Read This Book: Tasting Beer

8 04 2010

Tasting Beer: And Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest DrinkI
By Randy Mosher
Published by: Storey Publishing North Adams, MA 2009
Available in paperback at most bookstores and on Amazon

If I was ever invited to teach a college course on beer (byt the way: such invitations would be gladly appreciated and quickly accepted), Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer would be one of the main text books. Few people have been able to bridge the gap from homebrew god to mainstream beer legend. Mosher is one of them. Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Brewery calls Mosher a “true beer evangelist” and his passion for the subject shows through.

Tasting Beer is a rich and fun read. Dense with history and science but light with humorous anecdotes. Lots of illustrations help illuminate the information. And chapters are short with many subchapters. In many ways, this book looks and feels like a textbook for a college course.

Running through the history of beer to the science of fermentation and the physiology of tasting, the beginning of the book is a crash course on why you should sip and savor your beer. Then Mosher continues on with everything one needs to know to joining the legions of beer geeks. Finally, he goes in depth on historic beer styles. Mosher was on the original board for the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and helped form the modern beer style guide so you know he is familiar with the styles. There is also a very susinct chapter on food and beer. Do yourself a favor though, absorb the charts and graphs here and then go read The Brewmaster’s Table.

All in all, this is a great place to start. If you are just getting into beer, Mosher will walk you through the world of beer. He is your Virgil and on the other side, you will more confident, secure and knowledgeable about your beer drinking abilities.

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