Charles W. Bamforth’s Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: Reaching for the Soul of Beer and Brewing (published October, 2010, 304 pages) is a good reference book to out-conversate (is this a word?) your beer cronies.
At the back cover:
“A delightful book that not only reaches the soul of brewing but also tells us much about the soul and humanity of the author. Bamforth skillfully weaves a holistic and philosophical story about our complex society and the positive role that beer has, does, and will play in it. It is a joy to read and will leave the reader refreshed in mind and soul.”
–Simon Jackson, Executive Director, Institute of Brewing and Distilling, London, England