My Beer Year: Adventures with Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers and Fanatical Drinkers as a Beer Master in Training

Shelf Talker by | Feb 2017 | Issue #121

My Beer Year: Adventures with Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers and Fanatical Drinkers as a Beer Master in Training
by Lucy Burningham
Roost Books | October 2016, $16.95

Lucy Burningham might have started out with Busch cans in the crisper drawer, but soon after moving to Portland, Ore., she found herself caught up in the city’s obsessive beer culture. A self-identified generalist, something about beer made her suddenly want to become an expert. So, the working mother set a goal: to pass the Certified Cicerone exam within a year. In this stellar example of what beer writing can be, Burningham documents her experiential study plan. She accompanies Deschutes’ brewmaster as he selects hops during the annual harvest; homebrews a Westvleteren 8 clone with strangers in Brussels; and inadvertently teaches her 4-year-old that a Pilsner is, in fact, a lager. Spoiler alert: Burningham passes the exam—only to spill beer on herself the first time she judges a competition. Which makes us want to have a beer with her even more.