It is not often I review a book. In fact, the book review count is zero. But Joe signed my book,"Don't point all of my mistakes." I took this as a personal challenge, but first a little background. This is a
great overview of the craft beer scene in BC. There is a brief summary of - almost - every brewery/brewpub in BC. There are interviews with all the right people and nice profiles about each brewery. You can learn where these breweries are located, hours of operation and whether they fill growlers. It is not the most in-depth book on the history of brewing in BC. Watch for the upcoming three volume release from Greg Evans for this sort of coverage.
The big question is: "Should BC beer lovers buy this book?" I think they should. There is something to learn on almost every page. It is easy to read and very timely. Books of this sort are notorious for being out of date before they reach your hand. Joe asked all the right questions and got insider tips to extend this expiry date by at least one year.
Now for the criticisms. Luckily there are very few; well done Joe! The word "I" was used 865 times. If you don't believe me, count them yourself. Then again, it is mostly an account of Joe's beer odyssey across BC which adds a personal touch for the reader. Oddly there was not a write up about the brewpubs on Vancouver Island called Merecroft Village Pub and RimRock Brewpub. I have sampled the beers at Merecroft, or MVP as the locals call it. It is understandable why Joe would drive right past this place. Joe talks about great bottle shops in BC. Oddly, the 16th Street Liquor Store in North Van is not mentioned. It is a great place to get new releases. Often they still have stock after Brewery Creek and Firefly have sold out. Joe also offers some opinions about various breweries and beer release quality. I found them very true and quite tactful; I would have been more scathing.
There is a great section on cask beer in Vancouver. Spinnaker's weekday cask events only got a one sentence mention in the previous chapter. It would also have been nice to see an interview with Greg Evans (beer historian) or Gerry Hieter (Great Canadian Beer Fest Organizer). Perhaps these omissions can be added to the second edition. Also there are no pretty pictures. If you want pretty pictures, another Canadian beer author has a book full of them. Also Brendan hasn't blogged anything about beer in almost 1 year and he was never that funny.You also spelled my name wrong in the bloggers section.. Hah made you look.
But in all honestly, buy this book. It is reasonably priced and worth the read. You can find Joe, this Friday at the Beagle Pub in Victoria.
DISCLAIMER: I purchased my own copy of this book and no financial incentive was given for this review. I also consider Joe a friend based on the criteria that: he follows me on twiter and facebook, we have shared more than five beers on two separate occasions and he has shaken my hand.