Top critical review
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More of a guide, please!
on 1 March 2005
I would really like to be able to recommend this book, as CAMRA does a lot of good work. However, I am disappointed by it for 2 reasons:
1) It covers only bottle-conditioned beers which (so we learn - one of the good features of the book) have yeast added after bottling (but before the tops are put on!). This means that many fantastic bottled beers (for example, those by St Peters) aren't included. CAMRA knows far more about beer than I do, but I think to exclude all cask-conditioned bottled beers out of principle means many excellent beers are being neglected. It also means the beers included all have sediment at the bottom, which I'm sure I'm not alone in finding difficult to pour.
2) The book includes all 600 bottle-conditioned beers brewed in the UK, so it can't really be called a guide. After all, it is extremely unlikely that all 600 are excellent and worth drinking. There are tasting notes, but they are too vague and generally too positive to be useful. I know taste is subjective, but I was expecting and hoping to be guided rather more.