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Review: My Beer Year by Lucy Burningham July 3, 2016

Posted by sjroby in Beer, Book reviews.
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cover90704-mediumIf you wondered to yourself if this might be another Netgalley review, written in exchange for a free advance electronic reading copy, well, damn, you’re smart. It is.

My Beer Year is a smart, well-written exploration of the current world of beer. It starts off a little Portlandia, as a couple moves to Portland so she can be a writer and beer expert and he can start a custom bicycle business; there’s definitely a strong hipster vibe.

But there’s also a lot of good information told in a generally engaging way. Burningham’s quest to become a cicerone leads her across the US and Europe to learn ever more about beer styles, beer history, how beer is brewed, and the much greater complexity in the process than many might expect.

It seems like a pretty well-timed book, with craft beer just getting bigger and bigger, and it focuses on Burningham’s personal experience, which goes a long way to make it readable for people not obsessive about learning the kinds of things a beer expert is expected to know. It’s by no means a dry history of brewing or anything like that. Halfway between beer guide and memoir. It could easily lend itself to being a TV documentary miniseries, following Burningham to different beer-related locales. I’d give it a shot.