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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 Amazon.com 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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3 Responses to Wine provocateur takes aim at beer

  1. Jeff Alworth February 3, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Beer judging is a lot different than wine; I will be interested to see if this is actually a fresh approach or just one dressed up to look fresh.

  2. Sean Inman February 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I too hope that it takes an honest approach to beer judging and isn’t just a piggyback on the success of the wine trials book. There are some sacred beer cows that need to be re-examined. I am cautiously optimistic.

  3. 1WineDude February 5, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    Hey – thanks for mentioning the interview. Just wanted to point out here that I’m still not 100% sure on the process used for the actual trials, but I *loved* the first 50 pgs of the book because I thought it did a great job in bringing together various independent studies and happenings and drawing some connections between them, connections that are kind of liberating for the average wine consumer, which is great.

    Hopefully the take on beer is at least as well presented and gets us talking and thinking, even if we don’t agree with it.

    Cheers!

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