When I was coming of age in America, the craft beer movement was still in its infancy. In the Pacific Northwest, although now known particularly for hoppy pale ales, hefeweizen and amber ales were the popular beers, and a number of European styles of beer were essentially unheard of back then. People were just beginning to learn the differences between lagers and ales, and most people’s focus was more on not drinking Budweiser, Miller, or Coors than it was on finding a particular style of Belgian beer.
Now, however, things have changed dramatically. People philosophize about the differences between Trappist and Abbey ales, wax poetic about their favorite craft brewery in each state, and discuss International Bitterness Units as if they were common knowledge. With all that is going on in the world of beer, both in America and internationally, it can be hard to keep up. Thank goodness for “The World Atlas of Beer,” an approachable and in-depth look at 500 of the world’s best beers.
World beer experts Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont have written a comprehensive look at the best beers in over 35 different countries in the world. Tim Webb is a renowned Belgian beer expert and writer for “Beer Advocate Magazine,” while Stephen Beaumont has written on beer and beverages for a number of publications, including “Whisky Advocate” and “Playboy Magazine.” With “The World Atlas of Beer,” both men have accomplished something that can be exceptionally hard; they’ve made beer easily-approachable and understandable while still covering the depth and breadth of the world of beer.
At 256 pages, the “Atlas” is filled with great photography and maps of beer-producing regions. Each country gets its own section, and additional sections on things like emerging beer trends, extreme beers, collaboration beers, and future beer trends makes this a timely and valuable addition to any beer enthusiast’s bookshelf. The “Atlas” will hit bookshelves in October, and I highly recommend keeping a lookout for it. I’ve already referenced this book a few times in the week since I’ve had my review copy, and I’m sure that it will prove to be an invaluable and entertaining reference over time as well.