I got a review copy of Evan Rail's essay "Why Beer Matters" via email today. It's published for the Kindle and available at Amazon.com for an embarrassingly low price. Buy it. Why? Good question. Ever since his coming out party chez ici, he has been one of my favorite beer bloggers, a steady source of interesting writing via his gig with The New York Times as well as a guide to pals visiting Prague. Oh, and he wrote a book, too. An important book.
But why must you buy this essay? Well, unlike me you may be able to get the &*$*(^%^ Kindle work and actually be needing content. Beyond that, you might want good beer writing that takes a fresh perspective. Frankly, we have more than enough "Guides to the Styles" and "298846 Beers To Try Before Find Another Hobby" books. What we do not have are many new points of view. Evan offers that. He takes the proposition set out in the title and expounds for 20-ish pages on the matteringness of beer. Beer engages with people, it can be replicated over the ages, it runs with the seasons and sits in a place. It's a travel piece but not through geography, instead it echoes his own path with writing and thinking about beer. How beer rivals wine, how it is an emerging pleasure, how it is of the people are the stuff of Evans wonderings.
Personal essays are one of the finest forms of writing there are. I mentioned that when I reviewed one of Michael Jackson's books back in 2008. I mention it again when I suggest you might want to read this work Evan's. Well worthy.