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All Beer Experience

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Alex Barlow & Diane Barlow

There have been books and articles about how to taste beer before, but All Beer Experience is different. This is not just a book, it’s a complete package that provides everything you need in order to get to grips with the complexities of beer flavours.


All Beer ExperienceTo succeed with a major project like this, you have to start with authority. That’s what author Alex Barlow brings, with 25 years of professional brewing behind him. But All Beer is not traditional and stuffy; far from it.

From the colourful little bag in which everything fits, to the beautifully designed book that lies at the core, this is beer tasting for the modern age.

Let’s start with the book. It’s small in format, chunky and sturdily ring bound, so it’s easy to lay open and consult. Plenty of photographs, clearly defined headings and a judicious use of white space make it not only attractive but also easy to find your way around.

Step by step, Alex’s simple text takes you from the basics of beer styles through the fundamentals of brewing to the detail of sensory evaluation (including exercises for training your palate), rounding off with a batch of ready-prepared tasting sheets on which you can score beer characteristics, be they colour, aroma, taste or mouthfeel.

Alex and his wife, Diane, who has edited the work, have thought long and hard about how to make the subject fresh, interesting and easy to absorb, and the use of images, icons, diagrams, tables and graphs achieves the desired effect. Words are kept to a minimum but, in conjunction with the artwork, still manage to convey all you need to know.

Completing the pack are a smart, Duvel-esque tasting glass; some sachets of malt, so you can see, smell and taste beer’s main ingredient; and a card offering scratch and sniff aromas of three common hop strains.

The aesthetic value of the package has been recognized by the Independent Publisher Book Awards, which, in New York in 2009, presented the Barlows with a silver medal.

The contents, too, are worthy of recognition, as an easy inroad to beer tasting for those involved in the industry or those just keen to learn more about their favourite drink.

It’s an impressive product that deserves to succeed.

First edition (2008)

172-page hardback, plus tasting cards, glass and hop and malt samples (red apple pmc)

£19.99

Buy now direct from All Beer

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