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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man Walks into a Pub
Man Walks into a Pub is a social history of beer, beer drinking and the places where beer is consumed that takes us from ancient Egypt to the present day, and it’s a wonderful journey. The author, Pete Brown has a knack for keeping the reader engaged by using everyday language. So much so you could almost imagine you and he were in the pub enjoying a pint so...
Published on 9 Aug 2003 by John Harley, Chief Executive, ...

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History of Beer
Another token present for blokes .. and the hardened female drinker .. nothing special but a stocking filler. A bit of fun.
Published 17 months ago by Graham Cunningham


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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man Walks into a Pub, 9 Aug 2003
Man Walks into a Pub is a social history of beer, beer drinking and the places where beer is consumed that takes us from ancient Egypt to the present day, and it’s a wonderful journey. The author, Pete Brown has a knack for keeping the reader engaged by using everyday language. So much so you could almost imagine you and he were in the pub enjoying a pint so relaxingly convincing is his prose, and his abuse of footnotes can be hilarious.
Informative, satisfying and ultimately entertaining, this book sways wildly from acerbic wit to erudite scholarliness without pausing for breath, but always tackles the serious business of telling the story of one of the most important aspects of Britain’s social history with reverence and affection.
The extent of Browns research is evident as the reader learns the beer-soaked etymology of recognisable phrases such as ‘taking him down a peg or two’, ‘enjoying the fruits of their labours scot-free’ and ‘tosse-pot’. The stories are engaging and plentiful, the book is punctuated by major events such as the two world wars, the birth of the super-brand etc. and these stories integrate wonderfully so that the reader is left with a weight of knowledge that is as broad as it is amusing – you could dine out on some of these tales for years.
If you have ever walked into a pub (be you man or woman), have any interest in beer, or just want a damn good read I urge you to read this book.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Bar One, 11 Mar 2005
By 
S. Greig (Guildford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
An excellent and entertaining history of beer drinking in the UK that contains absolutely hundreds of interesting facts. The history seems well researched and the author's style is very informal. There are chapters on the ancient Britons and the influences of the various invaders the UK has had in history, right through to the modern day mega-brands and how they came about.
Some people might find the informal style annoying but I found it made the book easier to read. One minor gripe would be the number of footnotes* as it can spoil the flow of the book slightly and most are childish comments rather than background information.
* they get everywhere!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, well written and entertaining, 17 Jan 2013
By 
Dave Barter - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition) (Paperback)
I was given this book as a Christmas present and dived into it in January, typically my month of abstinence. This was a mistake as the author wrote affectionately and passionately concerning beer. I have yet to find a history book that has acted as a proper page turner..until this book landed in my stocking. Every chapter held my interest and the book had just the right amount of flicking around the place to stall any potential for monotony. Pete Brown's writing is accessible and to the point. I enjoyed the humour and passion within the text and even let him get away with his own personal views that occasionally intrude upon the narrative.

In summary, I left this book with an urge to get down my local and support it. It has refuelled my passion for beer in a good way. Well done to Pete for writing such an interesting and informative book, but next time bring the footnotes into the main text!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling account of how we made our beer what it is, and how our brewers made us what we are, 22 Dec 2012
By 
D. R. Cantrell (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition) (Paperback)
There are lots of books about beer, but most of them are about how it's made, or about beers (and places to drink them) that are currently on the market. This book is far more interesting, a history of we English and our beer.

Some of it will be well-known to many people, but much of it, especially how our drinking habits have changed over time and more importantly why they changed and what were the social motivators for those changes will not be familiar to many. Brown makes legislation and the economics of beer and drinking interesting, and I would recommend this book based on that alone.

But he does a lot more, skewering several sacred cows and roasting them for us: he makes sense of pub architecture and provides what I think is a very fair view of CAMRA who manage to be at the same time both champions of great beer and enemies of innovative beer; champions of the great pub and enemies of any attempt to design pubs relevant to modern lifestyles and economic circumstance.

