Chicago Beer Travelers

Book Reviews Archives

A Book With Heart and "Spirit(s)": Beer is Proof God Loves Us

Rohit Naimpally

Pol Sci, Econ and Cricket geek who loves a good pint

In the next few days, you will be getting plenty of thoughts from Charles Bamforth, author of Beer is Proof God Loves Us. The book comes out on the 10th of October and is equal parts autobiography and ruminations on the beer industry. I had a very informative interview with Professor Bamforth this past Thursday: the transcript will be put up in two or three parts this week.

Professor Bamforth begins the book by noting that it was born out of a manuscript that was fundamentally autobiographical; part beer, part spirituality. He says "it is indeed a book about beer, albeit perhaps one that comes to the subject from a somewhat unusual, even obtuse angle. And yet, egotistically perhaps, it is also a somewhat personal perspective." (more after the fold)

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Book Review: The Beer Trials

Matt Tunnell

Frisbee player, beer lover

   We recently received an email from Fearless Critic offering to send us review copies of their new book "The Beer Trials."  Since fame hasn't yet gotten to my head, I decided to go ahead and review it.  The Beer Trials and its companion book, The Wine Trials, are based on the premise of blind tasting, which is what really sets them apart from other rating systems.  
   The editors selected 250 beers for evaluation based on availability (they tried to find beers distributed in at least 12 states) and on their origin with half from microbreweries and half from macrobreweries and of those one third are imports.  These 250 beers are broken up by some artifice into so-called families of styles in order to facilitate the blind tasting process. An index of the beers and their ratings, organized by style, is available at the beginning of the rating section of the book for quick comparisons.  I have some qualms with the selections that this resulted in.  Do we really need ratings for 5 different versions of Budweiser?  Moreover, many of the craft beers in The Beer Trials, including Deschutes, Kona, and Oscar Blues are unavailable here in Chicago and it seems like Midwestern craft brew gets underrepresented here.  I don't know if Bell's and Great Lakes meet the distribution requirements, but, in my mind they're likely choices for inclusion.
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