Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Beer Guide from RateBeer

I picked up this inexpensive book a few weeks ago. The Beer Guide is a compilation of user reviews from ratebeer.com for over 2,700 beers. This pocket guide lists the brewery, the style, and ABV for each beer. Also included are a few user review quotes for each beer. Editor Josh Oaks doesn't hesitate to include negative user comments as well. To illustrate just how subjective beer tastes are, in many cases the users quoted give contrasting opinions. The 100 point RateBeer scale has been converted to a 5-star system for quick analysis.

I find the reference most useful when I want to quickly lookup a beer and get some basic information such as style and ABV. The book would be handy to carry also when shopping for beer away from home, when one might not be familiar with the beers available in the area. While I rarely choose to buy a beer based solely on user reviews at RateBeer or BeerAdvocate, it's handy to have some basic offline information. The Beer Guide also includes a chapter on food and beer pairings by Stan Hieronymous. This is an inexpensive reference that's proven to be quite handy. I'll definitely be taking it with me when I travel.

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