The Complete Beer Course
Joshua M. Bernstein,Sterling Epicure, New York, 2013
Joshua Bernstein is a Brooklyn New York beer writer with over a decade of experience. His work has appeared in all the top New York printed media outlets as well as Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Imbibe. Bernstein has organized 12 classes on beer, beginning with an intro class on beer essentials (how its made, components, how to drink, etc) and then he breaks beer styles up into seven major categories that actually make sense. In each category he discusses two or more subcategories and suggests 2 beers in each subcategory to try. In general the brews he suggests are fairly common and he provides a list of half a dozen alternatives. His reviews of the beers he recommends are accurate, to the point and not burdened with a lot of hyperbole. Drinking the beer while reading the review helps the reader pick out the various characteristics that define the style. He follows up the discussions of the major beer styles with a chapter on aging beer in wood, sour and wild ales, and international beer styles. Bernstein concludes with a chapter on aging beer at home and pairing beer with food. He writes clearly and engagingly. His book will appeal to the novice and the experienced beer lover. The experienced beer lover will desire some more detail in areas but still appreciate the discussion of various styles and the recommendations of beers that recommend a given style. Highly recommended.