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Teachings From the Tap: Life Lessons From Our Year in Beer Paperback – May 14, 2012
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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About the Author
Merideth Canham-Nelson is one of the most experienced female beer travelers in the world. For over two decades, Merideth and her husband Chris have traveled the world together looking for the next great beer experience. Merideth has visited over 700 different breweries throughout the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia. Merideth lives in Carmel Valley, California with her husband, Chris and their two dachshunds, Porter and Stout.
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The development of craft beer in the United States over the last thirty years is largely a story of people driven by a spirit of adventure, passion for beer and hard work. By the end of their year, the Nelsons had visited over 700 breweries. If that's not passion, what is?
They deal with bad weather and days under the weather, foreign cultures and languages, driving in Europe, the hit on their savings, and much more. Through it all, they never question their commitment to the project.
Canham-Nelson writes well. Her style is humble, verging on awe of their growing acceptance as "beer writers." They make new friendships and learn a great deal. All the while, Canham-Nelson takes the reader along during a unique year. By the end, I was ready to hit the road in search of new beer experiences.
This would make a thoughtful gift for travelers and craft beer fans alike.
Facebook was rapidly becoming popular and it was easy for me to create my profile. When it came time to look for friends, Facebook recommended Merideth. Oh yea! I remember her. So I sent a friend request. Being the cool beer geek chick that she is she accepted.
When I learned that she was coming out with a book "Teaching From The Tap"- Life Lessons From Our Year In Beer. I was excited for her. I had reviewed 3 other books that came out in the past three years. I wanted to review hers. Chris gave me a link to CreateSpace where I could purchase the book and I waited anxiously.
When I opened the parcel I gasped at the volume of the book. 427 pages! That is a lot a reading. I read the dedication, the table of contents, the acknowledgements, and the introduction.
The Introduction gave me the necessary insight to the self discovery Merideth refers to. She introduces their adventures by defining the word geek. She takes a self deprecating definition. As you travel through the chapters and the months with Chris and Meredith's , Year In Beer, we see the very quiet, rather introverted pair go through an apologetic reference and evolve the term "beer geek" into a term any beer enthusiast would be jealous to own.
I liked the friendliness of Merideth's narrative. "This should be an easy read" I told myself.
Reading Merideth's book was like being on the adventure with her. If you are a self proclaimed beer geek chances are that you may find yourself in one of the chapters. Merideth introduces personalities they have crossed paths with and you may even find yourself in one of their chapters, in a tavern, a pub, a brewery or at a festival. I couldn't help but find myself playing the game of 6 degrees of separation.
Each chapter of the book takes you to the following month with a nice subtitle that is easy to make a connection with as you follow.
Through the twelve months of travel we feel the jet lag, homesickness. We get a glimpse of their idiosyncrasies and crushes. Frustrations are shared humorously and we are spared their domestics tiffs as wrongs turns are taken (but we can feel them). Traveling is stressful but the stresses are forgotten in the rewards of friends and fellowships, new relationships developed and the experience of enjoying beer from the source make it all worthwhile.
After reading the book I kept my eye out for book signings. Quite coincidently they planned a trip to Sacramento within 2 weeks of its release. With book in tow I went to meet them. It was like spending time with old friends. Chris and Merideth are still the nice, quiet couple I met several years ago. Only this time with a serious cool factor. And like the true beer geek that I am, I asked her to autograph it for me.
Cheers to Merideth and Chris for their adventures, The Year in Beer. Thank you for sharing them with us in your book, Teaching From The Tap. Your book elevates the term Beer Geek to a new status.