The Beer Enthusiast's Guide: Tasting & Judging Brews From Around the World
by Gregg Smith
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Publisher: Storey Books
Storey Books 1994 Unread. Minimal wear to cover. Faint soil to page edges. From The recent surge of interest in specialty beers and beer-making has brewed a potful of new books on the subject. Smith is one of a handful of new-brew experts making a name for themselves by writing for the regional brewing newspapers, such as Ale Street News, Barleycorn and New Brewer. His guide is a good introduction for anyone who wants to taste new beers and learn some standards by which to judge them. There are none of the homebrewers' recipes that many brewing books have, but the overflows with information about the brewing process, how to classify unknown beers and how to become certified as a judge for tastings. Clear and useful charts appraise the color, taste and body of beers; two appendices list U.S. brewpubs and microbreweries, and homebrewing supply stores. Unfortunately, the organization of the text makes some of this information hard to find. For instance, Chapter 6, "Preparing for the BJCP Exam, " doesn't explain what the Beer Judge Certification Program (of the American Homebrewers Association and Home Wine and Beer Trade Association) is until 12 pages into the chapter. One often has the feeling of having missed the meat of a section, only to find the missing information in another chapter. The best advice is: keep reading, the information is there. 1994 From BooklistEven if you've already blown your beverage-book allowance on one of Michael Jackson's lavish beer tomes (his Beer Companion's the latest ), scrape up the kale to add this exemplary little tract to the potables shelf. Smith's aim is to make us discriminating beer bibbers--indeed, to enable us to pass the Beer Judge Certification Program exam (which was started by hobbyists to help raise standards of quality for home brewing). Accordingly, the last chapter is "Preparing for the BJCP Exam, " but before it Smith succinctly yet in plenty enough detail describes beer history, the brewing process, beer styles, beer characteristics, and the natural ingredients of brewing. So this a superb short course in beerology (so to speak), one given permanent reference value by a surprisingly thorough index, a glossary, references, and appendixes including state-by-state listings of home brew supply shops and brew pubs and microbreweries. Ray Olson.