February 3, 2014
By 
Mary Esterhammer-Fic (Morgan Park, Chicago IL USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Visually pleasing, well-researched, engagingly written--this book belongs on every beer lover's shelf. It is not a guide to home-brewing, although it may inspire you to do so. Instead, it's a practical explanation of how different beers are made, and how to get the most enjoyment out of them.

As beer drinkers become more educated, and our palates a little more refined, and as more varieties of beer become available, we want to know what we're drinking. Like the birdwatcher who is at first content to observe the "usual suspects" at the backyard feeders, but who then feels compelled to visit bird-watching spots for glimpses of the less-common species and even the rara avis migrant, many of us beer lovers want to move beyond our comfort zone and enjoy tasting adventures. This book is for us.

Author Joshua M. Bernstein (BernSTEIN, how appropriate!) clearly enjoys his subject. He is a charming host who is just delighted to take his guests on a tour.

He begins with the basics, explaining what beer is and how to evaluate it.

He then examines different genres of beer: cold fermentation products, like pilsners and lagers, on to IPAs and stouts. Each section (or class, if you will) includes suggested examples of the beer he's describing, so you can experience the taste along with reading about it.

He also incorporates interesting little fact-boxes. What was Martin Luther's favorite brew? Einbecker. (Not included is that one of Pope Benedict XVI's preferred beers is Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse. You could do a little tasting party with just "theologians' beers"!)

As much as I like this book, with its features like the index and the glossary, I really wish the author had included a photo-copy ready template for tasting the various types of beer and rating their components. Also, his suggested samples are not easily available in a lot of areas, so even though he gives several fall-back options, he might want to consider REALLY easy-to-find beer. They may not be top-shelf, but the person who likes a particular type of beer will at least have a starting point when seeking out other brands.

And, this book may become dated at a certain point; new beers are constantly entering the market. A journal section at the end would allow the reader/student to add specific beers to the list and thus keep this volume current.

This beer course is great for self-study AND for approaching with a "study buddy"--who wants to drink alone, anyway? Especially if beer makes you convivial and social, and apt to discuss important topics....which may even lead to reforming an empire!
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The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes
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