Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (January 3, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #100,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #24 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine Pairing #93 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Beer #108 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine
We used to homebrew. We wouldn't be caught dead drinking the rotgut that the megabrewers sell. I've read and reviewed several books about beer, from cookbooks to beer history. So when I say that Beer For Dummies is a lot of fun to read even if you are an experienced hophead, I hope you understand how intensely I mean it.Sure, if you're just getting your feet (or taste buds) wet, this book will be a good introduction. The authors do a good job at explaining the basics of how beer is made, how to match food with beer, and all the just-getting-started stuff. But I rather suspect there are several competing books -- or even websites -- that can accomplish that.What makes this book so enjoyable is the "Hey how 'bout that!" information that accompanies all those basics. Sure, it makes sense for Beer for Dummies to describe beer glasses (and how to correctly pour). But in the discussion of "sport drinking tools," alongside kwak glasses and Stiefels (or boots), the authors mention that the yard glass holds about 2.5 pints of beer. Okay, sure. And then adds, "The world record for emptying a yard glass is a scant 5 seconds; the previous record of 12 seconds was held by former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, achieved when he was a student at Oxford." (Now that's MY kind of politician.)And in a discussion of what is (and should be) on beer labels, a sidebar on "Watchdogs through the ages" explains that one of the oldest public offices in England is that of the ale-conner, or taster, "a post created by William the Conqueror in the 11th century in order to keep ale prices and quality in line," and the position still exists today. Also, Shakespeare's father was an ale-conner.
"Beer for Dummies" contains 324 pages and covers a breathtaking array of topics from beer basics (e.g. ale vs. lager) to technical aspects of brewing (e.g. mechanical workings of gravity/pressure dispensers) to the art of beer tasting (e.g. beer tasting in cultures around the world).Novices looking to get initiated into the world of beers may find themselves getting more than they bargained for because as in most books in the "Dummies" series, "Beer for Dummies" doesn't just scratch the surface but covers the subject matter in a fair amount of detail. As such, this book is much more than an introduction to beer for novices, it is a how-to manual for beer-making, a beer taster's guide to the nuances of different types of beer, a primer for those seeking a refresher on their knowledge of beer, and more...The book gets quite in-depth into the different varieties of beer and the distinctive quality of each variety. The introductory chapters alone (namely, chapters 1-4) will very quickly bring you up to speed with recognizing and understanding the differences in the bewildering varieties of beer.The following rough outline will hopefully serve to give you some idea of the scope of the book:Chapters 1-4 (pp 1-59/324) classify beer into two broad categories (ale and lager) followed by their sub-categories, and describe the general characteristic of each category/sub-category.For example, beer is classified broadly as ale and lager. The ale classifcation consists of Porter (brown, robust, baltic) , Stout (dry, sweet, oatmeal, foreign, Russian imperial), Brown Ale (mild, English brown, American brown), Red Ale (Irish red, amber, Scottish), Pale (American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale), etc.
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