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: Union Standard

Restaurant Review: Union Standard

Longtime big Burrito chef Derek Stevens looks to elevate dining in Downtown Pittsburgh with his first independent restaurant project.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The new Live Animal Encounters program introduces museum visitors to rescued wildlife.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Close to a half dozen local businesses, among them Savannah Hayes and Stak Ceramics, will make their debut next week at the mega interior design and home goods-focused show in New York City.

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