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Vintage Beer: A Taster's Guide to Brews That Improve over Time Paperback – March 11, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Vintage Beer teaches you everything you need to know about aged beers." ―Cool Material.com



"This is the manual for serious beer lovers who want to take their beer to the next level."
(All About Beer Magazine)

"Dawson's guide to vintage brews will have you making room in your crawlspace."
(BeerAdvocate Magazine)

"Dawson makes aging beer easy, using a variety of brews like ales, barleywines, and stouts as examples."
(Brew Your Own magazine)

From the Back Cover

"Consumers of all levels will be rewarded by Patrick's guidance, and as a brewer, I am pleased he has tackled an issue that is near and dear to my bottle-conditioned heart."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161212156X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612121567
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this for my boyfriends 26th birthday. We are both beer geeks but there is always something to learn. He has probably read this book 6 times cover to cover and still finds new information every time he reads through it. This is great or the beginner and the seasoned beer drinker
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer and may mislead potential readers. The word vintage to me referred to a drink (normally wine) of a given year (e.g. a 2008 vintage) or perhaps to mean an especially good year. So I thought this book would be just full of reviews of good or exotic beers I could buy in the stores. As a home-brewer, why would I want that?

However, this little book is far more than that and I think it's a must-read for anyone who takes beer seriously. It's really all about how some beers greatly improve with extended aging and why some don't. Anybody who has tasted a good 5-year old English barley wine and a 5-year old can of American lager will know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Mr. Dawson considers beer aging from many angles from the ingredients used to make the beer, how the beer is made, how it's stored, cellar design and even what sort of bottles to best use. He goes into a lot of chemistry to explain the aging process without confounding the reader.

As a home-brewer, this is wonderful stuff. Although the book is not specifically targeted at home-brewers there is so much information here that it can influence how they would make their beer. For instance, what are the best hops to use in an American barley wine? I didn't even know that this was an important question until I read this book. Apparently some hops improve the taste and some ruin it on aging.

It's not just for home-brewers. Collectors that like to buy commercial beer in bulk and put it on storage (a bit like wine connoisseurs) will find this book invaluable.

I've read a lot of books on beer making and much of the material here I haven't seen elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
Vintage Beer by Patrick Dawson.

While most beers turn bad rather quickly some do indeed get better with age – like finer wines and classic spirits. This is the second beer book about deliciousness I have discovered and read/reviewed over as many days. For the last book (Beerology) – by Mirella Amato I have the pleasure of knowing the author – in this case I do not (yet) but I like the approach in this almost pocket sized book –just shy of 150 pages. Both the books have presented unique profiles and charts of the beers and their flavor profiles. In this case we see aging profiles – charts of the beers (rarely - perhaps never before? used in the more popular – non technical publications).

Taking a self- deprecating approach to early failures the author shows us how he learned to overcome the issues with selecting beers worthy of aging and how to do it, then why it is worth doing so by providing some excellent sensory factors and descriptors for selecting many of the world classic beers (including the new Americana) to lay down for a year or a decade or two. I will be applying facets of his 14 rules into our own professional sensory training program.

Like a semi-technical book on cheese and cheese flavor chemistry I recently read the author takes us on a journey of not-too technical though relevant and sound flavor notes – origins and descriptors and how they change with age. Oxidation, normally the enemy of many beers, is shown as playing out - sympathetically with the styles of beers that can withstand long periods alone in the cellar or long-term cooler. The only disappointing feature for me was a lack (actually a complete absence) of references to sources of crucial information within the text itself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read several things on vintage beers (there's not a lot of info out there) and this is, by far, the most informative. Most information is just short articles that touch on one aspect of vintage beers. This book, however, runs the spectrum, not only giving you some examples of beers that can and can't be stored for long periods of time, but also gives you the information that you need to find beers not mentioned and know if they have the potential for aging gracefully. If you are a homebrewer, this book gives you the information that you need to design a beer that can be aged. I really enjoyed this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book. This book covers everything from beer selection criteria to what changes over time, how, why and what these changes mean in terms of aging potential and outcome. There is detailed information on aging profiles of certain beer, lists of know good cellar beers by style, expectations and aging length by style and more. I have no doubt that this book has improved my cellars future and saved me from making many poor purchase and bottle opening decisions. If you want to cellar beer or to know what is worth buying from a vintage beer bar (or private collection), this is a book you can't do without.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big beer enthusiast, and I have recently begun cellaring my beers. I was browsing on Amazon and saw this book and purchased it almost immediately. This book is as good as advertised, as Mr. Dawson takes the reader through the steps of aging and cellaring beer. Starting off with the scientific process of how the beer ages, to actual reviews of some styles that are prime for aging, and giving practical advice in setting up and maintaining your cellar, this book covers all the bases. The author keeps the reader entertained as the book reads quite well and isn't just dry facts.The only negative to me was that at times Mr. Dawson seems quite opinionated( which he definitely has the right to be).I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the great world of beer, even if they haven't begun aging their beer.
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