Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink
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Beer. It's the most popular drink in the world. Enjoyed at ballparks, in home-away-from-home pubs, on the family room sofa, and in every kind of restaurant, beer is at ease in any setting. For all beer lovers who have known the pleasure of draining a pint, Randy Mosher explores and explains the complete tasting experience as it applies to all the wonderful brews of the world.
Beer may be the common beverage of the people, but it is far from simple. With 10,000 years of history, more than 900 identified flavors, dozens of styles, and thousands of breweries around the world, beer is as complex as its grape-based neighbors in the liquor stores. It is an artistic creation, brewed from dozens of possible ingredients and processed in hundreds of different ways. Mosher guides readers to a better understanding of how every batch of beer is affected by each of the brewmaster's choices — recipe formulation, brewhouse procedures, yeasts, fermentations, carbonation, filtration, packaging, and much more.
Beer can be light, dark, mild, strong, flat, or fizzy. Hundreds of tastes can be detected in beer, from resin to toast, and from apple to smoke. Readers will learn how to identify the scents, colors, flavors, and mouth-feel of all the major beer styles. There are also chapters on proper serving and storage conditions, and classic beer and food pairings.
The second half of the book is a style-by-style compendium of the different brews within major beer families, including American craft brews, British lagers, German ales, and Belgian Dubbels. For each style there are historical and regional facts, taste and aroma characteristics, seasonal availability, food pairings, and a few terrific recommendations for readers to sample.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #4362 in Books
- Published on: 2009-02-11
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .90" h x 7.00" w x 9.20" l, 1.45 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 248 pages
- ISBN13: 9781603420891
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
"A radical passion for brews." —Bob Townsend (Atlanta Journal Constitution )
From the Back Cover
Everybody knows how to drink beer, but few know how to really taste it. Tasting Beer is a lively exploration of the culture, chemistry, and creativity that make craft beers so wonderfully complex. Heighten your enjoyment of every glass with an understanding of the finer points of brewing, serving, tasting, and food pairing.
About the Author
Randy Mosher is a public speaker, teacher, writer, and enthusiastic promoter of traditional beer styles. He is the author of The Brewer's Companion and Radical Brewing, as well as many articles and columns for All About Beer, the country's leading beer magazine.
A Must-Have for Current or Aspiring Beer Geeks
Before I review Randy Mosher's "Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink," let me give you a few calibration points so you can decide whether to take my opinions seriously or not. I definitely qualify as a serious beer geek. My travels around the U.S. nearly always involve visits to brewpubs. I'll drive hundreds of miles out of my way to have a pint of good craft brew, and I attend as many beer festivals each year as I possibly can. My favorite beers are Imperial stouts, barleywines and Imperial I.P.A.s, such as Alesmith's Speedway, Stone's Old Guardian and Moylan's Hopsickle (among many others). I enjoy the occasional Belgian (the funkier the better), and I consider Fat Tire to be an overly hyped "training-wheels beer" for people who don't know any better. I couldn't choke down a Bud, Coors or Miller if I were dying of thirst, and (yes, it's true) I tend to be a little snobbish toward people who are unwilling to expand their beer tastes beyond the Big Three. So, with that said, what did I think of "Tasting Beer?"
Well, there's a remarkable amount of information in its 247 pages, all of it presented in a very nicely integrated text-and-picture form. No matter what aspect of beer culture you're interested in, you'll find it covered to a useful level of detail in "Tasting Beer." Do you want to know more about the history of beer? It's in there, from 10,000 years BCE to the present, in a fascinating 22-page section. Do you want to improve your abilities to taste beer, and to accurately describe its qualities and complexity? It's in there--you'll learn how to distinguish 25 common flavors such as diacetyl, isoamyl acetate and fusels, and whether they're desirable or not. Are you interested in becoming more sophisticated in pairing beer with food? It's in there, both general guidelines and specific recommendations. Do you want to bone up on the bewildering variety of beer styles available? They're all in there, from the lightest adjunct lagers to Imperial stouts. Each style is described and characterized in great detail, including suggestions for which beers you should try that best represent the styles. There's a whole chapter on the modern American craft beer movement and its new styles such as wet-hopped ales, ultra-strong beers and other experimental types. I found the charts showing beer color, strength, etc., as a function of style to be especially interesting and useful, although all of the graphics and figures are exceptionally well done.
"Tasting Beer" is the best single volume of beer lore that I've read in many years. It is so good that a few of my other older beer books became redundant and have now found their way into the public library donation box. There should still be a place in the beer lover's inventory for such books as Roger Protz's "The Ale Trail" and Garrett Oliver's "The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food." But if you own only one beer book, "Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink," should be it. Cheers!
An Excellent Introduction to the World of Beer
Randy Mosher has been well-known in serious beer and homebrewing circles for years. His earlier book, Radical Brewing, is a classic for anyone interested in brewing and a wondrous font of cool recipes for beers to brew at home. Tasting Beer is a much more approachable work, aimed more at the general audience of beer drinkers out there than at us "beer geeks". It provides a broad overview of styles, tips on pairing beer with food, proper glassware and serving techniques, historical perspectives, and even the basics of sensory evaluation of beer. Profusely illustrated, including many helpful charts and diagrams comparing various styles of beer, this really is an exceptional work. It would make a perfect gift for anyone who is at all interested in any aspect of modern craft brewing. I like to think I'm fairly well-read when it comes to beer, but I was still fascinated and picked up several new and interesting beer facts.
If you're at all interested in beer, don't miss this great new book!
Very Recomendable Overview of Beer's Diversity and History
Tasting Beer is a good all around introduction to the history, diversity, and enriching ways to explore beer.
While it might be useful to share with beer novices and help break quite a few stereotypes and misunderstanding, it is also a nice volume for beer aficionados with plenty of advice and insightful background.
If anything the book might suffer from some top-down style narrative. Mosher tries hard to be amicable and casual, and more often than not does it well, but his occasional cheekiness sometimes can have a patronizing undertone. And while certainly this is a book that emcompasses a broad Western global perspective of beer, he slips a few times adressing exclusively a US readership, which for obvious reasons I find limiting and unnecessary.
And yet, these flaws remain in the background of what is a quite recommendable book. While I am just a small aficionado, he supported and expanded those things that I felt comfortable in knowing already, and excited the senses to explore quite a few that I did not know about, or did not know at that level of detail.