Beer: What to Drink Next

Michael Larson, Author
Michael Larson. Sterling/Epicure, $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4549-1006-0
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Though the world of beer becomes seemingly more complex every day, Larson's outstanding, illustrated guide will help expert and novice beer drinkers alike find that next crucial beer that's suited to their taste. Using the periodic table of the elements as a starting point, Larson painstakingly profiles over 90 different styles of beer, highlighting each of their peculiarities, flavor profiles, unique qualities, and suggested food pairings, as well as offering three beers to seek out if the style piques the reader's interest. He does a superb job of demystifying the seemingly endless tide of lagers, stouts, pilsners and ales, giving each specific style its own context. Every beer from the elusive Gose ("a rarity in the beer world, and a difficult beer to find") to the common American Lagers better known as the Budweisers and Miller Lites of the world get their equitable say. Those interested in seeing where their favorites fall in Larson's spectrum can use the helpful indexes to search by beer, breweries or even food pairing to find the right selection . U.K.'s Rawshock Design also deserves a pint or two for their terrifically crisp and engaging design. This, coupled with Larson's to-the-point prose, make it easy for the reader to quickly assess each beer's qualities. (Mar.)
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