At the risk of sounding like I think a bit much of myself, you would think that I don’t need to read a book like Beer for Dummies. But here’s the thing, you never really know where you might get that next bit of knowledge, that next morsel that unlocks a bit of your brain. Even then one of the most important things to learning anything is repetition. (Do we need this disclaimer? Not really but I am throwing it out there anyway.)
So here we go. The book is Beer for Dummies, written by Marty Nachel with Steve Ettlinger. Marty Nachel is a certified beer judge (BJCP certified) as well as an award winning home brewer. The book itself is much of what you would expect from any book in the Dummies series. In and of itself the concept alone is pretty solid. When you get into the subject at hand, you are looking at a pretty large field to cover. So the question becomes do you create a 10 book resource or perchance cover everything but a bit more succinctly. The book isn’t all that big when you look at it from that perspective.
The copy I have is an older copy so some of the info is dated. Glaring examples of this are any of the internet references. (I just did a flip through and found a reference to America Online.) These are only minor issues that really don’t affect anything that is really important; more something to keep in mind if you go to find a resource and find it no longer exists. (This may not be as much of an issue in the more recent printing of the book).
For me one of the more interesting sections has been the section for beer touring. With the explosive growth of craft breweries we are experiencing now, it is good to have a base line reference with guidelines for exploring not only overseas but also in the US. The beer world is open to us and there really is quite a bit to explore.
Another aspect to consider when looking at books similar to this, if you seek to expand your geekitude in a major way by either BJCP certification or Cicerone certification, you need study guides. The Cicerone program is similar to the Sommlier program for wine. It is a benchmark to say you really know some stuff.
Time for a pint…