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Thursday, February 7, 2008

DRINK BOOK REVIEW: EYEWITNESS COMPANIONS: BEER

EYEWITNESS COMPANIONS: BEER (DK, 2007, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-
3155-0, $25 paper covers) has been edited by the late Michael Jackson
(he died in August, 2007), the world's leading writer on beer. He was a
multiple-award winning specialist on barley, for he also wrote about
whiskies. The book is an "illustrated portable guide to global beers".
Jackson only goes after the best beers and the top producers, and
furnishes extensive tasting notes. There's material on beer styles and
history (lager, ale, porter, krieks, etc.), how to taste and enjoy a
beer, beer and food matching, and a glossary of terms. That leaves 210
pages for beers of the world. The Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, and
the UK get the most space. Beers are arranged alphabetically within
countries. Each brewer gets a name entry, address, website, short
history-description, and a tasting note for one or more beer styles.
There are 18 breweries listed for Canada, from Amsterdam, Big Rock,
Brick, McAuslan, Moosehead, and Wellington among others. Illustrations
are colourful, and feature mainly bottles, labels, and adverts.
Audience and level of use: beer drinkers who read.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: the TN for Bud - "sweet,
grainy nose, with green apples, a light balanced body, but without
distinct flavours".
The downside to this book: major producers include Budweiser and
Miller, and they are here, adding nothing to the book.
The upside to this book: comprehensive and illustrative.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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