Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer is one of the most informative and enjoyable texts on beer, and it deserves a place on all craft beer fan’s shelves. But what if you didn’t need a shelf for the book? There have been ebook versions of Tasting Beer in the past, but the presentation by electronic textbook company Inkling is the best one we’ve seen.
We’ve talked about Randy Mosher’s excellent book Tasting Beer before, and it is hands-down one of the most useful, informational, and enjoyable books about beer that we’ve yet come across. It covers everything from the history of the beverage, to how to taste and enjoy beer, to the many different common styles of beer, and all with a light and approachable voice.
The book is required reading for BJCP candidates and Cicerone students, and if you want to learn to get more out of every glass of beer, there are few better places to start. The print edition of Tasting Beer is available for under $12 from Amazon, and it is also available as a Kindle ebook for just $2.50. I own both versions and, while I normally love kindle books for their convenience I find the print edition to be a more useful as a reference since I am often referring to it when working on articles.
The presentation of the Kindle edition leaves a lot to be desired, and the carefully designed page layouts of the book are lost when it is translated to the Kindle format. Thankfully, not all ebooks are created equal, and electronic textbook publishing service Inkling has come to the rescue with their own electronic edition of Tasting Beer.
Inkling began as a solution for presenting true-to-print layouts of textbooks on iPads, and they have since expanded to include all iOS Devices, as well as PC and Mac computers. The apps are free, and the ebook will set you back $13. One nice feature that Inkling offers is the ability to purchase a single chapter of a text for just $2, and they offer a free chapter so you can try-out the service.
The presentation of the book is really wonderful, and Inkling does a much better job capturing the page-layouts of the print version. Below is a comparison of the same content on the Kindle and Inkling ebooks:
The Inkling software also makes searching, highlighting, and annotating very simple. I found that I took many more notes when reading the text on Inkling because it was so easy to interact with the text. Searching the text is particularly nice; the use of autocomplete on search queries makes finding what you’re looking for straightforward and fast.
There are also in-line definitions for terms – just tap on the blue icons to get definitions – as well as hyperlinks, detail-views of photos and illustrations, and other additional content. The coverage of beer styles in the Inkling ebook has another nice added touch: you can fill-out “Tasting Records” for each style right from you device:
It is obvious that Inkling was built for students, and I’ve found myself using the app nearly as often as my trusty, well-worn physical copy of the book.
If you still haven’t purchased a copy of Tasting Beer, and you have an iOS device, I would highly recommend taking the Inkling software for a test drive with their free chapter offer. I was very surprised at how nice the reading experience was, and the ease of note-taking, book marking, and additional features make this one reference book that I’m just as happy to have on my virtual library shelves.
- Inkling – Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher