Josh Bernstein is the kind of guy you want to geek out with over a couple pints. He can wax poetic about fresh-hop beers, fall's fleeting brew delicacy, and advocate on behalf of the little guys, the country's many small, but deserving nanobreweries. He'll happily espouse the virtues of pucker-inducing sour beers, and wear bitter-beer face with pride.
So who better than he to pen what is being described as "the ultimate beer geek's guide"? His new book, Brewed Awakening, out November 1st, takes an in-depth look at the country's growing craft beer scene — providing history, exploring trends, profiling brewers, and offering a wealth of tasting notes and recommendations. We recently sat down with the author to talk beer and the book.
Talk a little about the design and layout of the book — it's by far one of the coolest, and most visually dynamic drink books I've ever come across.
I railed against writing something that would just have big blocks of text with a random beer label stuck in there every so often. The operating principal was to make it look like one of my beer tasting notebooks (there are ripped-out pages, doodles, and stylized beer stain blotches). Drinking beer is about engaging the senses, and I think the design of the book reflects that really well.
The book is incredibly information-heavy (in a good way), but it's also an easy read with a lot of great spotlight stories sprinkled throughout. How do you hope people use the book?
I see it as a kind of coffee table book you can keep in your pocket — the type of book you can read while you have a beer. I want it to be a great primer for every level of beer drinker — the tone is conversational, but professional. There's a lot of substance there, but you can read it in bite-sized chunks. You know, like with beer, you don't have to drink a whole six-pack at once.