Books about beer

Hello , I was wondering if any of you are reading or have read any good books about beer? Are there any books on this topic that you think are worth reading? I did read “The Heineken Story” by Barbara Smit , but I found it a bit boring and also I sometimes read from the “500 classic brews” by Michael Jackson witch I find to be full of useful information and it also provided me with the names of some beers that I am planning to try or that I have tryed after reading about them.

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B Is For Beer is a very entertaining book by Tom Robbins. It’s like a book about beer from a child’s viewpoint.
Another one I read a couple of years ago is The Brewer’s Tale: A History Of World According To Beer by William Bostwick. I enjoyed it immensely, too.


I found Michael Jackson’s ‘Great Beers of Belgium’ really interesting – Specifically picked it up while studying because I felt I didn’t know enough about Belgian beers because I didn’t particularly like them. The more I read, the more I wanted to learn and drink more of them.


qt01 - Thanks for your suggestion, I have reserved 500 Classic Brews by Michael Jackson from the Library. I also want to read Josh Noel’s book regarding my first “craft” beer, Bourbon County.


If you’re after the ultimate “lists of beers to try” book and have a small crane to lift it then try “1001 beers you must try before you die” - note that there’s actually a list of all 1001 beers on this site under the tags section here:


Where did you find that one? Been looking for that book for some time (for a reasonable price), but seems to be out of stock everywhere.

Alternatively if you prefer books that are actually for reading rather than dipping in-and-out of (or books that you can actually lift) you could try these:

  1. Hops & Glory - Pete Brown
    Discussion of the history of the original IPA, interspersed with a humourous account of his attempt to recreate it by personally taking a barrel of beer from the UK to India. The author can occasionally come across as annoyingly smug and arrogant in all his books, but nevertheless this is still one of my favourite beer books.

  2. Brew Britannia - Jessica Boak & Roy Bailey
    Well-written history of UK brewing and pubs. Very engaging.

  3. Ambitious Brew - Maureen Ogle
    A history of the early years of the US brewing industry. Maybe a bit too focused on Budweiser, but I found it very interesting nevertheless.

  4. Man walks into a pub - Pete Brown
    Irreverent, high speed history of beer with a focus on the UK.

  5. The longest crawl - Ian Marchant
    Chap does a pub crawl from one end of the UK to the other. His friend takes photos of breakfasts. The author is a bit self-centred, but it’s pretty readable nevertheless.

  6. Three sheets to the wind - Pete Brown
    A light-hearted and lightweight world(ish) tour exploring different beer drinking cultures. Definitely makes you want to do the same!

  7. The search for the perfect pub - Paul Moody & Robin Turner. Two music journalists attempt to find a pub that lives up to George Orwell’s “Moon Under Water” whilst reminiscing about pubs and music.

  8. A life on the hop - Roger protz
    Biography of one of the UK’s best known beer journalists. Could be written better, but it’s got enough of interest to keep you going.

  9. Amber, gold & black - Martin Cornell
    Extremely thoroughly researched, detailed history of various classic styles of beer. Very dry and quite hard going at times, but if you want a definitive, factual history of beer this has to be a very strong contender.



I have gotten half way the Josh Noel book on Goose Island and it is excellent, will finish the 300 + page book within two days. I also was able to get Michael Jackson’s book from the library and ordered a copy on eBay to have as a reference.

Will definitely check out other books recommended here, thanks for al of the great suggestions!

Unfortunately, a lot of the classic and most influential beer books by Michael Jackson and Martyn Cornell are long out of print and extremely difficult to find. I still hold out hope of finding one in a charity shop or National Trust bookshop (though i did find an excellent history of beer by John Watney a few months ago,

Even messaged Martyn Cornell and he has no spare copies, but does write a brilliant blog worth checking out


I’m reading Beers of the World by Michael Jackson. I found The Book of Beer by Bob Abell interesting, and a good look at the beer world 45 years ago.

The World Atlas of Beer is a really interesting look at the classic beer regions. It also focuses on up and coming areas as well.

I’m pretty sure several ratebeer members from around the world were small contributors to that book. Glad you like it. My contribution was taking Tim on a pubcrawl!

One problem with such books is that the up-and-coming regions are changing so quickly, so a few bits of the book are out of date 4 years on. New editions are constantly needed. (And of course Tim’s still travelling…)

Nice discussion here!

One of my new year resolutions is to improve my tasting skills. I want to be able to say more than “body is medium, carbonation is soft, texture is oily” or “aroma of stone fruits, caramel, tropical fruits”, so I made some research online.

These are interesting book I would like to buy. Could you suggest more?

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