At the beginning of the year I wrote a series of post on the Twelve Beers of Christmas. In that series I provided a food pairing for twelve beers of each day of Christmas. Several people have asked my how I decided what to pair with the beers. Some of these pairings I have long enjoyed. Such as stout and ice cream. For most other pairings I rely on other writers and beer educators such as Julia Herz and Gwen Conley. In honor of international women’s day I would like to review their recently published book. I have to admit that this book was not on my shelf initially. Our local library has quite a good selection of beer books and I was able to find a copy there. About half way through the reading I realized that I needed this book to be on my shelf. I would recommend the same for your book collection.
Why I liked the book: I have heard Julia Herz speak at several events and you can definitely hear her voice in the writing. Similar to Michael Jackson for anyone who has watch “Good Beer Hunting” and then read his books. I also like the tasting examples that are given. They are simple experiments with beers that are attainable and food that is easy enough to gather. Several of these experiments I would like to test in the future.
Why I didn’t like the book: Some of the meals that are listed in the book are extremely over elaborate. Items such as “Grilled Eye-of-Beef Rib, Potato Gratin, Fig Reduction, Truffled Deckle Pot-Au-Feu” seemed much more elaborate than what I would normally cook or eat at our house. There is also a large portion on hosting a beer pairing event such as securing a venue and working with professional cooks. While this is probably very helpful for someone who is looking at beer dinners professionally this is beyond my scope of what I am looking to do.
Will it remain on my bookshelf: This book will definitely not just remain on my shelf. Reading through the book the first time caused me to buy a copy for myself. A second reading while I was writing this review caused me to start highlighting text and marking chapters for easy review. While I continue to write about beer and make food recommendations this book will remain off my shelf and on my desk to reference.
Would I recommend the book to someone else: I would definitely recommend this book to another homebrewer, professional brewer, or someone who works in the food and beverage industry. As beer professionals explore more and more aspects of creating our favorite beverage food pairing is the next frontier that has not been explored enough.