Beer for the GENIUS
A humorist, a historian, and a beer aficionado walk into a bar…. No, that’s not it.
A humorist, a historian, and a beer aficionado write a book…. Closer, but not quite it, either.
Richard English writes a book about beer. Yes, that’s it!
In what is easily the most amusing and entertaining book on beer since the age of the dinosaurs, English brews his drinking-buddy humor, interest of history, and love of beer into a keg of pure fun, otherwise known as Beer for the GENIUS.
Dinosaurs Invented Beer. No, Really
Dinosaurs? According to English, dinosaurs invented beer. “Yes, it’s true (if you squint a little),” writes English. “We have the ‘terrible lizards’ to thank for every mug and bottle of beer we enjoy.” And he explains how they did it. With a straight face (the author, not the dinosaurs with all those pointy teeth).
Do YOU Drink Beer?
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.
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.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Ins and Outs of Beer…or…High School Chemistry, Redux
Chapter 1: Fermentation and Brewing
Chapter 2: A Million Kinds of Beer
Part 2: Beer History is Human History
Chapter 3: Way Back In the Day
Chapter 4: Beer History from Around the Whole Sudsy Globe
Chapter 5: The Medieval Revolution
Chapter 6: Beer Comes to America
Part 3: Beer and Society
Chapter 7: Men’s Work and/or Women’s Work
Chapter 8: Beer and Commerce
Chapter 9: Beer and Medicine
Chapter 10: Beer and the Law
Chapter 11: Beer During Prohibition
Part 4: The Brewing Industry Today
Chapter 12: Contract Brewing
Chapter 13: The Craft-Brew/Micro-Brew Revolution(s)
Chapter 14: The Basics of Homebrewing
Chapter 15: Sketches of the Industry Today
Part 5: Enjoying Beer
Chapter 16: Jars, Goblets, Cans, Bottles and Skulls
Chapter 17: Tasting Beer & Tasting Other Stuff With Beer
Conclusion: Bottle It up and Put a Cork in It