Sunday 1 April 2012

Book Review - The Oxford Companion to Beer

Friday I finally did it. I went out and bought The Oxford Companion to Beer

Beer is, as the saying goes, "proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." The first major reference work to investigate the history and vast scope of beer, The Oxford Companion to Beer features more than 1,100 A-Z entries written by 160 of the world''s most prominent beer experts. Attractively illustrated with over 140 images, the book covers everything from the agricultural makeup of various beers to the technical elements of the brewing process, local effects of brewing on regions around the world, and the social and political implications of sharing a beer. Entries not only define terms such as "dry hopping" and "cask conditioning" but give fascinating details about how these and other techniques affect a beer's taste, texture, and popularity. Packed with information, this comprehensive resource also includes thorough appendices (covering beer festivals, beer magazines, and more), conversion tables, and an index. An absolutely indispensable volume for everyone who loves beer as well as all beverage professionals, including home brewers, restaurateurs, journalists, cooking school instructors, beer importers, distributors, and retailers. 

Over 900 pages thick, this will be a great resource for me in researching beer. I have used it already over the weekend when researching my latest Beer of the Week, Olvisholt Brugghus Lava Smoked Imperial Stout. Now it sits on my bookshelf just below shoulder height in an easy to grab spot. In a year's time, it will have lost that new book shine and should be a well-worn, well-used book. Another step for me along the road to true beer geekdom!

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