In bed with Jeff Evans; inspiring a year of beers

It all started when I met Jeff Evans, author and beer writer on August 9th 2010 at the Great British Beer Festival at the signing of his book “A Beer A Day: 366 beers to help you through the year”. I bought his book, and from the very next night I started what is looking like turning into a year-long relationship by reading about Saint Lawrence Day and Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier.

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The book is my bedtime reading, and because the content takes the form of a diary, recommending, well, a beer for every day of the year. There is one entry to read every night. But rather than a mere random selection of a beer from a list, Jeff’s entry for each day is based on an event in history from that date. He gives a concise report of the significance of the anniversary and then chooses a beer that could be linked to that anniversary.

The events are picked from a wide variety of subjects; saints days, in the case of 10 August, Saint Lawrence – a patron saint of brewers especially those in Bamberg, the origin of this choice of smoked beer. Or the subject matter could be national days, sporting events, historical anniversaries, or something from popular culture or the arts. And his choice of beer covers the gamut of beer styles. Today (21 May), celebrates the birth in 1780 of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, inspiring the choice of beer Princetown Breweries’ Jail Ale.

I can’t say I’ve been faithful to Jeff’s book every night, but I always catch up. Very, very occasionally, I have the beer of the day in my “cellar”, and it’s nice to compare Jeff’s tasting notes with my own experience. The beer chocies are also a great way of getting ideas for your beer shopping alongside a gentle way of brushing up on your beer and general history. If only it was as easy to get hold of the beers as it is to read about them.

A Beer A Day didn’t make the recent issue of BEER magazine’s Top 10 list of books for beer lovers, but I think it would have had not Michael Jackson bagged three of the places. It’s much more than a beer list book; it’s a companion, and I’m going to feel a little lost when August 9th comes around again. 

A Beer A Day by Jeff Evans on Amazon

 

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