Column: The 21st century beer library

One of my favorite parts of being a journalist is the research. When people ask why I like my job so much, I say ‘because I get to learn something new everyday.’

Besides enjoying the taste of a great beer, half of the fun in having beer as a hobby is doing the research to find out what is out there, how it is made and how it can be made better.

In this the Internet age there are many resources available to a beer connoisseur.

I keep track of my own tastings on beeradvocate.com and ratebeer.com. If you want to get a general consensus of where any beer in the world stands then these are the sites for you.

These sites also have written tutorials and columns along with event calendars.

Podcasts — most available on iTunes — are the best listening resource available on beer.

One of my favorites is Craft Beer Radio. This tandem, based in Pennsylvania, just finished up a fantastic series from Savor: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience. They were able to hook right into the sound board for talks on pairing beer with cheese and the popular He Said Beer, She Said Wine: A Debate on Food Pairing seminar put on by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Marine Old, an award winning wine writer.

Other podcasts such as Good Beer Show and Beer School are also very good while the rest fall off a bit into crudeness but are non-the-less informative.

For home brewing information Basic Brewing is far an away the best. The show’s host James is one of those guys that know just about everything about everything.

For magazines I break them down into two different categories: the glossy and the trade journal. The better of the first group is All About Beer Magazine and Draft Magazine.

For the second category and for a heavier read I like Brew Your Own and Zymurgy Magazine, which comes with a membership in the American Homebrewer’s Association.

Locally for me, the Yankee Brew News is a great way to keep up on local events and happenings.

There are really so many great books out there that it would be hard to mention them all, quickly however I will name a few: “How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time”, “Michael Jackson’s Great Beer Guide” and “Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery.”

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2 responses to “Column: The 21st century beer library

  1. Pingback: Cheers to the Good Beer Show « It’s The Beer Talking

  2. I have enjoyed James Spencer and his cohort Steve Wilkes for a while now because they not only entertain you but they also give you great how-to, experiments, tours and tastings. They always present in themselves in a non vulgar way, with slight innuendo at times in both their video and audio podcasts, which can be downloaded to I-Tunes or you can stream either format from the basicbrewing.com site. Enjoy their podcast.

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