… Butterfly in the sky / I can go twice as high / Take a look / It’s in a book / A Reading Rainbow …
Welcome to the show, beer drinkers. There’s something so magical about beer. It looks good. It smells good. It tastes good. It makes you feel good. And when it’s locally produced, it’s good for your community, too.
But did you know that books can make beer drinking better? You didn’t? Well, they can. On today’s episode of “Reading Rainbow” we’re going to discuss a book that will enhance your knowledge of how to properly enjoy a glass of beer.
“The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes” is a beautifully bound book by Josh Bernstein. Bernstein is a Brooklyn-based beer writer, though he boasts Portland cred: he spent a summer living on Grant Street, and he and his wife were married on Munjoy Hill. After you get over the two colons in the title, “The Complete Beer Course” is a must-read for beer lovers of all levels.
This book is designed with the heft and page layout of a textbook. But unlike my Intro to Biology textbook from college, it’s written with a lively, accessible voice that keeps the pages turning. This book, more than any other beer appreciation book I’ve read, is organized in a manner that really will do what the second subtitle boasts: guide you from novice to expert.
Dear “Reading Rainbow” viewers, here’s the best part: in order to become an expert beer drinker, Bernstein urges, “To get the most from this book, I’m ordering you to drink. A lot.” For each style of beer, Bernstein offers “Two to Taste,” where he suggests two microbrews for imbibing. Proudly, our own Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Ale is featured under American Pale Ales.
“The Complete Beer Course” is a field guide through the dizzying options available to modern beer drinkers. Just like any field guide, in order to fully master the material, you need to put the words on the page to work in the real world. The real world of beer.
But you don’t have to take my word for it.
Bernstein is coming to Maine this weekend. “Weekend With Bernstein,” as it has been dubbed, is hosted by the Maine Brew Bus, and is filled with readings, book signings, beer tours, and, yeah, beer drinking. There will be plenty of opportunity to purchase a copy of the book, get it signed, and even share a pint with Josh Bernstein. See a breakdown of the events below. (Full disclosure, I am a summertime employee of the Maine Brew Bus.)
That’s it for today’s episode of “Reading Rainbow.” Pick up a couple of copies of The Complete Beer Course. This coffee table book will enhance your beer drinking knowledge, and it also makes a great gift for the beer lover in your life.
…I can be anything / Take a look / It’s in a book / A Reading Rainbow…
WEEKEND WITH BERNSTEIN EVENTS
WHAT: Josh Bernstein Pages and Pints Book Reading
WHERE: Lewiston Public Library
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday (Beer tasting to follow at Baxter Brewing Company in Auburn, which is free and open to the public)
WHAT: Maine Brew Bus “Farm and Barrel Tour” with Josh Bernstein
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Pickup at Craft Beer Cellar in Portland with stops at Funky Bow, Gneiss Brewing, and Barreled Souls
COST: $85 per person
WHAT: Josh Bernstein Book Signing at Rising Tide Brewing
WHERE: Rising Tide Brewing Company
WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday
COST: Free (books available for purchase)
WHAT: Maine Brew Bus ‘Zymurgy Home Brew Tour’ with Josh Bernstein
WHERE: Pickup at Mama’s Crowbar in Portland with Visits to Four Well-Known Homebrewers
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
OTHER BEER HAPPENINGS NEAR YOU
Salvage BBQ, 919 Congress Street, Portland
8 p.m. to midnight Saturday
Last year’s “Freshman Class” of brewers turned out to be a real all-star crew. Four brewers from last year’s “class” will be celebrating their sophomore status at Salvage BBQ on Saturday night. Drink beers from Bissell Brothers Brewing, Austin Street Brewing, Foundation Brewing, and Banded Horn Brewing, and chat with the brewers. (Rumor has it Josh Bernstein will also be at this event.) Live music by Great North, and specialty beers on tap.