I first met Alex from All Beer at the Twissup in Sheffield, where he kindly organised for us to visit a few of the breweries in Sheffield. Since then Alex and All Beer seem to have gone from strength to strength. I’ve been spotting the All Beer Experience Kits all over the place including at Beer Ritz in Leeds and most recently in York Brewery.
After a brief twitter conversation and a quick phone call one of the All Beer Experience kits arrived on my doorstep.
The pack comes in a great little striped cardboard bag, the stripes being made up from photos of different colours of beer…a great touch.
- All Beer Guide
- All Beer FlavourMax Glass
- All Beer Interactives
The guide is not just any old book it’s an award winning book having won Gourmand “World’s Best Beer Book”, Winner of 4 awards during 2009/10. It’s a aimilar physical size to “500 Beers” By Zak Avery but is a completely different beast.
It comes ring bound which I was a little worried about at first as I wasn’t sure how sturdy it would be, my fears were soon allayed, the metal rings were really strong and didn’t bend when turning the pages.
The book is made up of different sections covering everything from ingredients, brewing techniques, beer styles and flavours. It’s packed full of info, tips, techniques and some really lovely photos but the thing that sets it apart are the interactive sections. These make use of not only the other bits that come in the bag but items you should have lying around the house.
These interactive sections encourage you to test, hone and experiment with your skills, giving you tips on picking out flavours and ingredients in different beer styles. The tasks range from tasting different solutions such as salty water to dipping your tongue in a glass of coke. These particular tasks are designed to show you how your tongue reacts to different sensations.
The little sachets of barley and malt help you understand the differences in the ingredients and let you taste them in their most basic form, my favourite bit is the little hop card. This is a simple little scratch and sniff exercise to show you how the smell differs with each hop variety. It really does work and I could quite happily sit and smell the card all day.
The book also describes how different glasses affect the flavour and texture of different beers, It also explains the reasons for the shape of the All Beer FlavourMax glass that is included in the kit.
The glass it’s self is very nice, it’s a lovely shape and really good quality, my only niggle is that its a little bit too small to use for every day drinking, it best suits beer tastings and when you are sharing beers with friends.
At the back of the book there are also some tear out tasting sheets allowing you to hone your skills by working through the different sections and scoring the beer accordingly. This is quite cool especially if you like to make notes on your beers or write a beer blog.
I’ve not read the book from cover to cover or completed all of the interactives yet so as soon as I have i will update this post, but my first impressions are very good indeed.
The All Beer kit retails at £19.95 plus postage but if you put the code “abtweet10” on the website you will get a rather tasty £4 discount which in my eyes is a bit of a bargain.
Not only would it be a great treat for your self if you want to learn more about tasting beer, beer styles and food matching but it would also make a great fathers day present.
You can buy one here, there is also an option to buy an extra glass if you want to share the experience with a friend.
The experience is also supplemented by the rather handy All Beer Finder, which I will write about later in the week.