If there is one significant problem with the book it is that its coverage of the Beer Orders and the changes resulting from them is woefully incomplete, for which I deduct one star. There is little, for example, on how pubs' supposedly free choice of "guest" beer are now limited by shady discounting tied to rent. At least some of this shadiness was apparent by 2003 when the book was first published, although its effects have become even more prevalent in the succeeding decade. But then, I write that with the benefit of hindsight. Writing the history of what has only recently happened is always tricky because you can't tell what's a significant long-term change and what's just a minor abberation that will disappear shortly. I read the first edition. There is now a second edition (published in 2010). I have made a note in my diary to look for a third edition in about 2020.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about the British Pub, 27 Mar 2004
As an American who is living in England and enjoys a good pint - this book was a great read. It was packed with trivia, history, culture, humour, and even though the whole book was about beer .. I never tired of reading it.
After reading the book I have a greater appreciation of the hand pumped pint and the unique atmosphere of my local - Thank you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative, whatever your beer preferences, 21 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition) (Paperback)
This extensively researched book tells the tale of beer and it's evolution since it was first discovered to present day. With the occasional forays into discussion about why pubs look and feel the way they do and how governments have attempted to manipulate beer production and consumption, it really gives a great overview of how beer and the brewing industry changed over the centuries from "ale wives" & brewing monks of centuries ago, right through to the mega-brewers of today.

I was expecting the book to be a bit more real ale focussed, but much of the discussion of the last 25-50 years centres around the emergence of lager and the big lager brands we know today, so it's an interesting read for all beer drinkers - not just real ale fans.

The authors style makes for easy reading, but as has been mentioned in the first edition reviews - the sheer number of footnotes (apparently cut down since the 1st edition) can be rather numerous at times - although they do inject a bit of pub banter into the narrative.

If you've ever thought about beer as something more than a drink to get you plastered then this book will interest you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent* book. *Apart from all the footnotes., 26 Jun 2011
By 
SpanielEars2000 (The Essex Riviera.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition) (Paperback)
This book is packed with fascinating information and is by and large well written, but every few paragraphs it slips into a strange sort of yobbish patois (presumably to appeal to the lowest common denominator). I am intrigued by the social history of the British pub, but I feel a bit let down by the assumption that my interest can only be engaged and maintained by tabloid style asides* and swearing. I think I can see what the author was trying to do, but his approach certainly wasn't needed for me to want to read on as the vast majority of the book is excellently researched and communicated. I sincerely hope the author has every success in his attempt to encourage the less reflective drinker to appreciate what he/she is drinking (and where, when and why), but I wonder under what circumstances this drinker would come to be reading this book in the first place. Nonetheless, a veritable mine of pub related facts. A superb book, all in all.

*As mentioned by a couple of the other reviewers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars davidkaph, 31 Jan 2011
This review is from: Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition) (Paperback)
What a great book.
I can't wait to get to the next two !!
What a history.
I started as a Watneys Red Barrel drinker (It wasn't that bad !!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars This arrived today literally minutes before I got in, ..., 12 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition) (Paperback)
This arrived today literally minutes before I got in, (11.45.on the delivery note I was knocking on neighbours door at 11.46) neighbour took in for me, the packaging very flimsy open at both ends NO tape to seal, I don't know how it stayed in package!! It aso had a 6 dvd set in. No invoice or paperwork so I just hope my details are not flying around somewhere! Book seems ok, dvd set appears ok but is a present for Christmas as is the book, so I just hope all is ok inside the box. I have had lots of things off amazon in the past and all have been excellently packed, so hopefully this is a one off error.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beer, beer, we want more beer, 4 Aug 2003
By 
This excellent book does the difficult task of condensing thousands of years of intoxication, into a well-written precis of what Beer means to this country. It's always funny, and peppered with some great personal anecdotes.
I understand that CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have slated this book and refused to sell it. Sadly that is their loss rather than ours, because this book should reinforce to all of us who drink and enjoy beer, what a joy it is to get absolutely bladdered.
When's the sequel due? I'd love to hear the author's descriptions of Aussie, German, etc drinking rituals.
Cheers
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