Showing posts with label why beer matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label why beer matters. Show all posts

Friday, September 2, 2016

#TheSession 115 - The Write Rail


Goodness me, where did August go? Seems like only yesterday I was hosting the 114th Session. For number 115 Joan of Birraire asks us to:
talk about that first book that caught their attention, which brought them to get interested in beer; or maybe about books that helped developing their local beer scene.
I want to start by stating the obvious, I love books. Whether we talking about beer book, historical novels, works on literary theory, scientific theory, or theology I have a constantly growing library that no Kindle or e-reader could ever replace. I have a near constant stack of about 7 books on the dresser on my side of the bed as I finish the top one, a new gets added to the bottom, or the middle. I read somewhat voraciously, any opportunity to read is seized upon.


Joan's theme though is specifically books about beer, and naturally I have a fair few, most that I use as reference books for my homebrew. Ray Daniel's 'Designing Great Beers' is an essential source for homebrewers in my world. Sure the history side of things can be questionable at times, but the analyses of various styles is very helpful when I am in the process of creating a recipe to try out. Just as valuable is Ron Pattinson's 'The Homebrewer's Guide to Vintage Beers', and while I have only brewed a straight up version of 4 or 5 of the beers there, I use the book again as a reference, looking for patterns in behaviour that I can interpret in my own brewing. The third in my triumvirate of regular reference reads for brewing might come as more of a surprise given how rarely I brew Belgian style beers, but Stan Hieronymous' 'Brew Like A Monk' is great reading.

When it comes though to beer books that I enjoy reading purely for their own sake, there is one writer that for me stands head and shoulders above us all (and admittedly I am stretching the definition of 'book' just a bit here), Evan Rail.

It may be that I am slightly biased given that Evan and I shared many a pint when I lived in the Czech Republic, but whether directly writing about beer or not I thoroughly enjoy reading his work. Evan's Kindle Singles are the kind of writing to which I can really only aspire, often witty, deeply profound, and drenched with experience. The singles 'Why Beer Matters', 'In Praise of Hangovers', and 'Why We Fly' are all wonderful, and the half hour or so it takes to read each one is to lose yourself for a bit as Evan draws you into his world.

Given that it is Friday, go download those three of Evan's titles on Amazon, sit with a pint or two of your favourite beer (it really doesn't matter what) and discover, or discover again, a fantastic writer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Beer Matters

Living in Prague, there were many times when I could be found propping up one of the bars at Pivovarsky klub. Often the choice depended on who was working in which bar, and if there was any space at that particular bar. Usually the main reason for my being in PK was to meet with friends, though of course the beer was also important - I could have met my friends in any of Prague's wonderful watering holes, but it was PK I preferred above all others. PK was also where I did most of my drinking with Evan Rail, author of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide to Prague and the Czech Republic and all round top notch person. To say I miss sitting in PK with Evan would be like saying a fish misses the sea once it has been caught.


Yesterday, Evan emailed me a copy of his new booklet, "Why Beer Matters", which is available through Amazon's Kindle Store, so when I got home from work I sat down with it and had a read. The booklet only takes about half an hour to read, though I imagine I will dip in and out of it often. One of the central themes of Evan's thesis is that beer matters because of it's essential egalitarian nature, that it is a drink enjoyed by the haughty as much as the hoi polloi.

I am not going to go into a thorough review here, other to say that at many points while reading, I was nodding my head, mumbling agreement and generally wishing we'd been having this discussion sat in PK. What I will say though, is that if you love beer and the beer world, click on the link and buy the book, it is worth every penny.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...

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