Todd’s Review of A Year in Food and Beer by Emily Baime and Darin Michaels

17466594Look!  A post about beer from Todd?  How unexpected?  All joking aside, I got the chance to review A Year in Food and Beer by Emily Baime and Darin Michaels and promptly took it.  I knew that the book mainly focused on beer tasting and food pairing, two subjects which I admittedly knew very little about, despite being a homebrewer for over two years.  So, with a lot to learn, I dove right in.

The book contains a general introduction to beer and tasting in general, covering the major scents and tastes that would be acceptable for different seasons, styles of beer, and foods.  The authors also describe the production of beer, and the different properties of the raw ingredients involved.  They also touch on clean glassware, which is quite important in the beer tasting process.  A main theme in the work is “seasons”, which highlights how different beers are appropriate for different seasons, as well as different foods to pair with these beers.  They then provide a large list of recipes and beer pairings, with an emphasis on the different flavors and smells that are prevalent in that particular season.

From the start, I knew this book would be a great resource for me.  As I admitted before, I had little to no experience with beer pairing, and typically whenever I drink beer with food I find that either the food ends up overpowering the beer or vice-versa.  I’ve come to realize that this is probably due to the fact that I haven’t been pairing correctly.  The authors reference a flavor wheel of sorts that basically functions as a color wheel for food.  Flavors that are in close proximity to each other on the wheel can be paired, and flavors that are completely opposite on the wheel can be paired.  For example, the sweet and rich flavor of a porter could be paired with the crunchy and salty flavor and texture of a pretzel.  On the other hand, the spicy flavors in Indian food can be easily paired with the floral and spicy flavors that are found in most IPA’s.  With this in mind, along with the copious amount of recipes provided, I should have plenty of new ideas to try out when I next pair food and beer together.  I agree with their point that adding food to beer probably increases the enjoyment of it, and it introduces new flavors that would have never existed had it not been for the addition of food.  In short, this is a great read for those of you who are interested in both beer and new foods.  It’s a quick read that definitely goes beyond just a list of recipes.  Cheers!

4 out of 5 stars

A Year in Food and Beer by Emily Baime and Darin Michaels
AltaMira Press (2013)
eBook: 148 pages
ISBN: 9780759122659

Special thanks to AltaMira Press for my review copy via Netgalley!

The April Roundup!

I can’t believe it!  At the end of April I had 70 books under my belt; this is the fastest reading pace I’ve done yet!  That’s 30 books ahead of schedule!  You can see a list of all the books I’ve read so far here.  With all of the reading I’ve done recently, you’d think I didn’t have enough time for anything else.  Well, that was not the case.  We had a month packed with all sorts of family/friend events that kept me running around!

Beautiful RuinsTo start the month off right, Todd, Jess, and I attended a book signing by Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins.  What an amazing author!  Jess was full of energy and a great all around guy.  I was fortunate enough to get my book signed by him and chat with him afterwards.  Overall, it was yet another wonderful event put on by R.J. Julia.  If you haven’t been there yet, get to it!  The following weekend, we attended a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in our town put on by the local Knights of Columbus.  It is a huge beer and food festival, with tons of local and regional breweries on hand with plenty of samples and a ton of food too.  Delicious!

Next, it was on to watch the Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey team as they played in the national championship games!  We originally went to New Haven to get together with fellow alums to watch Quinnipiac take on St. Cloud in the Frozen Four semifinal game.  After winning that game, the Bobcats stayed in Pittsburgh to play Yale in the national championship.  We attended a game watch at a local bar and cheered on the Bobcats, but sadly they lost.  There’s always next year though!

IMG_20130509_085129Finally, I have to end this roundup on a slightly sad note.  Recently we had been noting that Sebastian (one of our two cats) had been coughing a lot.  Todd was able to take a day off of work and took him to the vet, where he had an x-ray (he had to be sedated as he can be slightly grumpy at times).  It turns out that he may have slight asthma, and the pills we got are doing the trick, so he is feeling much better!  Look at this cute face!

So on the reading front, the 27 books I read in April were primarily all new adult books.  This is seriously my new favorite genre.  I’ve already posted reviews on two of my favorites: Easy by Tammara Webber and Losing It by Cora Carmack.  AHH this genre is the bomb. I have many more recommendations for this genre, so keep an eye on my upcoming reviews.

Speaking of reviews, here is what’s on the schedule for the rest of May.  Sam’s going to be reviewing a new YA novel entitled The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison.  Todd’s working on Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano and A Year in Beer and Food by Emily Baime and Darin Michaels.  Christine will be reviewing Over the Rainbow by Paul Pickering and I’m working on Eyes Wide Open by Raine Miller, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare, and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen among others.  It promises to be a full month as always.

I hope your April was as fun-filled and bookish as ours was!

Until next time, happy reading!