MC BASSET, LLC
Hard Cover, $34.95, 341 pp.
The title is daring in its confidence, almost inviting a challenge to its authority. And yet, this reference work by Michael Kuderka and Catherine Ench-Kuderka is so resolute in its purpose that it makes a fairly compelling case that it ultimately is what it purports to be.
The data in DBBB covers all types of US breweries and their bottled brands. Essentially a compendium of various databases, the book provides a variety of ways to track down information about domestic beers. The book’s approach is very utilitarian and businesslike. Its sumptuous black leather binding is coupled with a ledger-style presentation that stresses the expected resource utility of the volume, and the paper quality is a match for those heightened production values.
The book’s information is divided thusly: alphabetized brewery index; beer brands grouped by beer styles; a geographic listing of breweries by state; and a collection of brewery portfolios that include full-color representations of beer brand logos. There’s also a nifty comparison chart that outlines the relationship between beer color and bitterness, as well a listing of beer availability by state.
Of course, such information is in a constant state of flux, as new companies enter the marketplace and exiting companies fade away. Along with the hardback volume, the price of the book also gets it owner one year’s worth of access to the DBBB web site, which is updated monthly. This is the second edition of DBBB and the Kuderkas obviously hope that this book will become the indispensable reference for anyone researching products and companies within the American brewing industry. We found this handsome book easy to use and wide-ranging in its scope. We don’t know if that qualifies the book as “essential” or not, but it certainly does make it useful.