The Entertaining, Invaluable Beer Bible You Need

In his new book, Mark Brewer illustrates literal interpretations of common beer terms.




IMAGES COURTESY MARK BREWER

 

Craft-beer culture, like the brewpubs and taprooms I wrote about in our July issue, is booming in Pittsburgh. This increased demand for better beer means that most consumers now are familiar enough with beer styles to be able to comfortably order a bock or a porter. However, there still are a lot of terms floating around that could be tough for the average and even expert drinker to understand. What is a bright beer? Why do brewers use something called a hopback?

Local artist Mark Brewer aims to make these concepts easy to understand in his whimsical new book “Brewology.” His hopes that his illustrated approach to representing the beer world will resonate with both casual and nerdy beer fans.

“When people hear the word ‘bomber,’ if you ask 10 people, most of them aren’t thinking of a 22-ounce beer bottle,” he says.

In “Brewology,” bomber is represented by a trio of WWII-era airplanes with brown-and-yellow beer bottles as their body, dropping 22-ounce bottles over a city. He draws “Conditioning” as an out-of-shape boxer sweating profusely and falling into a heavy punching bag that’s actually a huge double-IPA.
 


“When a creative person or an artist looks at words they have a thought process that’s beyond the literal. Clarifying Agents, to me, I hear ‘agents;’ I’m thinking 007,” he says.

In that one, two scary security guards are pulling a drunken fellow holding a nearly empty beer glass across a grass field. It’s a less-than-literal interpretation of a more dictionary-like definition that Brewer includes in tandem with the drawings. The combination of playful illustrations and textbook definitions will allow just about anyone to become a budding beer conversationalist.

“It’s all there. All the terminology is double checked, but this helps bring it together beyond the page,” he says.

Brewer says that he first had the spark to write this book 17 years ago when he was starting out as a home brewer.
 


“All [of] these words came up when I was brewing. And the way my brain works, I thought, ‘cereal grain’ and then Fruit Loops,” he says. It’s a good thing he waited because over the years he’s developed some serious pedigree as an illustrator. Brewer worked on numerous comic books including the Archie series Jughead and Betty & Veronica comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Animaniacs before turning his eye toward editorial illustrations. That work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other publications. 

Brewer, who says he prefers sour beers and IPAs to malt-forward beers such as brown ale, currently is on a book launch tour that’ll take him to breweries in Pittsburgh and beyond. The official book launch party is July 29 at Penn Brewery in Troy Hill.

“The best compliments are when the people who are brewing the beer say that it’s educating people in a straightforward way about what they’re serving,” he says.


 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Eat & Drink:

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

Chef Dennis Marron designs a menu of modern-American fare at The Commoner in the downstairs space of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh.
Restaurant Review: Meet the New Crew at Smallman Galley

Restaurant Review: Meet the New Crew at Smallman Galley

The second class of Smallman Galley chefs offer addictive Detroit-style pizza and other works-in-progress.
Restaurant Review: Scratch Food + Beverage is King of the Hill

Restaurant Review: Scratch Food + Beverage is King of the Hill

The Troy Hill neighborhood spot matures into a casual destination restaurant.
Restaurant Review: Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33

Restaurant Review: Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33

The Squirrel Hill restaurant brings it with tasty cuisine and engaging service.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


See the Video Pittsburgh Hopes Will Lure Amazon's HQ2

See the Video Pittsburgh Hopes Will Lure Amazon's HQ2

The video is part of the city's effort to snag Amazon's second headquarters, which is expected to bring 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment..

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Parts & Service Adds Pizza To Superior Motors

Parts & Service Adds Pizza To Superior Motors

Executive Chef Kevin Sousa and Pastry Chef Kate Carney are cooking sourdough pizza in an outdoor brick oven.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Underrated Fountains in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Underrated Fountains in Pittsburgh

While we all know and love the grandeur of the fountain at Point State Park, there are many hidden fountain gems throughout the city. These are a few of our lesser-known favorites.

Comments


A Mysterious (But Messy) Night at the Museum with DODO

A Mysterious (But Messy) Night at the Museum with DODO

A review of "DODO," the immersive-theater production currently taking place at the Carnegie Museums by Bricolage Production Company.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
It's What Steelers Do After Kansas City That Matters

It's What Steelers Do After Kansas City That Matters

The team is more than capable of beating the Bengals Sunday, but are they willing to keep their eye on the ball long enough to begin stacking victories again for a change?

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Celebrate the Life and Work of George Romero This Week

Celebrate the Life and Work of George Romero This Week

A preview of the week-long tribute to the late filmmaker, plus reviews and more movie news.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin-Themed Proposals

The Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin-Themed Proposals

In honor of fall, we’re showcasing three couples whose proposals involved one of the best things about the season: pumpkins.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Holiday How-To: Upgrade Your Fall Decor with Advice from Local Experts

Holiday How-To: Upgrade Your Fall Decor with Advice from Local Experts

Interior designers share their tips on creating easy, elegant décor that will take you from Halloween through Thanksgiving.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments