Do you like to try and evaluate beer? I think most craft beer fans do. Many bloggers start off as beer reviewers and as a result, some have developed more sophisticated palates, capable of discerning and describing a multitude of flavors and characteristics. One book that provides intimate details on some of the world’s finest malt beverages was released just this past year. The book is World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savor, a reference guide written by Adrian Tierney- Jones.
Pick Your Nation
World Bottled Beers sorts its beers by nation and includes some classic brews from these countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Czech Republic
Some of the best bottled beers are spotlighted from each country. Readers can learn more about such noteworthy brews as Fuller’s Vintage Ale, Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale, Saison Dupont, Pilsner Urquell, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, and many others.
World Bottled Beers is all about the beer. Each listing includes the country of origin, alcohol level by volume, and brewery web site at the top of the page. This is followed by some historical information on the beer and brewery, followed by detailed analysis of the beer’s flavor characteristics. The adjectives are many and the reader is well- informed on the many complexities that comprise the taste, appearance, and mouthfeel of these different beers. And each of the 50 listings includes a full, bottle- shaped image on one side of the page so that readers can quickly associate a beer with its unique label.
I like the way this book breaks down the different beers and explains their flavors and character. I have sampled most of the featured beers and the adjectives used to describe some of them include taste sensations I hadn’t considered before. This does pique my interest, as I am now curious and ready to revisit some of these beers to see if I can discern the same flavors.
Reference guides like World Bottled Beers are useful, but I do have a few small issues with this book that I must share. First, its shape- it isn’t the standard rectangular design we expect in a book. Rather, it is shaped like a bottle and while it is unique and eye- catching, it makes it awkward to turn the pages and read. Second, I wish it contained more than just 50 beers. There are far too many great beers of the world to limit to only 50 and readers are likely to wonder why, exactly, some were included while other, better beers were left out. And the distribution of the 50 beers is not equal among countries. The UK and USA contain the bulk of the beers featured in this book. This is fine, since these countries produce such a large variety of great beer. But nations like Belgium and Germany have only 5 featured beers, which is far too few for countries known for their strong brewing traditions.
World Bottled Beers is a nice novelty guide to some of the best beers in the world and it does make a nice gift idea for the beer lover in your home. It’s not a complete book about the world’s great beers, as only 50 products are given the spotlight. But the good descriptors and other information on the highlighted beers are useful and they help make for pleasant reading.