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Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,004 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Everyone knows how to drink beer, but few know how to really taste it with an understanding of the finer points of brewing, serving, and food pairing. Discover the ingredients and brewing methods that make each variety unique and learn to identify the scents, colors, flavors, and mouthfeel of all the major beer styles. Recommendations for more than 50 types of beer from ar ...more
Paperback, 247 pages
Published February 11th 2009 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  2,004 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If asked "why do you like beer so much," it would be difficult to find a better answer than "read Tasting Beer and you'll figure it out." Mosher is well-known in the world of beer geekery and homebrewing, with years of experience under his belt, and this book clearly demonstrates his knowledge and passion for brew.

Everything about the book is extremely enjoyable. While many experts and aficionados talk about their topics of interest in a way that makes them seem elitist or holier-than-thou, Mosh
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book made me really thirsty. Seriously -- it took me over a month to read it, because I couldn't sit down with it without a glass of beer to keep me company. It's impossible to read the lush descriptions of malt and hops without sipping along on something with those flavors.

I learned a lot from this book. I now know why I hate IPAs and why I love nut brown ales. I want to make myself a Black Velvet (a cocktail that's half stout and half champagne). I want to try practically every style ment
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, brewing
Since I started homebrewing a couple of years ago, I've read almost two dozen books on beer and brewing, and I'd estimate about a hundred blog posts and articles. Few of those have been anywhere near as delightful as Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer. Mosher's love of this agricultural/culinary art form is manifest in every word and every figure of this book. He lovingly describes each style in visceral, sensuous detail. He illuminates the history of beer and beer-making (even the boring taxation aspe ...more
Zuzka Jakubkova
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent guide on beer for both novices and pros. Personally, I loved the chapters on context of beer brewing in history and chapters describing in detail ales, IPAs, etc.

Even though I'm not a beer pro in any way, I was very happy to discover a world after the ever present pilsners. It's just like with specialty coffee, the whole concept of finer (or just different) tastes seems extremely snobish at first. In reality, it's just finding your way around a variety of craft beers and learning what
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful for a relatively new craft beer drinker. Looking forward to continuing my beer journey.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I had a little trouble rating this. While it is interesting, I found it difficult to get through quickly. Part of that may be the way it is organized and all the distracting, but interesting, little sidebars, in the book. To me, it is more of a reference work and I've tabbed a number of pages that I know I will want to go back to at some future point. He provides a lot of historical information about the development of beer, indeed he is not alone in declaring it, along with bread, as the food t ...more
Jason Pettus
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I decided to lump both Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer and Joshua Bernstein's The Complete Beer Course into one communal review and post it twice, because both books turn out to cover almost exactly the same ground and are of almost exactly the same quality. That quality is great, though, don't get me wrong, in both cases exhausting looks at the process by which beer is actually made, followed up by a detailed examination of roughly 100 different types of beer around the world, and what makes each o ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bit of a conundrum: there are large parts of this book which are very hard to take in because of the technical complexity of the processes they describe; there are other parts I'm not really all that interested in (eg the procedures that are followed in judging beer competitions); and even in the remaining more straight-forward parts, covering history or describing beer styles there is a lot of repetition. Yet nonetheless I found this a really admirable book, and one I am bound to return to.

