The Beer Bible
Jeff Alworth applies his 15 years beer writing experience to providing an essential handbook for beer lovers. He divides the book into 6 parts. The first covers the history of beer, how it is made and how to taste it. The next four parts cover beer styles and the final part covers the enjoyment of beer. The tasting chapter in the first part is especially good, providing the beer drinker some important tools to build on. His groupings and breakdowns of styles and substyles are not as extensive as some but they make sense for the beer drinker. He groups styles into Ales, Wheat Beers, Lagers, and Tart and Wild Ales. For each substyle in these categories he describes the style, discusses its origins and how it is made. He also profiles a brewery that makes the particular substyle and describes 6 beers that exemplify the style. The example beers are generally beers with a fairly large distribution. His flavor descriptors are good and from reading them it is obvious that he has actually had the beer he is describing. The final part on the enjoyment of beer covers serving and storing beer, pairing beer with food, pub behavior and beer tourism. He concludes with nearly 50 pages of appendices with useful information for the beer lover. If you like beer and want to know more about it, buy this book.