The Bookworm Sez

Review: 'Beer is Proof God Loves Us'

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
Real AspenNovember 10, 2012

There are, as far as you’re concerned, five seasons in a year.

Of course, you’ve got spring and summertime. Fall comes next, then you get winter. And right after that, comes Bowl Season.

You can’t bear to miss a Bowl, and that includes the Super one. Plus, you’ve got a bowl of chips, a bowl of pretzels, and a bowl of dip to go along. Most importantly, there’s beer to wash it all down.

But if you think that all you need to know about beer is in a full glass, go back to the recliner and think again. As you’ll see in “Beer is Proof God Loves Us” by Charles W. Bamforth, there’s more to beer than meets the lips.

'Beer is Proof God Loves Us'

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Although the history of beer in the U.K. and America runs deep, beer was first brewed by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago. If you quaffed a cup of that brew, you’d be pleasantly surprised: it was probably stronger than beers of today.

Commercial beer makers have to stick with a certain percentage of alcohol by law, but that’s not their only concern when brewing. In pursuit of the best beer, hops and yeast must meet exact specifications, the water used will be altered to perfection, even its container is taken into consideration. On top of all that, if a brewing mistake happens to appeal to beer drinkers, brewmasters will learn to add defects into their batches. It’s all about taste.

But you know taste, and you know your beers. Heck, you could be a brewmaster, no problem, right? Maybe – if you went to college for it. You have to be willing to start small, too, and your reputation had better be squeaky-clean: no DUIs and no suspicious weekend recreation.

Pass those requirements, though, and you’ll be a part of something big. Beer drinking was, at least at some points in history, a privilege only for royals. It’s an internationally-growing phenomena (China’s beer industry has exploded in the past few years and the Saudi Arabian market is huge). And beer has changed the way we socialize, not just in modern times, but throughout history.

Looking for something lite to drink in before the big game? You might find it here – and then again, you might not.

“Beer is Proof God Loves Us” starts out slow as sludge. Author Charles W. Bamforth has been involved in various aspects of the beer industry for over three decades, and the first part of this book is more scholarly than perhaps the casual reader will want.

That kind of high-brow information foams up often throughout the book but, thankfully, it’s also accompanied by lively, funny information about your favorite drink: beer is actually nutritious, has health-improving benefits, and it’s great for games other than the Bowl sort.

Overall, my recommendation for this book is divided: if you want something less filling, pass on “Beer is Proof God Loves Us”. If you’re a beer maker or if you’re fascinated by the nitty-gritty of the industry, then you’ll drink this book up.

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