I purchased Joshua M. Bernstein’s, “The Complete Beer Course” a few months back, and have spent some quality time reading and rereading chapters, the book is called a “boot camp for beer geeks” and I would agree with that. The book consists of twelve “Classes”, starting with basic beer information, ingredients, hop profiles and brewing process. Beyond the first chapter Joshua guides you through classes broken down by beer style.
Joshua presents an incredible amount of information in a completely approachable, easily digestible way. Books on beer can easily become overly technical, long winded and even boring, The Complete Beer Course is none of this. Each Class is packed with knowledge and never becomes long winded, you are provided a simple, efficient and personal beer education. Joshua’s writing comes though with a voice and personality and never feels like a textbook.
The Complete Beer Course is definitely the most visually appealing beer book I own, closely followed by Joshua Bernstein’s first book “Brewed Awakening”. The book contains full color photos, there are colored pages and watermark graphics of hop flowers and bines, condensation rings, drip marks, wheat and barley. Classes also contain pages dedicated to brewery profiles, Festivals to attend, beers to try and more, breaking up the monotony of reading about styles. There are plenty of sidebars in the book as well containing interesting facts, notes on terminology or quick tidbits of history, memorizing a few of these sidebars will make you look pretty smart in conversations over a pint at your local pub.
My favorite part of the book are the “Two to Taste” sections, Joshua provides you a few paragraphs on each style then recommends two beers in that style to try with history and tasting notes included. This section also includes a list of backup beers in the even you can’t find the first two recommendations. I suggest reading through the entire book then go back and pick up the recommended “Two to Taste” for each style and revisit the style write up, a great way to educate your mind and your palate.
To wrap it all up, the Complete Beer Course looks good, is easy to read and understand and will make you awful thirsty. I would recommend this to anyone, whether just starting to get into craft beer or a seasoned veteran, pick the book up and learn a new world of flavor or brush up on your current beer knowledge. The Complete Beer Course in my opinion is worth every penny and a welcome addition to my personal beer library.