I’m a beer girl. Now and then, I’ll sip wine alongside food but our fridge is filled with suds. It’s a great time to be a beer lover, with an exploding craft beer movement that continues to serve up one delectable offering after another.

My husband is a much more knowledgeable connoisseur than I am. Often at bars and restaurants – I ask him to choose something I’ll like. The truth is, I didn’t really know what made an IPA an IPA and I didn’t have the words to characterize the flavors that I did and didn’t like in the beers I’d tried. Then, I found the Beer Wench….

Ashley told me that she wrote her book for people just like me. Those of us who need a knowledge boost to sink deeper into Beer-topia. The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer: An Unpretentious Guide to Craft Beer is a complete reference guide written with easily digestible language and concepts. Ashley’s book serves up a history of beer, color and taste classifications, tasting notes of a litany of beers, and meal ideas to perfectly pair with your favorite brew. From ingredients and brewing processes to pairings and recipes, beer has never been more accessible, more delicious, and more exciting than ever before.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this book was the instructions on how to taste and evaluate beer. With clear and easy instructions, the book dissects the components of judging a beer; for instance what to look, smell, and taste for. Slinging back brewskies without tasting their unique composition on the tongue is a thing of the past now that I have a guide to walk me through informed tastings. If the chapter on “Respecting Beer” is any indication, the evolution of sipping suds has grown into a delightful experience to savor and treasure, no matter if you’re exploring the depths of flavor or just enjoying a cool beer on a hot summer day.

Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just someone who wants to learn more about the differences between lagers and ales, I highly recommend that you get your clutches on The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer. It will demystify the complexities of a beverage thousands of years old and teach you how to truly enjoy the craft that goes into very aspect of your tasting experience.

BOOK GIVEAWAY (Update: Giveaway closed! Keep your eyes out for the next one!)
To get things started for one Whipped fan, I am giving away a copy of The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer to a one person who leaves a comment answering which type of beer is his or her favorite. On Monday, August 10th, I’ll randomly choose a winner. Cheers!

I was fortunate enough to share an email exchange with the Beer Wench herself. My adoration grew tenfold when I got a taste of her unedited, direct sassy wit.

You know your beers, but do you cook? If so, what’s your specialty?
I love cooking! It’s quite possibly my favorite thing to do — well, outside of eating and drinking! I like to think of myself as a carnivore — so I would say my “specialty” is meat of all types. I love to cook game, when I can get it. Everything has to be free-range, grass-fed and organic if possible. Steak, ahi tuna, salmon. Simple seasonings, cooked as rare as possible. Mmmmmm.

You can take one case of one kind of beer to a dessert island. What would you choose?
Easiest question ever. Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Company. It is the beer to end all beers. Some people claim its over-rated — and those people need to be punched in the face. :)

If you had to give up cheese or chocolate for the rest of your life, which would it be?
My gut says it should be cheese, quite literally because I’m lactose intolerant, but I would definitely give up chocolate. But it’s never stopped me from stuffing my face full of pizza and cheese. I would give up most foods before I would give up cheese!

If you could drink a beer with anyone in the world, who would it be?
This is an extremely hard question to answer. Alive? Anthony Bourdain is pretty high up on my list. Dead? It would be pretty cool to meet both my grandfathers. Both passed the year I was born and I’d love to have a beer with them!