I was very pleased to receive a copy of Joe's new book, Craft Beer Revolution Second Edition. Not to be confused with the book by Steve Hindy with the same name. It is awkward to read, and potentially review, a book by someone I see on a semi regular basis. What if you don't like the book? Do you mention any errors or spelling mistakes? Luckily Joe's book if factually accurate, free of grammatical errors and a pleasure to read. I found the tone and personal nature of Joe's writing to be a refreshing change from other beer books. It felt like a pub chat with an old friend.
I should say what this book is not. This book is not an in depth tasting guide to the craft beers produced in BC. The tasting notes on the beers mentioned were a little generalized. This is not a beer appreciation book with glassware lesson, beer style guides, food pairings and recipes. This is most evident by the very short Glossary of Terms section near the front of the book. Many terms and beer styles mentioned in the later chapters are not mentioned. There is no definition of bock, weizenbock, porter, mash tun, etc, etc.
However, this book is the definitive guide to what is happening in BC craft beer. It covers the past, the present and gives hint into the future of what's brewing in this province. There is brief profile of almost (more on this later) every craft brewery in BC. These profiles are organized by geographical location. Each profile has a brief history about the brewers and owners that are make the beers we love. Joe excels in his book by capturing the passions and dreams of those driving the craft beer movement. I also enjoyed the extra stories placed within the book. There are stories about the Pink Boots, cask festivals, fresh hopped beers and more.
Perhaps the big question is should you buy this book. My answer is, "Yes". I learned quite a lot about the new craft breweries in BC. It was nice to know the places and names behind the beers I drink. I binge read this book over the course of two days. If you are looking for a beer appreciation book, perhaps Beerology by Mirella Amato is a better option.
I mentioned the "almost" covering every craft brewery in BC. Again this edition omitted the Merecroft Village Pub. This is the only craft brewery north of Nanaimo. I have been to the MVP Pub, I do not plan to return. Their website proudly offers to serve your favourite beer in a frosted mug. Did I mention there was no desire to return to MVP? Something else I liked was the education section. This short chapter gave places to learn more about the appreciation of craft beer, such as the Cicerone program and Prud'homme. Mostly like no one with notice the absence of the beer blogger listings.
Well done Joe. I'm looking forward to reading the Third Edition.