Beer book club - 2016's best new reads

Susanna Forbes

21 December 2016

Following on from our recent post on the classics you might want to invest in for your back bar Imbibrary, we couldn’t resist sharing with you some of our favourites from this year's crop of new beer and cider books.

The updated and expanded second edition of The World Atlas of Beer provides both context and colour as Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont traverse the globe once more (Mitchell Beazley). Maps are used to pinpoint trends as well as to locate key breweries, while every major beer style is covered, from barrel-aged Californian beer to traditional Finnish Sahti.

Want to find out that little bit more about the process itself? Try Beer School: A Crash Course in Craft Beer from The Craft Beer Channel hosts Jonny Garratt & Brad Evans (Mango Media). From conception, through ingredients, process and storing, the journey finishes in the bar with tips on pouring, tasting and glassware. Garratt picked up the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Best Online Beer Communicator award this year, so you can expect a bit of fun as well as clarity.

Mark Dredge takes his passion, beer and food matching, one step further in his latest tome, Cooking with Beer (Dog ‘n’ Bone). Yes, not just for sipping, here IPAs, wheat beers, lagers and stouts all get used in the 65 recipes featured. No stranger to gongs, Dredge picked up one of his two 2016 Guild of Beer Writers Awards for – you guessed it – Best Beer & Food. I have a feeling his next book might just embrace the aspect that won him his second 2016 trophy: travel. We’ll keep you posted.

Brushing up on cider and perry? Take time out for Pete Brown’s The Apple Orchard (Penguin Random House). Recently crowned 2016 Beer Writer of the Year by the Guild of Beer Writers, it is The Apple Orchard that has just been shortlisted in the 2016 André Simon Book Awards. Find a log fire, pour a glass of golden fire, and follow the apple through the year. Cider is but one element in this rich tapestry, but the characters are there, and you’ll emerge with a new-found respect for this humble, magical fruit.

Finally, one to inspire you and to entertain your customers: The Pub by Pete Brown (once more) (Jacqui Small). This book is not only born of Brown’s continuing fascination with the pub, but of his professional experience in chronicling their fortunes. Within these pages, 50 pubs are covered in depth with smaller profiles for another 250. A beautifully illuminating read.

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