Beer For the Genius


Yes, you drink beer. Yes, you love beer. But how much do you really know about beer? For the sake of argument, let’s suppose that you possess a fair amount of beer knowledge. Just enough to speak with some authority on the subject. Fermentation? Check. You pretty much got that covered. The difference between a stout and an IPA? Check. You know what you like and what to order when you’re out on the town, and you can probably even opine on the choices of the other members of your party. And, hey, wasn’t it the ancient Egyptians who first got the keg rolling, mass-production-wise? Well, not really, but you are in the ballpark.

 

Okay, since you’re doing so well, how about we ratchet the difficulty level up a notch or three. What can you tell your friends about how different types of yeast impact the overall flavor and quality of a given beer? Did you know that beer brewing has been around for some 10,000 years (give or take), and that the practice predates written language? And then there is the whole wide world of hops. Before people started adding hops to beer, the stuff was called ale. Do you know when (generally speaking) hops arrived on the scene? Or why hops were added in the first place? (Here’s a hint: it had nothing to do with flavor.) Oh, and if for some reason you were asked, could you state, with confidence, the dollar value of the global brewing industry? (Another hint: it’s very close to oodles.)

Yeah, beer is what’cha might call a big deal. There is hardly any aspect of human society that has not been touched by its sudsy goodness. You name it—history, politics, commerce, religion—beer has lent its bubbly voice to the proceedings.

My point here is this: there is a whole barrel-aged ocean of information about beer out there; scientific, commercial, historical, sociological. Beer for the Genius houses all of the most important bits in one fascinating, sociable, somewhat daffy, yet easy-to-use compendium.

By the time you are done reading Beer for the Genius, you will be able to wow your friends and family (or annoy them, whichever) with your startling beer know-how.