Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink
By Randy Mosher
Tasting Beer will bring any fan or server of beer to a new level of understanding to the world’s greatest drink regardless of experience or knowledge prior to opening the first page.
Tasting Beer begins as many other books about beer or brewing; it goes through brief history of beer and discussing the general brewing process. This is important for all beer books as consumers who are just embarking on the journey to beer-nirvana will learn valuable insight into the beautiful beverage in their glass through it’s production methods and historical roots. Mosher dedicates the next several chapters to the evaluation of beer including sensory skills, vocabulary, serving skills and judging. These are critical thinking skills that are rare in books about beer. The wine industry is full of books that educate the consumer on the skills necessary to become a knowledgeable wine connoisseur and Tasting Beer will become the go-to book for most people trying to learn more about their favorite beverage. These are sections that I routinely re-read to prepare myself for judging events, homebrew competitions or even an afternoon brewery hopping looking for my new favorite haunt.
After the reader is equipped with the necessary understanding of the process of brewing beer, the proper technique for evaluating beer, and the vocabulary to communicate what they are observing the book becomes a guided walkway through multiple styles of beers. The remainder of the book divides the wide world of beer into manageable and understandable families including British Ales, The Lager Family, The Beers of Belgium and many more. These sections all follow the same format with a section on the history of that particular family followed by the major subcategories contained within. The specifics of the styles are rather short easily comprehended for a beer novice but have enough technical information in tables and throughout the text to remain interesting for an experienced beer consumer.
My favorite part of this book is that while reading specific sections I would find the recommended beers that Mosher includes and enjoy them while reading about the families that they fall into. Enjoying an Orkney Brewery Dark Island while reading about the light toast and caramel notes that you may expect in the English Mild style is a pleasure that I have experienced and encourage all to enjoy. There is no better way to train your palate and your mind for critical beer evaluation than through practice and Tasting Beer delivers.
Tasting Beer is a must-have book for anyone looking to increase his or her understanding and evaluation skills of beer. This book is amazing for servers looking to understand some of the more vague beer styles that they may have in their establishment.