Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Special Offer

To everyone out there on the Etherwebs:

I received an email from the publisher of The Beer Guide, Savory House Press, stating if you order the book through their website, you'll get a dollar off the cover price! It's all ready a great value at $9.95, but to get it for $8.95 is simply icing on the cake.

I forgot to mention in my review that the bulk of the entries from RateBeer.com are from average people--not everyone who writes these reviews and rates these beers are BJCP certified.

Again, for those of you who are on the run often, or go exploring to new beer/wine/liquor stores, and encounter a lot of bottles that you may have questions about, this is a sweet book to have on-hand.

Here is the link right to the product page: The Beer Guide @ Savory House Press.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Review: The Beer Guide

The Beer Guide, edited by Josh Oakes

Published by Savory House Press, Fort Worth, Texas.

Have you ever had the experience of walking into your local beer purveyor, checking out their selection, settle in on a sixer and ask yourself, "is this a good beer?" For most of you, I would imagine the answer is a big fat yes. Luckily, I received a copy of The Beer Guide, from Savory House Press, and it seems to solve this very issue!

Josh Oakes, the editor of RateBeer.com, pulled together 2,700 reviews based on user feedback (30,000+ members) from the website, into a well thought-out and portable hand guide. Imagine what the Zagat Survey is to restaurants, this is to beer. What makes it neat, is its size; it can easily fit into the glove box of your car (or your back pocket) making it really handy to take into the store.

The majority of the reviews are spot-on and very witty. "This is the only beer that managed to travel through my esophagus in both directions at the same time," Corona Extra; and of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, "something to be savored."

There are some hits and misses, such as reviews that don't match the rating (a one to five-star system), or missing ABV figures, but they don't detract from the overall book.

The selected entries do a great job of covering a wide selection of beer. Not every beer makes a showing in the book, but with nearly 3,000 unique reviews, you would be hard-pressed to find a brewery that is not represented. And, let's be honest, this book would be HUGE if it had everything.

At the end of the book are three nice appendices: updates & corrections, and two pairing guides, written by Stan Hieronymus. The first for pairing food to beer, and the second for pairing a beer style to food. Both have an easy to use cross-index by style and cuisine/drink. This is very, very handy if you are going to a restaurant that caters to a specific style of food. Crab for dinner? Try a Belgian blond. Only have porter on hand? How about steaks, or some Gorgonzola cheese for a tangy twist?

Overall review
It tastes great: super convenient size, extremely affordable ($9.95, The Beer Guide @ Amazon.com), makes for a clever gift.

It's less filling: minor grammar/spelling issues, a few mismatched ratings--all of which can be corrected in a future edition.

It's last call: Buy. A must-have for those on the go and who are serious about their beer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Let's get it started, in here

New times, new posts, new awesomeness. Everyone, sorry for the hiatus, things happen, you know.

So, back to starting your own brewery, the brewing industry, homebrewing, and all stops in between!

Expect a book review this week--I'll drop a hint, it's The Beer Guide, built from input provided by RateBeer.com's member base.