Do you enjoy the taste of a cool beer but can't tell a stout from a pilsner? If so, this book's for you! The Bluffer's Guide to Beer promises to provide enough information on beer so that the reader will be able to "bluff" their way through any conversation about it. It's not just beginners that will like this book, however, as the material will be informative for most beer experts, as well.
The book is organized into roughly four sections. The first is a quick timeline of beer history; this is quirky, but hard to get into, as the rest of the book's prose is stronger. The second section is a very detailed discussion of how beer is made. Anyone interested in home brewing or learning the differences between the brewing styles of various beers will love this section. Since I'm not a home brewer myself (at least not yet!), I found the general information interesting, but was lost in much of the details. The latter half two-thirds of the book are stronger, with a very practical section on serving beers and a very handy guide to the different styles of beer. These beer-style profiles are excellent for beginner beer aficionados and accomplished hop-heads alike. The profiles are organized by country of origin (England, German, Belgium, Czech, and American, as well as a rundown of the top-10 mega-brews). There is also a very functional beer glossary at the end, which will help a newbie figure out some of the common beer lingo.
In sum, I think this book really picks up steam as it goes on. I consider myself an intermediate beer expert and still found it very informative, which makes me think its appeal goes well beyond the beginners that "Bluffer's Guides" are aimed at. If you need a gift for a beer fan, this book would be a great idea!