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on 10 October 2014
This is a great read that is genuinely informative about beer. I think it's about the best General overview covering the basics,history, styles and the new craft movement I've read so far. The tone of the author when you first start reading comes across as a little irreverent and its only when you get into the book that you find that you're really learning something because of the easy going style (this is my first Bluffers guide so perhaps they are all like this). Would thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in beer.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 June 2015
Bought a whole bunch of these 'Bluffer's' books as Christmas filler. They all make for half decent reading and are actually generally quite light-hearted. Good fun present.
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on 4 August 2016
Money is all you need
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on 11 May 2014
A light-hearted and informative look at beer. Some great tips and interesting facts. An excellent overview to whet your appetite for a variety of beers.
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on 3 December 2015
I found this to be an informative and amusing read, ideal for a beer lovers of all ages. http://www.trulynifty.co.uk/
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on 17 December 2015
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on 29 December 2014
Great easy read.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 2 August 2013
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.
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on 18 January 2014
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!
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on 25 November 2015
When my boyfriend started taking me along to ale houses and micro breweries and all I could do was stare blankly at the board and ask for a "nice fizzy one" I knew it was about time I brushed up on my beer bluffing.

This guide was really helpful and now I feel I can compete with even the most seasoned publican.

We're going on holiday to America next month so the chapter on craft beers was particularly helpful. We've now got a list of bars and tastings to imbibe and enjoy!
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