The Beer Trials

Today I opened my mail to find that the authors of The Beer Trials (one of whom is a friend of mine) sent me a brand new copy of their just published book! I am still enjoying The Wine Trials, which I have not yet posted on, but will someday soon.

The premise of Campbell and Goldsteins book (and the last as well) is to convince you that you should not and need not enjoy a bottle of wine or beer simply because the label tells you to do so. To persuade you of this, the authors have traveled the country brown bagging it...and letting blind tasters confirm their opinion that your palate and wallet may be in sync as far as quality and enjoyment of these adult beverages are concerned. However, should you be willing to pay a bit more for a glass, this guide will help you choose the beer that is right for you.

Obviously I haven't read through the entire book yet, which includes how the study was put together, why good beer can cost less, and a primer on the making and style of beer. The meat of the book consists of 250 different, beers? tasted blindly by a very lucky group of individuals. Each beer is beautifully described and assigned a price point (indicated by dollar signs) as well as a rating (1-10).

I don't pretend to be a beer aficionado, though I have taught many classes with beer professionals, my job providing the food pairing of course. However, being a St. Paul resident, I have the honor of living behind the Happy Gnome and down the road from the Muddy Pig, arguably the two best pubs with the two best selections in the state. Over the years I have acquired an expensive hobby...drinking truly amazing beer.

Naturally, I had to compare a few of my favorites.

First I looked up a classic, Saison Dupont, and was proud to see a rating of 9 (10 being highest). Next, Delirium 8, not bad. And lastly, Goose Island, IPS with a solid 9.

I think what I like best about this book are the descriptive write-ups on each beer. If you didn't know a thing about beer but really want to dive in, this is the book for you.

Obviously none of the truly great Minnesotan beers are mentioned: Surly, Rush River, Bells, naseum. Robin, for a taste of these remarkable beers, you will need to pay me a visit. I would be honored to treat you to Minnesota's finest. :)