Everyone’s favorite TV barfly George Wendt makes a foray into the author world in Drinking with George: A Barstool Professional’s Guide to Beer. Before your inner skeptic kicks in, consider this chapter-opening confession from a proud 0.0 GPA recipient during a sojourn at Notre Dame University:
“I’ll be the first to admit that I lucked into the role of Norm Peterson, a character whom I’d been training to play my whole life.
Under one set of covers, Wendt gives you a mini-biography, a slew of interesting beer facts, funny beer anecdotes from his own life, and lighthearted fare regarding his Hollywood friends. None of these pile up too thick in any of this collection of 1-4 page essays, so like what the “born-on” date has done for Budweiser products, the book stays fresh.
This title has what is known in some circles as a crisp finish and clean aftertaste. The funniest and most interesting stories are in about the last third of the liter..er… book. But, hey, relax. We’re not talking War and Peace here. Perfect for the attention span of the mead-swiller in your life.
Before Red Bull and Monster Drink the victual of health around Davenport was a frothy mug of suds. There weren’t national brands in refrigerated trucks endorsed by athletes and scantily-clad models in the first half of the century. Each town had their own local brands, crafted by mustachioed laborers using recipes from the Fatherland.
For the 20 percent of Davenport Germans, it was a beverage steeped in tradition and culture, and one of the few remaining creature comforts they could control. They did so with a flourish as a number of brands sprung up in Davenport, including Mathias Frahm and Son, Koehelr and Lange (also known as the Arsenal Brewery), Littig Brohers, and Zoeller Brothers.
All of this information is featured in the latest exhibit at the German American Heritage Museum as you look at snapshots of the malthouse workers, tavern operators, and ancient conetop cans and vessels.
I found it to be a fascinating little tour and a great excuse to visit the GAHC for the first time, at the low Depression-era price of $2.
Ever wonder which wine to have with a meal? Ever debate the pairing of different beers with specific foods? Ever argue with your SO about which is better, beer or wine? He Said Beer, She Said Wine by Sam Calagione and Marnie Old will not only educate and entertain you, it’ll provide you with fresh issues to debate.
Written by two acknowledged experts in their field, this book starts with an overview of each beverage, the basics of how each is produced, a discussion of varieties and styles and how to taste and evaluate each one. The heart of the book discusses pairing wine and beer with different foods such as cheese, vegetables, sandwiches, pizza, fish, pasta, chicken and desserts.
The final section is the fun part – bringing the debate home. Calagione and Old describe how to have a wine versus beer party, including giving you ideas on how to set up voting, sample menus and wine/beer pairings, and recipes.
Smart but never stuffy, this lavishly illustrated book is sure to encourage lots of friendly debate – and might even have you believing in the value of the other beverage, no matter what side you’re on.