I have often mentioned how writing for The Brew Club has rekindled my passion for beers, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to review some of the world’s finest.
Alex Barlow a well respected beer writer from Sheffield (my old stamping ground) has produced “the ALL BEER GUIDE” and to accompany it “The ALL BEER EXPERIENCE” (his capitalisation).
The ALL BEER GUIDE weighs in at around three hundred pages, around seven inches square with a handy wipe clean cover and ring binding so that it folds completely flat while being used for reference.
Inside it’s incredibly informative, exploring the basics of flavour – teaching you how various flavours are formed and how to recognise them, then explaining how those flavours go together to make up 25 different beer styles including Ales, Lagers and Lambics. There’s explanations of brewing techniques, beer styles and so on.
It’s well written, copiously illustrated and very easy to understand.
The final hundred pages are comprehensive tasting forms lists for the reader to conduct their own beer reviews, with headings “See It, Smell It, Taste It, Feel It”.
And it even includes a checklist guide of causes in the event that a beer tastes ‘off’ – what sort of ‘off’ it might be and why.
The ALL BEER EXPERIENCE goes even further, coming in a neat carrier bag to match the guide, it includes a FLAVOURMAX™ tulip shaped glass with a nucleating feature in the shape of a hop – and for those (like me) who were wondering, a nucleating feature is that nifty etching at the base of the glass to encourage bubbles.
Along with the tasting glass there are small packets of barley and four different malts to explain the influence that the malt has on the brew. To complete the pack there’s a scratch and sniff card with three different hop samples to explore the influence that the hops have on this finished brew – the scratch and sniff was less successful for me, maybe Alex should include sachets of hop in later versions?
Make no mistake, this isn’t just another beer guide, this is a complete tutored Beer Tasting, by an experienced brewmaster, in a pack; it will guide and inform any beer enthusiast from the true beginner to more (ahem) experienced drinkers.
With Christmas coming I would recommend this unreservedly and, better still, they have a special offer for The Brew Club fans and visitors worldwide – check their website here and use the promotion code ‘TWEET09’ for £5 discount on delivery. While this was a complimentary sample, we’re not making anything off of any sales here, we’re just passing on a good deal on a great product to our readers!
Rating: without hesitation.