So you’re minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there’s a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It’s been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.
The obvious gift for any beer lover is a selection of special brews. But if you’d prefer a gift not prone to breaking or leakage, 2012 has been another banner year for books about beer. Here are a few of my favorites.
Written by my friends Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb, who circled the globe putting this tome together, “The World Atlas of Beer” (Sterling Epicure, $30, 256 pages) is a worthy successor to the late Michael Jackson’s “New World Guide to Beer.” Covering the entire panoply of beer across six continents (there are no breweries in Antarctica) is a herculean task, but the book accomplishes it elegantly. The book, appointed with detailed maps, beautiful photographs, tasting notes and an impressive range of information, is a great choice for both beginners and seasoned beer geeks.
Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer