No, I didn't. Of course I didn't. I never know what to say about cookbooks. The whole function of the book is to help you do something other than read them but in the review its only about my reading. Not to mention the gawking at the dipsography.
And, while my experience with beerbistro has been entirely happy¹ I have been more agog over a place in Canada you can buy Bam as opposed to waxing particularly over the food - even though the food is excellent. I have yet to buy into the "pairing" thing, preferring to eat meals. But that may change. I may want to replicate the food now that I have the "how to" guide. I bought the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook a few years back, got obsessed and I've been a homestyle pork smokin' fool ever since.
So. The book. The first fifty or sixty pages are introductory - styles, how to pour, how to have a beer tasting. There's a picture on page 37 of Stephen Beaumont looking like he has a marble in his mouth hiding back there behind a molar. Around page 72 things really get going with the very useful explanation of how beerbistro categorizes beer under words like "quenching" and "robust" and "soothing". Sounds lame or, as most non-Ontarians might suggest, sounds like a "downtown Toronto" way of describing beer but the way these lists are organized actually works. Really. They are then transported... or transposed... no, transported into the recipes so that rather than saying you should have a rare or just fairly unattainable beer with this meal or that, you are only recommended to find a beer off this list or that. That makes it practical. Which makes it sensible.
The actual chow? Well, I am very intrigued with the mussel recipes. Yet, I think mussels should cost around nine bucks for ten pounds as I used to find at my Gallant's South Rustico corner store. And I hate putting anything on mussels... but, me, I eat oysters raw and cook scallops for 30 seconds. I grew up by the sea and when I was a kid in the Annapolis Valley was presented with bags of dulse next to the Hostess ketchup chips in the candy aisle. I feel bad for seafood I don't kill as I chew. Yet, now having firmly established my marine cred, I do like the look of these dishes of mussels in the Belgian style. And, if you think about it, they make for a great entry point as any fool in the middle of the continent can find a reasonable portion of mussels at the fish counter for not too much coin. Weissbier-smoke salmon mussels sound particularly good. And the bacon ones. But we know bacon adds to everything.
The two chapters on meat recipes give a good selection of dishes with some, again, at a modest cost for experimentation. A word of warning for the vegetarians, however, as the roast pig on page 166 reminds us all that tasty sometimes comes with a face. The porter-braised pulled pork sandwich might even be up for a conversion (for, say, the apartment bound) to a lapsang soushong tea oven smolder followed by a trip to the slow cooker. Similarly, the discussion and chart and recipes showing how beer works with great cheese is the sort of reasonably principled and reasonably detailed discussion you are just not going to find elsewhere. Quality work.
So all in all, I can strongly recommend you go out and get this book. It is not just a recipe book but a cookbook in the truest sense of teaching technique, not just listing ingredients. Who knows, it may help me get over myself when it comes to the whole "pairing" idea. And I may find myself going to beerbistro for a snack rather than a drink, just to see how my own experiments in the kitchen measure up.