Winter 2019 The Bookshelf

Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint by John Holl

John Holl loves beer.

In fact, by pursuing his passion for beer, this former New York Times reporter has become one of the country’s most well-regarded beer authorities. But this award-winning journalist, senior editor of Craft Beer & Brewing magazine and host of his own podcast, is anything but a snob when it comes to his favorite beverage. And he wrote his latest book – Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, for those of us who would rather NOT geek-out over hops. In fact, if you don’t like hoppy beer, he’s OK with that too.

Holl grew up in northern New Jersey in the New York media market, where for many years, a commercial for Syms discount clothing store ran on television. The store’s owner, Sy Syms, always ended the commercial by saying: an educated consumer is my best customer.

Love beer or hate it, John Holl wants you to be an educated beer consumer. He understands that most casual drinkers are overwhelmed with too many choices (i.e., too many IPAs on tap at most bars) and way too many ads. Holl is most sympathetic to younger, legal-aged drinkers who never experienced life before the craft beer boom. How could they possibly know what they like, or more importantly – why they may like or dislike a beer – without having experienced life before better beers were commonplace? In a perfect beer world, Holl would like drinkers to be educated consumers, forming their own opinions without being swayed by commercials or anyone who purports to be a beer expert.

If you enjoy a good read that happens to be a light-hearted rundown of all the things that make beer the world’s most social and food-friendly alcoholic beverage, then this book is for you. The content is fun and informative with anecdotes about craft brew pioneers and the beers that launched their careers. And Drink Beer, Think Beer is written in a style that feels like Holl is sitting on the barstool next to you, gently instructing you how to get maximum enjoyment from every sip of beer.

To purchase Drink Beer, Think Beer, head to

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Draught Lines is a seasonal magazine dedicated to the craft beer experience.