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Let Me Tell You About Beer

by Melissa Cole

Let Me Tell You About Beer is a sister publication to a successful book on wine, written by Oz Clarke.

Let Me Tell You About BeerThink of Oz and you think of a man with a bright, boisterous approach to his subject and an almost desperate desire to inform and educate.

It’s appropriate then that the beer title has been written by Melissa Cole, whose enthusiasm for the subject similarly knows no bounds.

She has put together a handsome beginner’s guide to beer that tries to remove both heaviness and pretence from the subject through a jolly ‘come and have a drink with me, mate’ sort of attitude. It’s fresh, engaging and it works.

As the number of beer books in circulation increases, it inevitably becomes more and more difficult to cover the same ground in a novel way.

Melissa’s approach is to cut out most of the intricate details and draw you in by simple explanation and easy analogy, but everything you’d expect to find in here is here, from how beer is brewed, to where to buy and the now obligatory beer and food pairing section.

There are also comprehensive profiles of some of the world’s greatest beers, highlighting where that greatness stems from and illustrating once again the author’s fervour for the subject.

Attractive Design

Let Me Tell You About Beer may be aimed at the novice and, with full colour throughout and a very attractive design, it would indeed make a great present for someone just getting into beer, but there’s plenty to interest the more experienced drinker, too.

While many of the beers featured can now be found in your local beer emporium or craft beer bar, there are still some here that will need some seeking out and can expand your horizons even further.

Melissa is at pains throughout not to hector or patronise. If you don’t get what she’s saying, that’s no problem. Everyone is different; tastes vary; you like what you like.

But the book has Melissa Cole stamped right through it, like a stick of barley-flavoured rock. Like the author, it is bold, breezy and bursting with life.

Probably the best test of any beer book, I always think, is whether reading it makes you thirsty.

All I can say with that in mind is: where the hell did I leave that bottle opener?

First edition (2011)

224-page hardback (Pavilion Books)


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