99 Bottles of Beer in Your Pocket
Dave Selden's popular 33 Bottles of Beer books have taken bottleshops by storm since their release in November of 2009. Based in Portland, OR, the pocket-sized tasting journals are part of the 33 series, which now includes journals for wine, cheese, coffee, whiskey and cigar. The jornals have collectively sold over 100,000 copies. Just recently, though, the Masters Version of the series has been released--99 Bottles of Beer. There are three books of 33 pages each for your reviews, packaged in a classy hard stock case that allows the uber beer geek to have easy, stylish access to their recent beer reviews.
As opposed to the simple Beer Advocate or Rate Beer systems of rating beers on a more generic point scale in a handful of categories, these books have a much more advanced understanding of the way we taste beer. Going beyond just logging your rating of a beer, these journals can actually help educate a beer lover on how to more accurately evaluate your beverage.
Each two-page spread allows you to enter everything from the basics like the beer name and brewer to a more complex flavor wheel, where you can check more advanced descriptors, like how long the flavor lingers, dryness, dark fruit, citrus, herbal, toffee, floral, spicy, and more. The Serving Vessel box let's you check whether it was a draft, cask, bottle, can, or growler, so you can compare the differences. Perhaps the most geeky entry goes to your 'Consumption Vessel' where you check whether it was served in a shaker pint, imperial pint, tulip glass, pilsner glass, mug, or camping vessel. My favorite, though, is the 'Situation' box where you can write in where you sampled the beer at and who with. For instance, if you drank it with "SNOB" Ritch, would the beer taste more bitter?
When former beer blogger and graphic designer Dave Selden designed these books, it was with a lot of skepticism. He started "with an initial run of 1500 copies that I thought I might be giving away to friends and family in Christmas 2025" said Dave. The books, which now have branched out into other geeky connoisseur favorites like cigars and wine, have been shipped from Singapore to South Africa and everywhere in between. There have even been custom-made versions for Guinness and Block 15 Brewing. I am excited to check out the new unnamed big brand whiskey version, and a sure-to-be popular 33 Chocolates that should be hitting stores any time now.
I am a big fan of the new larger 3 book package, though; it reminds me of a well-packaged graphic novel collection, like DC Comics' Absolute editions of classics like Sandman.
All in all, the tight classy package for 99 Bottles of Beer will make beer geeks everywhere feel special, or perhaps push a modest fanboy over the edge into full beer geekitude.
Purchase the 99 Bottles Package online at Amazon here
Purchase any of the 33 series books individually or make your own 6-pack on their website.