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All a Beer Lover needs to Bluff their way in any company -beeriod!,
This review is from: The Bluffer's Guide to Beer (Bluffer's Guides) (Paperback)
Beer, loved by all but understood by the few and I am a recent convert to `real ale' so wanted to get this before I stagger off the `The Great British Beer Festival'. Beer is the catch all word for a number of brews that are essentially a mix of barley, malt, yeast and hops. This includes ale, stout, porter, pale ale, bitter and of course the ubiquitous lager. This little book does not set out to make you an expert in all things beer related; as the art to bluffing is having just enough knowledge to make people believe you know a lot - rather the opposite to "hiding you light under a bushel". Or is that light ale under a hop bush?
So we get a whistle stop tour of beer through the ages, right from the Mesopotamians brewing some crude concoction in 9000BC through other highlights like Louis Pasteur working out how fermentation works in 1857 and the zenith of all things beerology wise with the invention of shandy in 1922 by Bavarian, Franz Xaver Kugler. We then get a whole section on how the stuff is made and you will discover lager is bottom fermented and likes it cold and ale is top fermented and hankers after room temperature. So next time you are asked if you are a `top or bottom', you will be better equipped to have a witty riposte.
We then are told how to serve beer, and don't think those vino types get to have all the theatre, some beers have their own glass and some Belgian ones their own serving handle, think `Kwak' for example with its mini yard of ale contraption that can only be used whilst sober. Then we have a bluffers wiz through the world of beers with its origins in Europe and especially Germany, Belgium and of course Britain, but beer is brewed all over the world and America now boasts nearly 1,800 micro breweries or craft beers as they like to call them and Britain a mere 500 but ever growing. This is a much needed back lash against the big multi nationals that control so much of the beer in the world including Chinese `Snow' which is the biggest selling brand in the world and you have probably never heard of it.
There is oodles more in here besides including limbic beers the difference, or rather lack of it, between porter and stout and the fact that `CAMRA' was originally called `The Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale' and not as we know it today `The campaign for real Ale'. This will inspire you to get more appreciation from your booze of choice and also might even encourage you to get a bit more adventurous in what flows over your palate either way it is an insightful and witty read as well as being incredibly great to a would be bluffer. I received a copy for review purposes and I am glad I did as I have been encouraged to drink even more beer with the waffer thin excuse of `research'. I did so much research the other night that I phoned a friend in America, `missed' all over the downstairs cloakroom and chatted up a hat stand. There really should be a PHD available for this stuff you know.
Anyway this is the perfect accompaniment to any boozers library, author Jonathan Goodall has done a splendid effort in aiding you in ale quaffing `beervana' and if I meet him I shall buy him a pint - probably a `Moylans Kilt Lifter' or `Crutchend Gravediggers Mild' or at a push maybe a snifter of `Comrade Bill Bartroms Egalitarian Anti- Imperialist Soviet Stout' - bottoms up.