Book Review: Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest
As the craft beer crusade expands, it was only natural that it would be closely followed by an explosion of craft beer related books, TV shows, movies, and so on. One of the perks of being a beer writer is you get to meet other beer writers. And when those beer writers make it to the “next level” (aka a publishing deal for a book), you get a copy. 🙂 I was fortunate enough to get to work with author and Beer Goddess Lisa Morrison at the inception of the Hop Press. We were two of the original Featured Writers, and were assigned to the same weekly publishing date. I greatly enjoyed our exchanges and conversations about beer, and was thrilled to follow her journey to being a published author. She was gracious enough to send me a copy of her labor of love: Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
Lisa’s approach to this guide is accessible, friendly, and fun to read. She takes you city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, covering bars, breweries, and restaurants even in the small towns no one has heard of. Her research is deep, thorough, and downright enviable. She knows her stuff. Not only the places to go, but she knows the history, she knows beer, and she knows how to pass on the information in an engaging and straightforward manner.
The book begins with a solid – and thorough – rundown on beer terminology, including styles, ingredients, and so on. It is a good introduction, especially for the novice or craft beer initiate. She then takes us through her home state of Oregon, starting with Beervana… aka Portland. And so begins a wonderful and personal trek through the Pacific Northwest. Bend, Eugene, Astoria, Hood River, and more. Then Washington. Seattle, Tacoma, Puget Sound. Then north of the border into British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver, Victoria, Salmon Arm.
Lisa does not skip anything. She does not skirt the small towns or the lesser known places. The list is amazing and incredibly detailed and well documented, and accompanied with street maps, local anecdotes and histories. And all with a personal touch that lets you know she did her research first hand, not by just reading someone else’s account.