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3.7 out of 5 stars49
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Who doesn't like a beer? Plenty of people it would seem! My partner for one will not touch the stuff turning her noise up at my pint and instead reaching for her latest vibrantly coloured cocktail. I'm of the opinion that there is a beer or an ale for every man, woman and child (as long as they are over the drinking age in their given country), they just have to find the right tipple. Enter `Pocket Beer Book 2014' by Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb. This is a pretty comprehensive book that lists beer by different countries and regions, giving a quick overview of the taste and texture, whilst also scoring them. Browse through this book and you are sure to find something to your liking.

Calling the book `Pocket' is a little ambitious; although it would fit into a coat pocket should you find yourself in a pub halfway along a country walk. What I also liked was the guide to what beers go with what foods. Beaumont and Webb cover the basics at Lunch and Tea, but they also cover that deeply neglected time for beer - breakfast. That's right, if you have ever pondered what malty delight to sup alongside your Coco Pops look no further, but perhaps question what you are doing should it happen too often.

It did feel at times that by covering the entire globe the beers selected where limited. It seems too easy to dismiss African countries, when I have had a few nice lagers from there myself. However, `Pocket Beer Book 2014' is a great book for the beer aficionado in your life who is already CAMRA'ed out and requires something that covers the subject in a different way.
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on 14 January 2014
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a real ale drinker, and afficianado of bottled German wheat beer, I've found this to be an excellent pocket-sized volume that can be taken into pubs and consulted upon sight of a previously unsampled beer.

It's aimed at both the casual ale drinker as well as the more seasoned CAMRA veteran and offers unique insights into some of our smaller breweries, in addition to the large number of international beer producers.

There have been many volumes aimed at the wine drinker, and it's only fitting that us ale drinkers should have our own detailed guide too.
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Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 2014 pocket beer book promises to be "the essential guide to the best craft and traditional beers in the world" and it's certainly packed with enough beer related factoids to back up it's claim.

Running to approx. 320 pages the book is divided up into sections;

How to use.
Introduction.
What is Craft Beer.
Beer Styles.
Beer at the Table.

Followed by the global locations of beer/breweries, personally recommended regional bars/cafes with their brewing history and tasting notes.

Europe
North American and the Caribbean
Latin America
Asia and the Middle East
Australasia
Africa

Presentation is particularly good and the sheer volume of facts and personal observations should keep the most enthusiastic beer drinker satisfied. An absolute joy and would certainly make for the start of an interesting tour around Europe if not the World!!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 December 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is rather ambitious. The authors contacted beer enthusiasts around the world to find out their favourite beers from the regions and so this is a compilation of many other people's research. Nothing wrong with that - better than a couple of individuals views on what a good pint of beer is and where t can be bought.

So, what we have is each region and then that broken down to separate countries and their breweries and types of beer. Belgium and Germany for instance are sub-divided into smaller regions. The beers made in each brewery are then star rated and a short description given.

Certainly for the beer connoisseur this would be a great start for a world tour of beers! For anyone else who is visiting abroad and would like to seek out the best of the local beer then also this is a God send.
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VINE VOICEon 29 November 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb's 2014 Pocket Beer guide is a travelogue of sorts, which looks at world beers and applies a qualitative appreciation of beers from every corner of the globe. Pocket sized and a good source of reference. My only gripe would be its expansive ambition. It's very interesting reading about beers from Vietnam, Canada and Australia-I didn't know they made anything other than gnat's p**s in Australia?- but how many of the selected beers will the reader ever experience? Although supermarkets and specialist booze shops sell plenty of foreign beers,I'm not sure how many we'll be able to try from the 2014 Pocket beer Guide list? Personally, I'd be more interested in a UK guide which concentrates on our local micro brewed and independently brewed beers and ciders.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Want to know more about some of the world's best (if sometimes less well known) beers? Want to have something portable to aid your drinking choices when travelling abroad? Then this guide is perfect. So why the four stars? Simply because in today's technological era it did strike me that this would make a better ebook so that new beers could be added along with your own comments (typed in rather than scrawled across the pages of the book). That said this book is as straightforward to use as it is to review: it does what it says on the label - and it fits in your pocket too! Fun, interesting and easily the basis of a lifelong plan for sampling some of the best beers on offer today.
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Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Not explicitly clear on the cover, this is an INTERNATIONAL beer guide.

After the Introduction and an "How to use this book" guide, there are 3 introductory chapters..

