Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Books on beer: Fall releases from Sterling Epicure

           Image credit:  Sterling Epicure
This month, Sterling Publishing aims to educate and expand your knowledge of beer with the release of two new books on their Epicure imprint.

The first of these, from Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont, might be seen as a companion to the duo's all-encompassing World Atlas of Beer.  As for the other, the latest effort from Joshua M. Bernstein follows his previous title Brewed Awakening, which covered current trends shaping the craft beer industry.

The Pocket Beer Guide:  The Essential Handbook to the Very Best Beers in the World
by Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont

Working in collaboration with over two dozen international contributors, Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb have compiled what amounts to a modern update of revered writer Michael Jackson's Pocket Guide to Beer. More than 3000 beers are rated on a star scale, which shares similar language to that used by Jackson in his earlier work.  Select breweries and their products are broken down by country and region of origin, oftentimes accompanied by a local "Destination" that has been singled out as the "best of the best for local or regional beer enjoyment."  The book is necessarily concise to maintain portability, but the listings provide a valuable starting point for your beer explorations, whether they be near or far.  Additional features include a style guide, as well as a section on beer and food pairings entitled "Beer at the Table".

Available in paperback at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble and other retailers.

The Complete Beer Course - Boot Camp for Beer Geeks:  From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes
by Joshua M. Bernstein

Surveying the array of topics covered in The Complete Beer Course, it's hard to argue with author Joshua M. Bernstein's choice of title.  He starts with what he calls the essentials, discussing how your beer came to be (ingredients, brewing process, packaging), followed by how best to enjoy it (serving temperature, glassware, how to taste).  Middle chapters focus on developing style awareness, as Bernstein encourages you to drink your way to an appreciation of better beer.  Appropriately, lessons begin with lighter fare, gradually working up to brews of higher gravity and greater complexity (barrel aged beers, sours).  After which, Bernstein works to "Bring it on Home" both literally and figuratively with guidelines for cellaring and pairing beer with food.   It's as much a reference book as it is a curriculum guide, meaning it should appeal to a wide range of readers, regardless of their level of beer expertise.

Available as a Nook Book at Barnes & Noble, or in hardcover at B&N, and other retailers.

Review copies furnished courtesy of Sterling Epicure

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