Reviewed: Beer Pairing

Beer Pairing by Julia Herz and Gwen ConleyBeer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros

By Julia Herz & Gwen Conley

Voyageur Press

A lot of books position themselves as the “essential guide” to this or that, and while some disappoint, the upcoming Voyageur Press offering from the team of Julia Herz and Gwen Conley, Beer Pairing, does not. Along with a select few other beer titles (especially beer-and-food titles), this one really should find its way onto your shelf.

Beer Pairing covers the basics of beer and food flavor and aroma and other characteristics as well as offering guidance to pairing principles. It teaches the reader how to taste beer. It tracks down expertise from notable figures within the beer, food, and even wine realms. It offers solid beer style information and go-to pairing suggestions.

But drawing from a deep well of expertise and experience, Herz and Conley also dig deeper. They push the search for sensory and vocabulary information further. They delve into science. They remind us of the bioindividuality of hedonics–all too many casual tasters (and self-proclaimed beer experts) don’t realize or forget that not everyone’s taste buds are the same. To me, this is so terribly important, and Beer Pairing reinforces this more than once.

While Herz and Conley take pains to escort our taste buds and brains further down the beer-and-food trail than many have gone, it’s done so in a clear writing style and unpretentious tone. One needn’t graduate from Siebel or CIA to keep up.

Scheduled for release just in time for the holidays on December 1, 2015, Beer Pairing offers a wealth of technical and practical information for the beer and food lover looking to elevate their skills in the pairing department. Along with Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer (he wrote the foreword of this book) and Garrett Oliver’s Brewmaster’s Table (he’s featured within the pages of this book) Beer Pairing lands on a short list of what I would consider essentials for the beer and food enthusiast’s library. Buy it.

FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher.

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