A less contentious beer book.

Image taken from Amazon.co.uk
With Christmas fast approaching (55 days in fact) a slew of new beer books are hitting the shelves in stores (and warehouses). Alongside these is Melissa Cole's new book: Let me tell you about Beer.

This is designed to be an accessible non-daunting entry-level guide to the world of beer, not necessarily aimed at someone like me who already knows a fair bit about beer but I enjoy reading Melissa's blog so decided to pick up a copy. It landed on my doormat last Friday, but I've not yet had a chance to read it in its entirety but look forward to doing so. My copy turned up just over a week ago and I had a chance for a good read of it on my journey to and from cheese school this weekend.

The first thing you notice is that its quite a hefty tome (though by no means anywhere near as thick as the Oxford Companion*!) with high quality glossy pages, hard cover and plenty of colour throughout. Its very reasonably priced too (RRP 14.99, though a bargainous 10.49 on Amazon!); so in terms of looking the part for gift giving potential it certainly stands up to scrutiny.

People often buy with their eyes, but of course its the content that these books should be chosen on. There is no quibble from me on that front either. A relaxed and down to earth style of writing feels like Melissa is chatting to you in a pub about beer, and making suggestions about what you might like. There's useful sections on matching beer with food for beginners, a good writeup of the health benefits of beer and a  whack of beer tasting notes, arranged by style.

 I always enjoy reading other people's reviews to see if I agree with them and from what I've read I certainly do, which makes me want to search out other beers that Melissa has recommended. I'm not going to give any of them away, you'll need the book for that! Its by no means a simple "x beers to try before you y" (phrase borrowed from beercast) kind of book though.

I can't say I learnt anything new about brewing or beer styles, but I wasn't expecting to and that's not what this book is about. If you're looking for a beer book to convince your lover/brother/gran the merits of good beer in non-patronising laymans terms then "Let Me Tell You About Beer" is the ideal gift!

The launch party for the book is tonight; so I hope all goes well. Follow Mellissa on Twitter.

*Which far too much has been said about already.


  1. Thank you so much! You have hit the nail on the head of the style I was trying to achieve and couldn't be more thrilled with this write-up - thank you!


  2. Well I think you acheived it! Going to read it in its entirety when I get a chance, and make a list of what I want to try!