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Wine provocateur takes aim at beer

Robin Goldstein, already adept at raising a ruckus in the wine world, has turned his attention to beer.

The description of The Beer Trials, due in April, promises: “With brutally honest ratings and reviews of the 250 most popular beers in the world – both in bottle and on draft – The Beer Trials will challenge some of our most basic assumptions about beer.

“Do you think draft beers and bottled beers of the same brand taste similar? Do more expensive beers taste better? Are imports better than domestic beers? Each beer gets a full-page review, with a down-to-earth description and a photograph of the bottle for easy identification in the store.”

So who is this guy?

Well, for one thing he pulled off a hoax that embarrassed the Wine Spectator. Then he co-authored The Wine Trials, which compares everyday wines to more expensive equivalents in blind tastings and finds wine consumers like inexpensive wines better. Plenty was written about the first edition of the book — here’s a nicely balanced take.

The 2010 edition is out and Joe Roberts at 1 Wine Dude interviews Goldstein and gives it a glowing review.

I found the first 50 pages (which describe the approach and science behind the book, and hint at its future implications on the wine industry) to be some of the most profound reading on wine appreciation that I have ever come across. The Wine Trials doesn’t just poke at wine’s sacred cows – it skewers them, grills them, and serves them up with an inexpensive Spanish red (Lan Rioja Crianza in this case, which took the Wine of the Year honors in the 2010 Wine Trials).

Goldstein provides little information about The Beer Trials beyond the Amazon description, only that it “will take a different approach than The Wine Trials, but one that I hope will be equally useful to readers.”

He did reply to my email and promised more details as the publication dates nears. I’ll keep you posted.



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