Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Announcing “The Handbook of Porters & Stouts”

HandbookOfPortersAndStoutsI’ve had a lot of fun and memorable experiences since I started beer blogging six years ago. Being asked to contribute to the Times Union “Beer Nut” blog was, until now, probably my biggest accomplishment. I’m not sure if this announcement supersedes it, but it’s close: on November 11, 2014, my first book about beer will go on sale. It’s called The Handbook of Porters & Stouts, a compendium of over 400 beer reviews written by myself and co-author Josh Christie (a few other writers contributed some reviews, as well).

This was a project well over a year in the making, and it certainly shows by the quality of the finished product. I can’t take credit for the design and organization of the book, though, that’s all the work of my editor Carlo DeVito and the good people at Cider Mill Press. Whether you concur with our reviews of these beers or not, I think you will agree that this is one of the best-looking beer books you’ll ever see. That’s the feedback I’ve been getting from people who have been privy to see my advanced copy.

The sub-title of the book is “The Ultimate, Complete and Definitive Guide,” and while that may sound hyperbolic, it absolutely is true. I challenge anyone to find a more comprehensive collection of reviews, analysis, and backstory dedicated exclusively to the parents of dark beer styles.

Check out this 30-second promotional video for the book:


The book is broken up in three major sections; porters, stouts, and 30 recommended “extreme beers” that blur style lines (including some Black IPAs, “white” stouts, sour dark beers, and miscellaneous “culinary” stouts). The porter and stout sections are then sub-divided by major style groupings, such as Baltic Porter, Coffee Stouts, Chocolate Stouts, etc. I’m pretty sure we covered just about everything.

As I said, the book was co-authored by Josh Christie, a fellow beer blogger and author out of Portland, Maine. Josh previously penned Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland  – a guide to the Maine craft beer scene as well as the history of brewing in that state (did you know Maine’s temperance movement began nearly a half-century before the passage of the 18th Amendment?). I met Josh a few months ago when I went on my New England beercation, he’s a great guy. I’m hoping to conduct an interview with him sometime in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.
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The introduction was written by Stephen Beaumont, an accomplished author who has written over a dozen books about beer. The “Special Tasting Section” was penned by Joshua M. Bernstein, who wrote The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (a book which, in my opinion, rivals Randy Mosher’s “Tasting Beer”).
I’m really excited about this book, and especially about the opportunities this will likely lead to. I’ve already started setting up book signings and other promotional events, including a beer dinner I’ll be hosting at Uncle Marty’s Adirondack Grill next week. I hope people will enjoy reading this book it as much as I enjoyed writing it!Dedication