-What is craft beer?
-Beer Styles
-Beer at the table

"Beer at the table" suggests beers to accompany food. This goes way, way over the top. To include breakfast as a beer-worthy meal is bad enough but to suggest Churros (or as I call them, 'Chuffers') with Barley Wine to start the day and we're definitely entering Super-T drinker territory. Sad.

(Churros are deep-fried extruded batter sticks. They are like lard sponges.)

This whole section should have been dispensed with as it is 90% popycock.
One line would say it all: Kebabs, pies and curry all require a beer accompaniment. Ond none of these beers is barley wine.

In the main part of the book the beers are categorised by country and, section by section, we beer it up across the world >Burp!<.

Obviously, there's only room for a few beers (5 max) from each brewery and a select number of breweries so presumably this is the cream of the crop. As such, I was very pleased to see some of my fave bevvies featured (UK: Meantime's London Pale Ale, Dark Star's American Pale Ale; Trinidad & Tobago: Carib Lager).

By 'Beers' the book is really referring to ales and seems a bit snobbish towards lager (despite Carib getting a worthy mention). Weak beers also seem to be a bit sneered at with Barley Wine getting more that its share of space (Churros or not).

There are wee box-outs here and there suggesting recommended beer-dens. This is an added bonus for the beer-fancying traveller.

Illustrations of selected beer labels popup here and there which is a nice touch.

All in all, a very good modest-sized beer guide for the international traveller.
For those not planning any imminent overseas trips, a book more focussed on UK beers may be more appropriate.

Recommended. Apart from the ridiculous food section.

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[My Ref: Super World Beer Book. Chuffers n Barley Wine = Chunder Fodder! Jan 14]
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VINE VOICEon 3 October 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In a world dominated by brewing on a truly industrial scale, where the ogres of global beer manufacture are buying up independent by independent this book shines like a small but bright beacon. Authors Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb have taken up the challenge to uncover and bring to as wide an audience as possible the very best of beers produced on a small yet marketable scale. They have done this in style with notes on over 3,000 brews over 300 pages presented in an easy to reference, no nonsense way. From Achel in Limburg, Belgium to Zakkoku Kobo in Saitama, Japan breweries large and small are put through their paces and their products awarded up to five stars. Exhaustive research has certainly revealed some surprising drinks: Japan gets the top award for invention with everything from sake rice to coffee, coriander and citrus peel added to the ferment but USA comes a close second as home of craft beers. As expected both Belgium and Germany, region by region, have many substantial pages devoted to their beers while UK is thoughtfully divided into individual countries. A handy feature among the entries is the 'destination' boxes giving recommended drinking places in many towns and cities - arguably, in the case of Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam and many others, the recommendations could have been more numerous but this is a small quibble. Add a section on beer styles and another matching beers with foods - Flemish red ale with granola for breakfast - and this book is one of the most comprehensive and entertaining works on the world of beer on the bookshelf. It is certainly as essential an accessory to the beer buff as a decent bottle opener. But a word of caution - the authors have decided not to include alcoholic strengths with the entries. From previous experience some of these are pure, liquid dynamite!
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A nice little guide that provides a flying tour of beers around the world. Belgium and Germany feature heavily and there are also Uk beers featured before the guide moves onto Scandinavia. Eastern Europe and pretty much all major nations around the world. Clearly tackling the world of beer in just over 300 small pages means that compromises have had to be made and so the descriptions of beers are short and pictures sparse. That said, it is a great starting point but too general if you plan to immerse yourself in, for example, one country's beers.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 3 December 2013
Format: Flexibound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book which only really sets out to do one thing which is to give a brief description of the significant breweries throughout the world and to highlight their major beer brands. A huge amount of research has clearly gone into doing exactly that, and although an attempt is made to include other beer related information, the information list described above covers nearly the whole of the content.

Each of the beers is awarded a star rating but that is clearly subjective and in accordance with the personal preference of the person who has rated it. Some have a varied rating eg one to three stars as that particular beer is deemed to differ according to the particular batch you get. I found this an interesting little volume and it was fun to look up the breweries I know and find out when they were founded and where they are based. However, due to the large coverage the information on each brewery is very brief. Hence I am not sure that it is going to be a volume that is used on a regular basis. Perhaps a more limited geographical remit eg the UK, would have given more space for a more detailed and useful description of each brewery and their main offerings.
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