The brutal truth about a dull book

The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme BeersBrewtalTruth-e1384180003780
Adem Tepedelen
Lyons Press (2013)

This is a pretty weird book – one that links beer reviews with heavy metal. It stems from the fact that Tepedelen writes a beer column called The Brewtal Truth for Decibel Magazine. That’s a metal mag from the USA. Yep, a music mag with a beer column in it – weird. You wouldn’t see a beer magazine with a metal column in it.

The book includes page-long reviews of “extreme beers”, divided into chapters with titles like “Drinking the Decrepit” and “Ingredients from Hell”. The end of each chapter includes two interviews – one with an “extreme” brewer and the other with a member of a metal band talking about why they’re a beer fan. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t really care why the drummer from Charred Walls of the Damned likes craft beer.

The word “extreme” here largely refers to high-alcohol, but some make the grade for their unusual ingredients. And the beers are largely American and pretty much impossible to get in Australia. So you’ll be reading about beers you’ll never get to try – seldom a fun thing in my experience. What’s even less fun is reading beer reviews in general. I seldom write them on this blog because I find them boring to read. Yet that it what the entries here are – just description of the beer. No talk of the brewery that created it, or the idea behind it or anything like that. Just how it pours and what it tastes like.


If you really like your metal, you might (maybe) find this book interesting. Or if you’re a fan of reading descriptions of beers you’ll never try, you might like it. I don’t fit into either category, so this book did nothing for me. Don’t reckon it’ll go on the beer bookshelf at home either. Might give it away to someone – got no interest in keeping it.

5 replies »

  1. Thanks for writing about my book. Too bad the beers in it aren’t available in Australia. I have to admit that I didn’t really consider that when writing it. I still think it’s “a cracker of a read,” because I made it a point of writing every “review” (I call them profiles) with some sort of angle (frequently music related). As for my column in Decibel, it’s been really popular for the last five years. I’m surprised that a connection between extreme beers and extreme music seems weird to you, but maybe that’s my own bias. Seems like metal and beer have a relationship that goes way back. Cheers.

    • Hey there, I agree the book would have worked better if some of the beers were available here. It’s a common problem I have with US books, that they review beers I have no experience of, which tends to diminish the enjoyment of the book for me.
      I have passed on your book to a professional brewer who is also a metalhead. And he likes extreme beers – so he’s enjoying the book.
      As an aside, my attitude to reviews is it’s just my opinion – it’s not an emphatic statement that the book is bad, good or whatever. It just means that it didn’t work for me.

      • Well, I appreciate you taking the time to write about my book, even if it wasn’t your thing. And thanks for passing it along to someone who you think might enjoy it. Cheers.

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