Maintaining a beer blog - even a casual one like this - occassionally has its perks. Recently I was contacted by a PR rep regarding a new book from Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont. A fan of their work, I jumped on this opportunity to receive a copy of The World Atlas of Beer: The Essential Guide to the Beers of the World.
Both Webb and Beaumont are accomplished beer writers. Beaumont is known for his prolifc nature across various publications such as Wine Enthusaist, The Celebrator, Whisky Advocate, The Globe and many others. Currently, World of Beer is the best place to get his latest updates. Tim Webb has written a number of highly regarded books about beer and travel - including my favorite companion to my Belgium trip, Good Beer Guide Belgium. He also spent six years on the board of CAMRA and co-authored the well-received Brew like a Monk. This new book - now available - show us what happens when two fantastic writers team up to celebrate a topic they are respectively quite passionate about, and the final product could not have turned out better.
The hardcover version of this book is a signifcant piece of work to behold - at almost 11.5"x9.5" and over 250 pages it will rival most coffee table books in your home - if not in sheer size, then certainly in content. The impressive volume of data, gorgeous photography, infographics, brewery maps, pairing advice, and thoughtful tasting notes for over 500 beers make this one of the most comprehensive yet consise works on international beer that I have seen to date. The great beer writer Michael Jackson would have been proud to feast his eyes on such a masterful work. It is, after all, in his tradition that we continue to publish meaningful and respectful works about the greatest (though oft snubbed and under-appreciated) beverage in the world.
Neither Beaumont nor Webb is American (Beaumont is Canadian and Webb, British) - and I actually think that is an important aspect to the success of this book. While I, like many Americans, tout the greatness of the big, bold American brews, I am guilty of missing some of the finer points of the subtler brews;