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12-03-2011, 11:30
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I’ve been nose-deep in a few good beer books recently... And a few good non-beer books, too...

Travels with Barley (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Travels-Barley-Journey-Through-Culture/dp/074323278X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_6) by Ken Wells is his search for the perfect beer joint, choosing the Mississippi as his rough guide but also diverting around the US. Wells is a beer fan but not yet a beer geek and it’s a fascinating journey into the microcosm of bar life and bar flies around the US. I definitely recommend it – the chapter on Budweiser’s hop farm is worth it alone.

Andy Crouch’s Great American Craft Beer (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-American-Craft-Beer-320/dp/0762438118/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299925680&sr=1-1) is a guide to the finest beers and breweries in the US and I like it a lot. It’s got a simple design, it’s colourful and colourfully written, making it engaging and fun to read with some of the best tasting notes I’ve read in a long time plus interesting introductions to each style. There’s also some history and some food and beer, which is also good. Thirsty reading!

The Longest Crawl (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Longest-Crawl-Ian-Marchant/dp/0747585571/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299925704&sr=1-1) by Ian Marchant is the best beer book I’ve read since Hops and Glory. It’s the story of the journey between Britain’s most southerly and northerly pubs and it’s fuelled with fun, lots of beer, too many drugs and many unforgettable characters. It’s fantastically written and one of those which, as someone who wants to write a book like this, makes me realise that I’ve got a way to go until I’m ready to write something like this. Read it!

Beer is Proof God Loves Us (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beer-Proof-God-Loves-Us/dp/0137065078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299925729&sr=1-1) by Charles Bamforth is largely autobiography weaved with history and science and philosophy and it makes for a good read – different to all the other beer books out there in that it makes you look a little differently at the industry given Bamforth’s wide experience.

Round Ireland with a Fridge (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Round-Ireland-Fridge-Tony-Hawks/dp/0091867770/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299925748&sr=1-1) by Tony Hawks might not be a beer book but it starts with a few beers and it punctuated with them throughout. It’s also a fantastic bit of travel writing – funny, engaging, charming, heart-warming and booze-filled.

And I don’t think I’ve mentioned The Flavour Thesaurus (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flavour-Thesaurus-Niki-Segnit/dp/0747599777/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299925770&sr=1-1) by Niki Segnit yet but if you haven’t bought it then you should. I love it. It’s the sort of book that I want to read forever in the hope that I will somehow discover the secret to how she writes so well. It’s about flavour combinations, there’s weird and wonderful recipes throughout and I’ve never read nicer similes in my life.

Anyone read any good beer books recently? (Or just any good books in general?! I’m always looking for things to line my bookshelves!)

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