At last, a beer course for smarties.
The Short Course in Beer
The Short Course in Beer is a witty, interesting look at America's new food passion; delicious, well-made beer.
Why take A Short Course in Beer?
Because it’s time to learn what much of the world already knows: beer is complex, delightful and an interesting companion to good food. There are so many people who have discovered this lately that there’s a community of beer-lovers developing that’s devoted to and knowledgeable about good beer. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but this beer-loving community seems attached to some solid, earthy values that seem suddenly appropriate. Beer has become the drink of the energy-conscious, conservation-oriented, planet-sparing gourmet. You can raise a glass of something delicious and be on the side of the angels.
Because pleasure is a vitamin for the soul, and beer is one of the most available, affordable sources of pleasure in the world. I can, without stretching my budget, afford to drink a portion of one of the best beers in the world every single day. The same amount of money will buy a glass of fairly tolerable wine.
If you haven’t been paying attention, you might be surprised by all this: beer used to have a bad reputation in some places and it may have even earned that reputation once upon a time. How seriously could we take a drink associated with
• drunken kegger parties
• lager-crazed soccer fans
• freezing-cold tasteless liquid and
• moronic TV commercials?
For years, beer was trapped in a word-association game with the verb "swill."
He savored his _____ ? Wine!
She swilled her _____ ? Beer!
But things have changed. Some of the most creative minds in the world of taste are brewing delicious beer and others are cooking food to complement it. Historic craft-beer traditions are being revived, and new ones are being created. Brewpubs are brewing their own beer and home brew enthusiasts are following suit. There are craft-beer festivals and beer-tasting parties. For the competitive types, there are even competitions and medals and bragging rights. Most of all, there’s a lot of startlingly delicious, beautiful beer available for your pleasure. It’s time to get in on the fun.
When you finish this book, you will
• know that beer is a truly complex and wonderful drink, worthy of your attention and a companion for the finest food
• be able to make sense of all those wonderful flavors
• know how beer is brewed and where its flavor comes from
• understand the difference between the beers that are worth your time and digestion and the ones that aren't
• have a few thoughts about the place of alcohol in life
• appreciate the intimate relationship between beer and civilization
• know how to find and enjoy a good brew and have a laugh at the rest
• be able to speak knowledgeably about beer, whenever knowledgeable speech is appropriate