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Tyson is an underpaid writer, beer anarchist and cheese addict living in the North West of England.
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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Craft Beer World by Mark Dredge


Apart from actually drinking the stuff, the next best thing is reading about beer. Which brings me to this worthy little effort. My apologies for not getting round to reviewing it sooner, but I have been using it as a doorstop. Had I known its contents, I would have no doubt got round to it much quicker. But let’s cut to the chase; what’s it like?

This is a 208 page guide to the best that the craft beer world has to offer. Written by the annoyingly smart Mr Dredge, it’s along the lines of “beers to try before you die”. 350 of them to be precise. Beers are broken down, sensibly, into styles and each one then gets a picture and a little write up. This being a craft beer book, the beers circle the world from England to Japan.

Now, as I always say, half the fun of these books is seeing what beers people have chosen; as you can’t please all the people etc. Crate Brewery Lager makes into the Pilsner section even though it’s not a Pilsner. And Fullers Bengal Lancer as one of the best English Pale Ale/IPA examples? I mean, really? Perhaps he’d had a long lunch.

That being said, I think this book is squarely aimed at people starting out on their journey into the craft beer world. And Mark does say it’s about celebrating the new, rather than rehashing classic beers that have been featured many times before. So maybe there is a place for Bengal Lancer after all. Just not on my shelf.

As you might expect, the text is well-written and entertaining as well as being educational. There are sections on how beer is made, the world of hops, cooking with beer and the flavours and off-flavours of beer. Naturally with such a title, he has to have a go at defining “craft” and does well in emphasising it’s more of an idea than a dictionary definition.

I was also rather taken with his notion that behind every beer there is a story and this book is here to tell those stories. Something it does rather well, I think. 

Craft Beer World is published by Dog'n'Bone at £16.99

1 comment:

Tandleman said...

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