Review: Beer School

This book ruined my holiday.

There I was thinking that I could have my 48 hours in Glasgow (“holiday”) punctuated by the pages of this promising education on all things beer. How wrong I was.

I read it front to back in 3 hours.

Now, you need to realise that I’m not a big reader of books. I have many books, but I have not read many books.

After a walk through Glasgow Green to kill some time and start my drinking at a slightly more acceptable hour, I parked up at Glasgow’s branch of the delightfully prevalent Brewdog. Mandatory hipster Instagram post of the Kirkstall Framboise done I began reading.

Clearly written mostly by Jonny Garrett in the first person, the time was enjoyable straight away. It felt like he was telling me his story, and I was captivated. But it’s not a story – is a relatively concise and to-the-point overview of how beer comes to be, in its varying styles, and how best to enjoy it.

Despite its lack of editorial flamboyance, it has plenty of character. This is important – it’s certainly an educational read, but I never felt like I was really learning – in the text book sense – instead I was enjoying finding out something interesting.

One of the main reasons I bright this book is that as I’ve been exploring on my own beer journey I’ve found myself asking more and more questions about the beers I’m enjoying (or not). Jonny begins Beer School by telling us about one particular beer adventure, and that he was looking for answers. He ends by explaining that he didn’t find this answers, but he did find a new favourite IPA.

Answers are exactly what I found in Jonny’s writings. So many of the questions I had are now answered, and I feel much more able to appreciate why my rates are what they are and what I am taking when my beer his the taste buds.

More than that, I feel and with the knowledge to better appreciate the beer I drink and to explore new beers and what to expect from them.

If you’re getting into, or already interested in, craft beer I strongly urge you to read this book. I wish I’d done so sooner!

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