Earlier this year, I had the great pleasure of being an associate editor of The Wine Trials 2011. The Wine Trials 2011 is a wine guide that showcases 175 wines under $15 that beat $50+ bottles of wine in a series of brown-bag blind tastings. I’d like to share with you a new blind tasting adventure that my buds at Fearless Critic lived to talk about, called The Beer Trials. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to partake in this adventure or even have one frothy Belgium Blonde – beer that is!
Because of my involvement with The Wine Trials 2011, I thought that it would be best to keep my mouth shut, with my butt firmly planted on the couch in front of the TV watching football while my Sunday beer pal, P. Collins, poured out her thoughts on The Beer Trials.
Here’s P. Collins’ assessment of The Beer Trials…
When Mark asked me to review The Beer Trials I figured – sure, I like to read and I like beer. Reviewing a book ABOUT beer should be a snap – right?
Let me start off by sharing what I personally liked about the book before sharing what I disliked about it.
I loved, loved, loved the actual beer ratings themselves (pages 60+). As I read through the beer ratings I had a feeling much like I had as a kid when my family would get the new Sears Christmas catalog and I’d page through the toy section marking off all the items I wanted Santa to bring me. I love beer, but with living in the first state, I must say that the selection of beers in local stores is fairly vanilla, so it was great just being able to read about the different beers that are out there in the world beyond my small state’s borders.
Also helpful in the reviews was the price indicator – so I know which beers I’ll need to take out a second mortgage to buy. I also tried very hard to “study” or at least take an interest in the Family/Style of each beer – I felt the need to come away at least somewhat more educated about beer than when I started the book.
As for my dislikes of The Beer Trials, I think I can sum it up into two chapters – namely 1 and 2. I literally had to re-read the first two chapters of the book 3 times and felt like I needed to pursue my PhD in order to get through the first two chapters. If I were reading this book on my own and didn’t feel compelled to finish it for purposes of this review, I probably would have put it down after trying to read chapters 1 & 2 the first time (and that would have been a shame because I would have missed out on all the great review information). I felt like the authors were trying to tell me something in those chapters that would be important for me as I read further, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. The first couple of chapters just felt way too “intellectualized” for me. But, it should be noted, that I’m more of a “boil it all down and give me the basics” kind of person. I didn’t need all the detail or all the science behind the experiment to “get it”.
One other thing that was just…well… weird to me was the inclusion of “design” comments in the beer reviews – commentary on the labels or the bottles. Just seemed really out of place and sort of had me scratching my head wondering what the point of that was.
So, is The Beer Trials for you? If you are someone who likes beer and reading about different kinds of beer, yes, it’s for you – just skip to chapter 4 and then the beer reviews. If you are a science geek who likes beer and reading about beer then you might consider this your holy grail.
Thank you P. Collins sharing your thoughts on The Beer Trials!
If you are interested in purchasing or finding out more about The Beer Trials or The Wine Trials 2011, you can find them both at Amazon. They might make for a nice, inexpensive gift for the beer or wine lovers in your life.