No, I didn’t receive 33 literal beers (I wish!), but rather the beer sketchbooks 33 Bottles of Beer. Portland beer blogger and journal entrepreneur Dave Seldon of The Champagne of Blogs is the man behind the booklets, and it’s a clever and well-executed idea (one I wish I’d had). The premise is, these are pocket-sized beer journals ideally suited to note-taking during events like beer festivals where it’s not very convenient to lug around a larger notebook:
This beer journal is designed for ease of use. It’s tough to hold a notepad in one hand, a pencil in the other, and have another hand left for beer. Taking notes with 33 Beers is as simple as checking a few boxes and entering a few basic facts.
Each page contains the necessary note-taking space for a single beer: name, brewers, price, rating, 5 lines of notes, and the facts about the beer (IBUs, ABV, OG and FG). The most unique aspect, though, is the flavor wheel on each page which gives you a visual “image” of the flavor and body characteristics of the beer, with values like dark fruit, hoppy, malty, toffee, sour, and more. You rate each characteristic on a scale of 1 to 5 on the wheel, then connect the dots. I’m really curious as to how well these “images” of beer flavor work across like styles—for example, would you be able to tell the style or type of beer by the flavor wheel image you see?
Each booklet is 32 pages long—32 pages plus the inside back cover give you 33 reviews per sketchbook, a nice maximizing of space. And here’s something else to like, too:
33 Beers is made with 100% recycled papers sourced in the Pacific Northwest. Interior pages are 100% post-consumer recycled content and covers are 85% post-consumer recycled content and 15% recycled content. The booklets are printed using US-grown soy-based inks in sunny Portland, Oregon.
The booklets sell for $4 each or $10 for a pack of three. I received my three as review copies, but I think that’s a good deal from what I’ve seen so far.
I’ll be trying it out this weekend at the Bend Brewfest, and let you know how it worked out for me.