Spring is a difficult beer season. We transition from bitter cold to warm breezes, and with wild temperature swings and sometimes unpredictable weather, finding the right ale or lager to match the weather can be difficult. This is not just for the drinkers, but also for the brewers, who, in the United States have struggled to find a toehold for the season. They’ve tried white IPAs, or herb-infused ales, extreme lagers, session porters and more.
In like a lion, Randy Mosher brings back the bock. The country’s leading voice on the flavor, history and experience of beer, Mosher makes the case that bocks—from the “super intense” eisbock in March to the doppelbock in April, then onto the “sweetly malty” maibock in May, are what we should be drinking in spring.
As the book’s title suggests, the other seasons are covered as well. It’s not just beer recommendations and histories, but also calendar-worthy festivals, suggestions for pairing at holidays, even some suggested reading for those lazy days of summer.
Visually, Beer For All Seasons (Storey Publishing, Paperback, $14.95, 200 pp) is a triumph. More than generic beer-in-a-glass shots, the pours are staged in interesting settings and often show the faces of the people behind or simply enjoying the beer. A collection of current and historical labels and original art bring Mosher’s wise words to new heights. If you’re going to own just one beer book, this is it.
But here’s a friendly tip: Buy two. It’s a good bet that your beer buddy is going to ask to borrow your copy and that you’ll never see it again. This way you both win.
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.