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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
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Babs Harrison, author of the BEER DECK

The Beer Deck: 50 Ways to Sip and Savor
Text by Babs Harrison Photographs by Alison Miksch
3-3/8 x 4-3/4 x 1-1/8 in; 50 pp; 50 color photographs
$13.95 ISBN 0811835863

Just in time for graduation & Father's Day comes the handy BEER DECK, one in a series of card tomes from Chronicle Books. With capsule profiles of popular beerstyles, and assorted tips on pairing beer with food, the BEER DECK makes a fun gift.

Babs Harrison, the writer behind the BEER DECK, relied on experts such as Michael Jackson and online sources such as the Association of Brewers website, for information.

"What was most fun was tasting a wide variety of beer, from flights at Eske's Brewpub in Taos, New Mexico, to pubs in Galway," Harrison says. She adds that a benefit of visiting brewpubs, versus other taverns, is the chance to meet the brewer and learn from the authority about the brewing process.

Still, her favorite food pairing with beer involves no cooking at all, merely access to the freshest possible bivalves. "The biggest surprise was how delicious raw oysters on the half shell taste with a pint of Guinness," she enthuses. "WOW!"

I can envision shuffling the BEER DECK as a bar-top conversation starter at many brewpubs across North America....debating the particulars of styles such as brown porter:

"A brown porter is considered to be the traditional English porter: dark, toasty and bitter. Ranging from brown to dark brown, it is similar to dry stout, but the toasty flavor comes from roasting the malt rather than the barley as is common with stouts."

However, the food suggestions are minimal - such as "brown porter paired with a porterhouse steak" or robust porter with "a handful of chocolate-covered espresso beans." For more recipes, check out the beercook recipe archives....


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