I have three beer books on the go at the moment; all would make great presents: Great British Pubs, by Adrian Tierney-Jones, CAMRA’s Book of Beer Knowledge, by Jeff Evans, and the somewhat controversial Oxford Companion to Beer. (Links to UK Amazon below).
You might have seen Adrian Tierney-Jones’ beer columns in the Daily Telegraph, for which he was recently awarded British Guild of Beer Writers Best Beer Writer in National Media. His book: Great British Pubs as well as evidently being a work of passion, is a carefully thought-through book, neatly divided into themed chapters (Beer Range, City Pubs, Riverside Pubs, and so on). It is inspiring in me a wanderlust for the grandmother-of-all pub crawls. £14.99 RRP, or try Amazon. Jeff Evans’ book is subtitled Essential Wisdom for the Discerning Drinker. It is a smaller volume but packs a huge number of beer-related facts into its pages. At £7.99. An ideal stocking filler; I have trouble wresting it from MaltCim. Here is the Amazon link. The Oxford Companion to Beer, edited by Garrett Oliver, has caused somewhat of a stir in the beer writing world. It is encyclopaedic in nature, has been years in the making, has 920 pages with over 1100 entries written by 165 different contributors. The controversy stems from disagreements over omissions and errors. As someone who has spent a career in various forms of technical communication, I’d say in a first edition work of this nature, this is Bound To Happen. There’s no escaping though, it is a fascinating and essential read for anyone interested in beer. £35.00 RRP, or somewhat cheaper here.
But, but… the book that has really made a difference to my appreciation of beer, and to a large extent, what I write about on The Nightjar, is a book that came out years ago, but which I only first read towards the end of 2010. Nevertheless, I keep going back to it: Garrett Oliver’s The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the pleasure of Real Beer with Real Food.
Really, this book deserves a post to itself, so I’ll leave you with a link to the Kindle Edition, £8.99. The current “proper” book copy is bulky, despite it’s flimsy soft cover, and if you’re serious about pairing beer and food, you need to be able to carry this around with you. You don’t have to have a Kindle: get the Kindle reader app.
Come back for Part 3: Whisky