by Charles W. Bamforth
Legendary beer expert Charlie Bamforth presents the most compelling social history of beer ever written: where it’s come from, and where it’s headed. From centuries-old cultural values to radical new approaches, craft brewing to globalization, it’s an amazing story. Bamforth tells it all–with humor, behind-the-scenes insight, and sheer joy!
As the first Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Science at University of California-Davis, Bamforth (Beer: Health and Nutrition) writes with passion and expertise in this semiautobiographical ode to beer. Discussing diverse topics such as the global consolidation of beer production, health aspects, the environmental impact of beer, and the nuances of beer quality, he attempts to cover a lot of ground in ten relatively short chapters. Referencing a Benjamin Franklin quote, the title not only alludes to the spiritual transcendence Bamforth finds in a glass of beer but also foreshadows the spattering of awkward considerations of religion throughout the book. Not meant to be objective outsider's accounts, Bamforth's stories are intensely personal. A sizable endnotes section includes additional stories and explains beer arcanum. VERDICT While Bamforth's knowledge is deep and admirable, only true beer cognoscenti would be interested in this somewhat disjointed mix of storytelling, cultural history, and advocacy.—Rukshana Singh, Torrance P.L., CA
Pub. Date: October 2010
Publisher: FT Press
Format: Hardcover , 237pp