Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Can't Read Label? This Book's for You, Bud

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Can't Read Label? This Book's for You, Bud

Article excerpt

There it was on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, amid the books

about wine tours of Italy and creative entertaining at home. It

was, if any book ever has been, written with me in mind. Beer

for Dummies.

It's really a pretty decent book. It may not give you quite as

much historical background and international context as Michael

Jackson's books, but it is conveniently broken down into lots of

tips, lists and charts.

A tip: If the beer bubbles stick to the side of the glass and

don't make it to the top, read the section on how to clean a


A list: How to order beer in different countries. (It's piwo in


A chart: How to substitute beer for wine. (Try Russian imperial

stout instead of port.)

And it's got the good stuff like choosing, tasting, brewing,

even cooking with beer. It's also an indication of just how big

beer geekdom has become.

And speaking of beer, there are new ones to taste. New ones

here, new ones on the way. So naturally, the official TimesUnion

tasting panel (Motto: We will drink no beer before, say, noon)

had to sit down and drink a few.

Tommy Bahama is a new beer brewed in Pittsburgh for a Sarasota

company. It had a booth at the Folio beer festival. Nice booth.

Nice shirts. Nice Jimmy Buffett playing. Lousy beer.

Bungalow Blonde simply tastes like a cheap beer: sour and

watery. Bungalow Brew is a little darker, has a little more

flavor, but it's still nasty. Buy the shirt, skip the beer.

Kulmbacher Monchshof is a German brand with roots going

hundreds of years back when all the brewing was done in

monasteries. It's got three beers available here in single

16-ounce bottles.

Original Pils is definitely a pilsener: light and clean, but

pretty bland and not worth recommending. The Weiss is an

excellent wheat beer. Light, but with lots of citrusy wheat


But it was the Kloster Schwarz-Bier that was the hit of the

tasting. It's a classic German black lager, with lots of roast

flavor up front. It doesn't have as much body and isn't as

filling as stout, but it's not watery, either. A great beer.

Boddington's Pub Ale Draught comes from England in 16-ounce

cans and almost has a cult following. Supply here has been

spotty in the past, but ABC stores should have it regularly now.

The can comes with a small nitrogen pack inside that breaks

when you open the can. The nitrogen then helps recreate the

taste and texture of English cask-conditioned ales. Despite the

huge head, the beer may taste a little flat to some people, but

I really like it. Extremely creamy.

Guinness will also be available in the 16-ounce pub can soon.

The idea sounds great because draft Guinness is FAR better than

the bottles. …

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