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Beer For Dummies

Beer For Dummies

Beer For Dummies

The fun and friendly guide to all things beerBeer has always been one of the world’s most popular beverages; but recently, people have embraced the rich complexities of beer’s many varieties. Now, with Beer For Dummies you can quickly and enjoyably educate your palate—from recognizing the characteristics of ales, lagers, and other beer styles to understanding how to taste and evaluate beer.The author, a beer connoisseur, shares his own expertise on this subject, revealing his picks for the bes

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  1. 4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    WayCool reading even if you are far beyond Beer Beginner, August 25, 2012
    By 
    Esther Schindler (Scottsdale, AZ USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Beer For Dummies (Paperback)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)

    We used to homebrew. We wouldn’t be caught dead drinking the rotgut that the megabrewers sell. I’ve read and reviewed several books about beer, from cookbooks to beer history. So when I say that Beer For Dummies is a lot of fun to read even if you are an experienced hophead, I hope you understand how intensely I mean it.

    Sure, if you’re just getting your feet (or taste buds) wet, this book will be a good introduction. The authors do a good job at explaining the basics of how beer is made, how to match food with beer, and all the just-getting-started stuff. But I rather suspect there are several competing books — or even websites — that can accomplish that.

    What makes this book so enjoyable is the “Hey how ’bout that!” information that accompanies all those basics. Sure, it makes sense for Beer for Dummies to describe beer glasses (and how to correctly pour). But in the discussion of “sport drinking tools,” alongside kwak glasses and Stiefels (or boots), the authors mention that the yard glass holds about 2.5 pints of beer. Okay, sure. And then adds, “The world record for emptying a yard glass is a scant 5 seconds; the previous record of 12 seconds was held by former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, achieved when he was a student at Oxford.” (Now that’s MY kind of politician.)

    And in a discussion of what is (and should be) on beer labels, a sidebar on “Watchdogs through the ages” explains that one of the oldest public offices in England is that of the ale-conner, or taster, “a post created by William the Conqueror in the 11th century in order to keep ale prices and quality in line,” and the position still exists today. Also, Shakespeare’s father was an ale-conner.

    If you can’t get a free beer from a bar-bet as the result of knowing that sort of stuff, I’ll be very disappointed in you.

    The book’s organized in six parts: Getting a taste of beer (beer basics, ingredients, process); beer styles (ales vs. lagers, what makes ale “real,” extreme beer, etc.); buying and enjoying beer (freshness, label lunacy, serving beer, cooking with beer); exploring beer (regional tastes, beer travel and tours, homebrewing); the part of tens (eg “ten ways to grow your appreciation of beer”); appendixes (reference charts and such). It’s told with quiet good humor. There’s no laugh-out-loud jokes, just chuckle-to-yourself moments, such as a beer-tasting subheading, “You can’t judge a bock by its cover.”

    I’ve already found several pages to dog-ear, such as a recipe for roasted garlic and onion soup (which uses a bottle of English brown ale) and lists of “spend a night at a brewery” (Did you know the Trapp family, from The Sound of Music, settled in Vermont with an alpine lodge… and brewery? Me neither).

    If you want a book of beer basics that teaches you far more than the basics, I can heartily recommend this one.

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  2. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    What’s on Tap, April 2, 2012
    By 
    JMack (Chicago) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Beer For Dummies (Paperback)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)

    As one reviewer has already noted, this book is a very basic book on beer. A Beer Geek would probably flip through the pages quickly finding little that he/she did not know. There are some unique approaches to explaining certain aspects of the beer market. For example, I think the chart that differentiated beer styles was unique and handy. For a drinker who is just beginning beer as a hobby, this is a practical book.

    I would have liked to have seen more “name dropping” of beer such as firsts in the field or recommended brands. I always enjoy agreeing or disagreeing with the opinions of others on the topic. I believe this would also have been helpful for the target audience of beginners.

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