Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp For Beer Geeks

A book review! AND a book giveaway! Yep, you read that correctly! You guys do know that I can read, right? Well, I'm reading this book named above, and sub-sub titled From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes. I happen to have just finished the first class of twelve, The Beer Essentials, and have started into the meat of the book. However, since I don't ingest a book a week, I decided to tell you about the book now, so that you can get it in a timely fashion! Heck, maybe I'll see you in class!

So read on... There is a giveaway at the end of this review, for a copy of The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp For Beer Geeks (affiliate link) to take to beaches and bars or wherever you people go to read. The copy I'm reading and the copy the winner will receive are compliments of the publisher.

Beer writer Joshua Bernstein created this book in a straightforward way, approaching beer beginners and aficionados at the same time. The beginners will eat up the easy and interesting descriptions of how a beer is made, while the geeks will love things like the comprehensive hop variety descriptions. From just Class One, I personally enjoyed the hops variety lesson, the glassware lesson and the "negative/positive qualities descriptor terms" lesson.

As I mentioned, I'm just barely enrolled in this course, but I've managed to read enough more of the book by browsing, though I will definitely keep reading and studying. I really like the "Two To Taste" suggestions for each style with several backup options listed in case the stupid beer laws in this country make them unavailable to you. And this dude Joshua isn't giving you some BS beer choices either. He regularly disses the big boys and picks really delicious options for each style.

Just one of three full pages of different hop varieties
Brewery profiles, foreign beer intrigue and food pairing classes are in my future. But for a reference point, let me leave you with how Joshua feels about beer styles. It was short of an FU to the elitist style assholes, but his statesmanship on the issue is understandable.
"Why do beers have to fit within neatly defined parameters? Short answer: they don't. To me, styles prove their worth as a general framework, a reference point for discussion, and a launch pad for future innovation. Consider style to be like an elastic waistband, stretching to accommodate a range of beers."
And this dude also listed the top five beers he drank while writing this book in an un-air-conditioned Brooklyn home: Victory Prima Pils, Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Troegs Perpetual IPA, Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, Allagash White. Pretty much, we can hang out, preferably where there is AC.

You guys should check out this book. The book jacket is beautiful, nice texture, color, interest. And the insides, the most important part, duh, is fun, entertaining, super informative and a very easy read. You will learn a lot and then be able to use this as a reference book for years to come. There is no way any of you know what character a Palisade or Delta hop will add to your homebrews!


So first, take a chance at winning a copy here. I know you all love my contests, but this one will be simpler than usual. In the comments section, write a paragraph about one area of the beer world that you'd like to know more about. Paragraphs are at least three sentences for this contest's purpose. Grammar matters too! What do you want to learn, why is it interesting to you, feel free to crack jokes and be funny, whatever. Keep in mind this is a giveaway from a real author and publisher so keep it PG-13. You can curse in another post.

I will pick a winner (my favorite) on Saturday 8/31 so don't delay. Don't worry, I won't play favorites. Deadline is 10 am Eastern on Saturday 8/31/13. Don't forget to leave me some clue as to who you are and how to reach you. (I'm talking to you, Anonymous!) If there is a dispute because I forgot something, I'll make something up to solve it later.

Update: If you are having problems with the comments or can't even see where the comments are, email me your entry dailybeerreview@yahoo.com and I'll publish it here.


Sascha said...

The most mysterious beer subject that hasn't been covered by any publisher yet is: what happened between beer 15 and 20. But seriously, what I would love to know more about is brewing with added ingredients that are unusual, like fruit in beer etc. There are many brewers that have brewed beer with berries or ginger, but little is known about the influence these ingredients have on the final product and the history that is behind this seemingly modern approach to beer - although I believe it's the most historically 'correct' way of brewing.

Sascha said...

By the way, you're the first person to review this book and I would love to know more about it. Has it been helpful in "learning" how to judge beer properly? I'm very interested. Thanks for your amazing blog.

Sascha said...

Oh s***. Forgot. If I should win: You can contact me via sascha.kuntze (at) gmail dot com

Unknown said...

First and foremost I love all facets of beer. I love the nuances of flavors, aromas and mouthfeel. What I would love to learn about is the actual science of brewing. I have a wonderful mr. Beer brewing kit and no clue how to use it. I love baking and I feel like that would be awesome to bake with my OWN beer!

Unknown said...

Ever since I fell in love with beer, Germany has been my Mecca. I haven't made the pilgrimage yet, but beer is the only reason I want to go and it's because the majority of their brewers still believe in the Reinheitsgebot. I thoroughly enjoy and can appreciate complex beers with unusual ingredients, but beer remains a product of four simple ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast. As a homebrewer, I want to understand and master the simple combination above. I want to know how to use beers brewed from only these four ingredients in cooking, drinking, and eating so that I can fully appreciate them. Michael Falduto

Unknown said...


Beer Drinker Rob said...

Thanks all for entering. The winner is Michael. Michael, I will email you and copy the publisher. You can supply them your mailing address to receive the book. Enjoy.