Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Beer For All Seasons by Randy Mosher

Release Date - April 7, 2015

Randy Mosher
Storey Publishing, LLC

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

If you enjoy beer and really think about it, there are many seasonal beers out there. A crisp, citrusy lager in the summer, the range of spiced dark ales around Halloween and Thanksgiving, a hearty, chocolatey stout in the middle of winter. That's what Beer For All Seasons captures. The author takes each season and offers suggestions of the beers that match the season perfectly, and even offers a few tips on the foods to serve with them.

The book begins with a history of beer. Scattered in each chapter are plenty of colorful photographs of pints of beer, the bottles beer comes in, and even delves a bit into what cicerones do when judging a beer. There is also a beer dictionary and a guide to the glasses you should serve your beer in.

From there the book delves into each season:

Spring - a time for bock beers and the different variations. The book discusses foods of spring, such as lamb, and great beers to pair with it.

Summer - a time for grilling, relaxing in the sun, and sipping on a lager, Wit/Weisse/Weizen, Hefe. There is brief mention of the IPA in summer, something I found sad as IPAs to me are the creme de la creme of beers. The refreshing essence of citrus peel in such beers as Sculpin or the pine notes in beers like Heady Topper and bitterness of the beer definitely catches the attention of your nose first and then the taste buds of your tongue.

Fall - Oktoberfest takes center stage in this chapter. There's also plenty of talk about pumpkin beers that have become so popular.

Winter - Here you'll find discussions of holiday beers, barleywines, and even beers that pair well with chocolate for Valentine's Day. 

Along with the details of the beer, each season is covered by some of the brewfests held in various cities. Some of the mention, such as Burlington Vermont's BrewFest, is really quick. The BrewFest here sells out quickly, in fact, last year the tickets were gone the same day online sales opened. Other beer fests get more attention, such as the Alaskan Beer and Barleywine Festival. I realize there are tons of beer fests to cover in little space, so don't be surprised if your favorite festival gets just a quick mention in the listings.

All in all, the beer aficionado is going to really enjoy Beer For All Seasons. With recipes, pairing ideas, and plenty on the beers themselves, there is a lot to take in and enjoy.

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