Tasting Beer has been on the shelves for about a year and a half but I just threw a copy into a larger order from Amazon the other day. I like it fine but it is not the book I thought I was getting. I blame the internets as I didn't have that browsing moment leaning against a books shelf half thinking about the book, half thinking about a donut I had in 1986. I thought it was going to be a book primarily about tasting beer. Where did I get that idea from?
Around half the book is beer history along with beer styles and examples available in the US. Useful information covered elsewhere... and, again, over there, too. Often. Pages 28 to 144 or so, however, do not show up elsewhere. Pages stuffed with information on the human sensory experience, details about that weird vocabulary Stan throws around with words like "caprylic" and "trichloroanisole" as well as neato graphs on the relativity of bitterness and gravity on one hand and pressure and temperature on the other. Good data born no doubt of Mr. Mosher's background in home brewing. Quality.
One quibble of me is that I don't like the font or the layout. I don't like double columns in a book and I really don't like semi late 1800s "Golden Age" typography. It seems like the information on the page is harder to find than necessary. I wonder what it would look like with simpler fonts?
But that is just a quibble. This is great text for the intermediate beer fan. I think it might actually be too much for the beginner - a curse, I realize, no publisher or author wants to read. Yes, it has the obligatory forward by Sam Calagione (imagine that !) but don't hold that against the author. Buy it.