Obsession is the handmaiden of greatness, as with Samuel Johnson, whose obsession with words led him to create the first dictionary, or Thomas Andrews, whose obsession with his own johnson led him to create the Titanic. Now, one man's freakish dedication to barley pops has borne fruit: Beer Genie, just gone live.
Created by "beer guru" Rupert Ponsonby on behalf of the British Beer and Pub Ass., Genie is a comprehensive trove of pinted knowledge, covering history, recipes, and even a section on "Beer and Women", a subject heretofore thought to have been summed up by "yes, please". Invaluable banter catalysts run from "Egyptian minimum wage was two pots of beer a day", to "The Weihenstephan Brewery in Bavaria, brewing since 1040, is the world's oldest running brewery", to "Up until relatively recently, doctors would often prescribe small amounts of beer to pregnant women as a rich source of nutrients and iron" -- prompting you to ask your GP, "Have you seen the movie Junior?" More practical info includes "Beer and Entertaining", with recipes including marinades, batter, sauces, sorbet, jelly, and salad dressing, and "Beer and BBQ", with pairings for various steaks, ribs, chicken, fish, and grillers, and even a cheeky recipe for copiously spiced "beer can chicken", which involves cooking said poultry by impaling it on a beer vessel ("Don't be shy, the chicken won't mind -- just think what you're going to do with the can").
Most timely is the World Cup section, with every participating country broken down by group, and repped with the best beers it has to offer (plus a weblink to the place you can buy it), such as the USA's vaunted 12% Palo Santo Marron -- get too obsessed with that one, and uttering words Johnson never contemplated will just be the tip of your iceberg.