Bert Heymans
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very comprehensive and fun to read. You'll learn a lot. The parts about Belgian beers are all very correct as far as I can tell. I even got the audio version on Audible, still very enjoyable given the amount of lists in the book. The narrator has a hard time with the pronunciation of everything in Dutch, German and French (hard to decipher and a bit funny too at times).
Mar 12, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
Not enough info I didn't know to keep reading...
Eli Hornyak
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read if you truly love beer!
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, nonfiction
There. I read a book for work!
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
There is a lot of knowledge in the book, but is it well written and fun to read. Chapters about tasting and history are fantastic and very insightful. Parts about food paring and beer examples are written in a US-centric way, but apart from this the book is well suited for an European reader as well, as metric units are provided in nearly all cases. A must-read for a beer geek.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Having had my fill of epic fantasy and philosophy for the time being, I decided it was time for something completely different: beer. Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer is a detailed instruction manual for becoming not only a learned taster of beer, but a serious professional. Mosher’s expertise is well-represented in this book, but his style is simple and flowing, making it easy for even a novice to understand and appreciate his wisdom. His work exudes passion, not pretentiousness, making it an enjoya ...more
Derek Wolfgram
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
bought this after hearing Randy Mosher speak at the American Homebrewers Association Conference in Oakland... he provides a very entertaining and informative look at all aspects of enjoying beer. He reviews the history of beer, how the brewing process contributes to the resulting product, and how to evaluate beer, not only from a judging perspective but also from a pure enjoyment perspective. The book is full of interesting little facts, such as the fact that the "tongue map" of sensations we'v ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beer
If you're trying to learn about beer, this book is outstanding. It has to be one of the best medium-length guides to all things beer, including tasting, history by region, a bit on brewing, serving, glassware, a bit on draught systems, flavors, off-flavors, colors, a bit on pairings, and fairly extensive (though limited) introductions to all styles, even historical ones. If you're pleasure reading, it might be a bit much, but if you're intermediate to advanced in learning about the world's most ...more
Jill Miller
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this for a class I was taking, and found it to be quite an enjoyable textbook! There is a wealth of information in the book, and many excellent illustrations. The beer/food pairing section is especially good. My only complaint is that the book wasn't organized quite as well as I wish it had seemed a little jumbled at times. Overall, quite an enjoyable and informative read, and WOW, does that guy love beer!!
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this for a book club. It's a great reference to have, but not the kind of book to read straight through. I learned a lot and now would like to try brewing at home in order to learn more about the brewing process. He mentions a lot of neat events his organization puts on in Chicago that I'd like to attend. Highly recommended.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
While a little repetitive at times this book does a great job explaining the origins of beer, the specifics of beer tasting as well as the nuances that make each type of beer different. Good for any casual beer fan looking to learn more about the history behind the beer they are drinking. This book has earned a prominent spot on my coffee table!
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that covers everything you'd want to know about beer. Includes many perspectives (historical, scientific, culinary) and breaks down every beer style imaginable. Whether you want to know what cheese pairs best with a Doppelbock or how the industrial revolution helped the proliferation of lagers, this book has it.

And now that I am thirsty, I must conclude this review.
Eddie Black
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am flipping back and forth through this book. I have tons of bartending books and this is the best one on beer that I've ever come across. Highly recommend this book.
Liz De Coster
Interesting, but for serious beer geeks only!
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can't say enough good stuff about this book. This book was recommended to me as a study guide for the Level 1 Cicerone Beer Server Exam. I told some of my co-workers I was reading this as preparation, and they assured me that if I just read the study guide our bar manager gave us, I'd pass the test no problem. I didn't need to read a 367-page book to pass the exam. They may be right, but this was honestly such a good read, I didn't want to put it down. Enjoying an IPA at the end of the day is an ...more
Rajiv Chopra
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture
I actually do like this book quite a lot. It is well written, with lots of information. I do love the quotes he brings into the book, and this liven it up quite a lot.

While I am not a beer expert, I wonder if the USA is a beer heaven, as he claims. Possibly, yes. The march of tasteless beers due to steady commercialisation is inevitable.

Some of the technical aspects went over my head, and this is the only reason I give it four stars instead of five.

All in all, a really enjoyable book
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great book to pick up if you're interested in all things beer - from history and styles, to tasting and pairing. This book offers a general, beginners overview of the world's greatest drink. With plenty of pictures. Recommended for early enthusiasts - proper beer geeks will not find anything new here.
Chad Walker
This is surprisingly compact given the amount of information in here. It’s also impressive how you can either read it straight through as a beginner or keep coming back to sections as an expert to remind yourself of basic things you get cocky in your knowledge and forget. This is the beer book that I first indulged in as part of my obsession, and it’s still in my top two or three. Prost!
Katie Stoyka
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the history behind the styles. In the chapter on American beer there was some comparison with similar styles from other countries (as in, this one would be more hoppy). I’d wished there was more of that description of differentiating, which to me was the most helpful in understanding how to define styles. Fun read.
Konstantinos Stais
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! I want to drink every beer out there, taste it with every food available, read every other beer book there is, brew any form of beer possible, and in general dedicate my life to beer.
Honorary mention goes out to anyone who was involved in the discovery of beer many many years ago, but also to Randy for making this book so friendly and readable!
Max Finnance
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Work book club: The quintessential book to take anyone from a very casual beer curiosity to being able to hold their own in a heady conversation with beer geeks or pros. Well formatted, thorough, and great technical editing. 10/10 would recommend to anyone whose interest in beer extends beyond keg stands and funnels.
Brent Nelson
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Completely packed with information not only about the different styles of beer, but also a brief history of beer (as a whole and regional differences), notes on the smells and tastes one might encounter while drinking, and some of the science behind the brewing process itself.
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