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 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: Pork & Beans

Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

The latest restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group brings Texas-style smoked meats and more to Downtown.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

Grenier on playing the dream role of Willy Loman, coming to Pittsburgh and performing at the renowned Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
A Life Well Lived: Dan Rooney's Humility and Humanity

A Life Well Lived: Dan Rooney's Humility and Humanity

Delivering the Homily at Rooney's funeral, Cardinal Donald Wuerl acknowledged a longstanding Rooney philosophical belief: “You can get anything done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

Reviews of "Free Fire," "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Planning Proposals: The Element of Surprise

Planning Proposals: The Element of Surprise

This couple’s proposal story really takes the cake.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments