Why is beer so popular while tailgating? If you are a beer drinker you already know the answer to that question. You already know how awesome beer is. Or do you?
Because beer is by far and away the most prevalent beverage in the tailgating parking lot we thought it our duty to do a book review on The Book of Beer Awesomeness: A Champion’s Guide to Party Skills, Amazing Beer Activities, and More Than Forty Drinking Games.
To put this book in perspective, The Book of Beer Awesomeness is authored by Ben Applebaum and Dan DiSorbo who co-authored The Book of Beer Pong that was published in 2009. (We did a book review of that one and you can read it HERE.) Applebaum and DiSorbo are back and the follow up book, much like The Book of Beer Pong, does not disappoint. In fact, it is awesomeness.
Before getting into my review of the book, check out the video they put together promoting the book.
As you might expect, The Book of Beer Awesomeness opens with essentially a Beer 101 scholastic course on the history of beer, how it is made, what are the major ingredients and the different types of beer. I don’t consider myself a beer snob or even a brew know-it-all but I thought I knew pretty much there is to know about the basics of beer. After all, I graduated from two universities with two different bachelors degrees, lived in a fraternity house for five years, have found a way to scrape out a living making tailgating my primary source of income and have probably spilled more beer than your average college kid has consumed.
I was surprised to learn a few things from this section of the book including German beer steins were invented with a protective lid to prevent Black Plague-carrying insects from infecting one’s beer. So even for a beer “expert” like myself, there is still more to learn and The Book of Beer Awesomeness provides it.
I will admit that my favorite chapter in the book was Chapter 4: Advanced Skills. I found this most appealing to me because it will probably be most appealing to tailgaters. Techniques that you may have seen out in the parking lots like The Waterfall (a.k.a. The Beer Cascade), shotgunning, beer bongs and keg stands were explained in detail and a step-by-step tutorial on how to perform them was also included.
The remaining chapters cover all types of drinking games that require memory, skill, strategy and even beer drinking games that rely on luck. The final chapter deals with the “Beer Drinking Sports”. These are those games that predominantly do not require beer to be present, with the exception of beer pong, but are greatly enhanced with a brewski in hand or close by. Many of the games covered in this section include the previously mentioned beer pong (these guys wrote a book about beer pong unless you haven’t been paying attention), along with parking lot staples like cornhole, washers, flip cup, Polish Horseshoes and even The Louisville Chugger. (They call it Dizzy Bat)
I thought I had played or at least heard of every beer drinking game known to man but I was pleasantly surprised to read of a few I was unaware of including Moose and Fire in the Hole. I was pleased to see a number of the old beer drinking game standbys like Quarters, Caps, Anchorman, 3-Man among others were all included. I was a bit surprised to not see “Sink the Bismark” included but then again, I am sure that if they included every beer drinking game created in the universe the book would be bigger than the New York City phone book. Another beer drinking game of skill I was surprised that was missing was “Cardinal Puff”. I can excuse this omission because divulging the details and procedures on how to become a Cardinal can only be taught in person and the one learning to become a Cardinal must go through the process before claiming to be one.
One last criticism to an otherwise outstanding read came at the end of Chapter 2 on page 52. Although I appreciated the authors including a segment regarding tailgating, it was limited to only one page. Also, the authors cited receiving tips from The National Tailgating League (NTL) to complete this page. Now this isn’t a case of sour grapes insinuating we should have been consulted or referenced. The issue we have with using the NTL as an authoritative source on tailgating is because the NTL is not really focused on tailgating. The NTL is more a cornhole competition sanctioning body that hosts their tournaments outside of sports and auto racing venues. I think a better source to reference would have been someone like Joe Cahn who lives and breathes tailgating much like we do. Okay, I got that off my chest and let’s move on.
Overall, The Book of Beer Awesomeness is an entertaining, humorous and informative read. It does not read like a text book because the authors take ownership that this book is for entertainment and take care to mix in humor and sarcasm throughout. I would highly recommend this book to any beer drinker and to tailgaters alike. A fun summertime read to get you in the mood for the upcoming football season and months of tailgating ahead. At the very least, will make you appreciate the painstaking process it takes to brew beer.