The idea for the 33 Beers sketchbook “came to us after many failed attempts at note-taking during some of the West Coast’s many beer festivals”, says founder Dave Selden. “At some point in these experiences, laziness tended to take over, and the tasting notes stopped writing themselves. The next day, trying to recall the third bourbon barrel-aged porter became an exercise in Twitter and SMS reconstruction (“try the Allagash Curieux quick b4 it runs out!!”). We knew there had to be a better way.”
Thus the 33 Beers Sketchbook was born. 33 Beers is designed for quickly taking down the important details of a beer. A unique “flavor wheel” is included on each of the 33 pages of note-taking space, and provides a quick, visual way of describing a beer’s flavor (and recall it later). Simple check-boxes for serving method (draught, can, bottle, etc.) and other key information (IBUs, ABV, name, price, where you had it and a 5-star rating system) make the beer note-taking simple, straight-forward and quick, so you can get back to the sampling faster.
Best of all, the 33 Beers Sketchbook is both inexpensive ($4 each or 3/$10) and highly portable. Thinner than a cell phone, it fits in the front or back pockets of most pairs of jeans. The book is also printed on 100% recycled paper using US-grown soy-based ink. The book is available at 33beers.com or select retailers nationwide (see the website for an up-to-date list)
The good folks at 33beers.com were kind enough to send me one of their sketchbooks for review (yes FTC, it was free) and I can certainly attest to its portability and ease of use. I’ve personally never been one to take notes on my beers. For me, it was also a matter of: “if it’s not good enough to remember on my own, it’s not worth taking notes”. Or probably more to the point, as Dave said above, whenever I tried to takes notes on what I was tasting at an event, after the first sample or two, my notes would very quickly peter out.
The 33 Beers book, however, is easy to bring with you and since “reviewing” a beer takes a matter of seconds, I could definitely see myself getting into the reviewing habit. If it’s something you’re already fond of doing, than I definitely recommending picking up a sketchbook for yourself (especially since it retails for less than the cost of a pint at the bar). Enjoy!