The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks

Shelf Talker by | Dec 2013 | Issue #83

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks
By Joshua M. Bernstein
Sterling Epicure, September 2013, $24.95

With all the info about beer out there these days, it’s hard to teach a beer geek something he or she doesn’t already know. But somehow Joshua Bernstein, a veteran beer & food writer, has dug up enough history to keep even the most jaded nerd turning the pages for more juicy info. Each category of beer (lagers, Wheats, Abbey-style Ales, et al) gets clever treatment as a “course,” as Bernstein guides the reader through brewing history and flavor profiles. He’s not afraid to name his favorite beers (the digestible “Two to Taste” sidebars) or profile the breweries he most admires (Victory and Duck-Rabbit among them). Bernstein writes with the authority of an expert palate, and his signature dose of wit sets his beer writing apart. What makes this book a must-read, though, is the details that conventional beer history seems to have forgotten—like what made pre-Prohibition Trommer’s Brewery famous, and why Newcastle Brown Ale is nicknamed “the Dog” in the UK. Definitely high among of the best beer books of the year. 

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