Beer: The Ultimate World Tour
Since Michael Jackson’s first World Guide to Beer, beer writers have tried to embrace the full scope of the third-most-popular beverage on the planet. Not an easy task, but generally very enjoyable for the reader.
Bill Yenne continues the tradition with this beautiful and rich survey. When Jackson first wrote his book, the beer world was just starting to shake off the decades of closings and mergers and embracing the excitement of new brewery openings and style proliferation. Today, breweries are sprouting up everywhere, frustrating the goal of collecting all between the pages of one book. Yenne is a masterful juggler not just showcasing both classic and upstart breweries but also spicing his narrative with interesting bits of information (the origins of the name Stella Artois or Tusker? Or the beer that kickstarted Mikkeller’s international fame?). Here the historical elements of each region and individual breweries combine with discussions of their beers and the styles that encompass them.
Beer: The Ultimate World Tour (Race Point Publishing, Hardcover, $30, 288 pp) is not a sit down and read into the wee hours type of book, but it should be kept by the reading chair and, from time to time, picked up and savored. This book is great entertainment.