In my continuing quest to learn everything I can about beer I picked up a copy of Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher off of Amazon a few weeks ago. They had a sale where the Kindle version was only $3 down from the normal $9, the dead tree version is $11. I would recommend the kindle version because at its core this is a reference book. Being able to open it up on your phone in a bar/bottle shop and search for the style of beer you’re looking at is where this book will shine in the long run.
With the name Tasting Beer, I expected loads of information on how to taste beer and what to expect from styles. I was slightly disappointed though. It was quite a way into the book before you reach any information about what styles bring what tastes, aroma, etc… I say I was slightly disappointed, but that was really only due to my expectations and assumptions of what this book was. I am extremely happy with this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about beer. Most of the book is about the brewing process, ingredients, and loads of history. The history includes general beer history, style history, country-specific histories and stories of how their beer styles developed. This is a great part of the book, such in-depth historical info.
Once you get to the stylistic taste info there is pretty good info including brewing location, Flavor profile, aromas, balance, seasonality, pairing suggestions, and suggested beers to try. However all of this info and far more is available from the BJCP site as well as Beer Advocate or Rate Beer. So if you’re just looking for style info stick to the internet and pass on this book.
We just, quite coincidentally, got an email sent to us from Inkling. Inkling is an interactive book app/website that enhances books with links and fancy. They contacted us about this book, not knowing that I’d recently finished it and hooked us up with a little trial action to check it out. Having already finished the book I didn’t dig into it too much, just skimmed around a bit on the web. Seems like a fun way to read the book, they also have some “tasting record” forms you can fill in with your notes about styles. Overall it may be a bit cheesy, I’m also light-weight peeved that there is no Android app. I realize iOS still dominates tablets, but the majority of smartphones in this world run android… anyway, I digress. Regardless of any of that they’re selling this app for $1.99 next weekend. I have no interest in shilling their stuff nor allegiance to them, but I am always interested in saving you money!
In the end, I suggest this for everyone and I think it’d make a great gift for the beer fan in your life plus a sweet book to have on the shelf or coffee table.