45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Engaging and informative. My new favorite beer book.,
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.