While I was studying to take the Certified Cicerone® exam, there were several books that I read, and studied, to prepare myself. One of those books was Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer. There is likely not a single other book that eloquently goes into such detail that Mosher does, in describing and understanding sensory evaluation and taste perception of beer.
Inkling provided me with a new, digital version of the book that is now available in the Inkling book store. This is truly the way this book is meant to be experienced. Tasting Beer is essentially a textbook for those interested in beer evaluation. Budding brewers, BJCP judges, or Cicerones, should put this at the top of their list of books to study. What makes this version of the book so great, is that the digital version is highly interactive, allowing for a seamless method of immersing yourself amongst the various topics discussed in the book.
The various chapters focus on key aspects of sensory evaluation, the brewing process, proper evaluation procedures, as well as proper serving and presentation, and how to pair beer with food. From there, it breaks down various major styles of beer and discusses its history, specific qualities, and food pairing suggestions. The book can be read front to back, but the chapters can also be individually read as need for reference. Here’s where the digital version really shines: Throughout the book, names of specific styles are actually links, that will take you to their associated section in another chapter. Vocabulary words that you may not be familiar with can be touched and you are immediately presented with a brief description. When I originally read this book, I was constantly flipping back and forth throughout various chapters to ensure I understood everything I was reading. With the digital version, you only need to touch the screen. There are even editable tasting sheets within the book, allowing you to take your own notes on a beer you are drinking, and have the text readily available to assist you.
Once again, I cannot recommend this book enough. Thankfully, there are also various editions and versions of this book available, depending on what you prefer. You can find the physical book available to order online, as well as several digital versions. The above interactive version is available through Inkling in iTunes. This weekend, the Inkling version of the book is available for only $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.