Christmas Gifts for Beer Lovers: 10 Books to Put Under the Tree
If you're looking for a Christmas gift for the beer-lover in your life, take inspiration from our list of 10 books about our national drink. While the number of breweries in the UK has rocketed – up to 1,700 at the last count – writing about beer, brewers and pubs is also in good health. Whether you want a romp through beer's 10,000-year history, some tips on cooking with beer or a handy guide to the best places to enjoy it, there's a book just waiting to go under your Christmas tree.
All the books below have been written by some of our finest beer and pubs writers, whose work has been recognised in the annual awards staged by the British Guild of Beer Writers. Simply choose, wrap up, hand over - preferably with a bottle of seasonal ale – and wait for the gratitude to pour in.
The World Atlas of Beer
By Tim Webb & Stephen Beaumont
This lavishly-illustrated book explores the development of beer and the myriad brewing techniques in use across the world today. Country by country, the book looks at beer styles and traditions, from Trappist ales of Belgium to barrel-aged Californian beers and traditional Finnish sahti. The book provides tasting notes for an impressive 500 beers, while detailed maps locate key breweries and crucial trends around the globe.
Available from www.booksaboutbeer.com
Price: £25 including P+P
Britain's Beer Revolution
By Roger Protz & Adrian Tierney-Jones
This engaging book takes a look at Britain's craft beer revolution. Region by region, innovative breweries are highlighted alongside the authors' suggested 'beers to try' and a selection of the best pubs and brewery taps. Interviews with key brewers, maltsters, hop growers, pub owners and others shine a spotlight on what makes British beer so good.
Available from https://shop.camra.org.uk/books/beerrevolution.html
Beer & Food
By Mark Dredge
Whether you've cooked dinner and don't know what beer to serve it with, or have a tasty brew and can't decide what food to pair it with, this is an easy-to-use reference book – and more. It looks at the science of matching beer and food, showcasing different beer styles before delving into different cuisines from around the world, from sandwiches to curries and desserts. There's also a recipe section with over 50 dishes which use beer as an ingredient. With over 350 beers featured, it's the perfect present for everyone who loves beer and food.
Available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beer-Food-Mark-Dredge/dp/1909313238/
London's Best Beer, Pubs and Bars
By Des de Moor
This handy guide is packed with detailed maps and easy-to-use listings to help you find the best places to enjoy British and international beers in the capital. Laid out by area, listings are illustrated and include a variety of pubs, bars and breweries, while features tell you more about London's rich history of brewing and its resurgent brewing scene where well-known brands rub shoulders with tiny microbreweries.
Available from: http://www.camra.org.uk/londonsbestbeer
101 Beer Days Out
By Tim Hampson
The perfect handbook for the beer tourist wanting to explore beer, pubs and brewing in the UK. From brewery tours to rail-ale trails, beer festivals to hop farms, brewing courses to historic pubs,101 Beer Days Out brings together the very best events, activities and places to visit with beer at their heart, clearly laid out by region. It also has a handy calendar of beer and food festivals, as well as some of our nation's more eccentric events. Bog snorkelling in mid-Wales, anyone?
Available from: https://shop.camra.org.uk/books/101-beer-days-out-252.html
Around Amsterdam in 80 Beers
By Tim Skelton
Amsterdam, cultural capital of the Netherlands, is a port city cross-crossed by canals and alley ways, its low-rise skyline dotted with town houses and stepped gables. What better way to explore it than by taking in a few beers in its finest cafés? A 'must' for anyone wanting an inside track on this fascinating city, this book is one of a series of beer-oriented guides to European cities including Berlin, Brussels and Prague.
Available from: http://www.booksaboutbeer.com/collections/all
Strange Tales of Ale
By Martyn Cornell
The history of beer is pitted with strange tales, recounted in this entertaining book by beer historian and writer Martyn Cornell. From the London Beer Flood of 1814, to the air-drop of mild and bitter to British troops after the D-Day landings, the link between ale and bridal gowns, the odd story of pea beer, the most notorious brewer in history and brewing beer from Christmas trees – these and many other tales make this the perfect stocking filler to amuse, entertain and educate beer fans.
Available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strange-Tales-Ale-Martyn-Cornell/dp/1445647974/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1478620537&sr=1-1&keywords=martyn+cornell
So You Want To Be A Beer Expert?
By Jeff Evans
A hands-on course in beer appreciation, covering how beer is made, ingredients and more. Advice on how to taste beer shows readers, through their own tastebuds, what beer is all about. The book is an accessible, enjoyable introduction to beer that points readers in the right direction to learn more, towards places to visits, people to talk to an in-depth books to read.
By Pete Brown
From coaching inns and ale houses to gin palaces and community locals, the pub is revered yet endangered, unmistakeably British and internationally celebrated. This beautifully-illustrated collection of 300 pubs with atmosphere will include 50 in-depth reviews and 250 smaller descriptions, alongside quirks of local history, pen portraits of punters or publicans, legends, yarns and myths. A great gift for pub and history lovers, written by Pete Brown, the 'beer drinker's Bill Bryson'.
Available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pub-Cultural-Institution-Country-Corner/dp/1910254525/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478621075&sr=8-2&keywords=pete+brown+books Price: £22.50
School of Booze: An Insider's Guide to Libations, Tipples and Brews
By Jane Peyton
This book contains everything you have ever wanted to know about drink, from how to make absinthe to the cultural history of zythos (beer). Packed with fascinating miscellany and curious facts to entertain your friends at the pub, this book is an essential compendium of knowledge about life's 'second greatest pleasure' (according to essayist Dr Samuel Johnson).