Sunday, December 23, 2007

Beer: Eyewitness Companions

Beer: Eyewitness Companions is the last book by the late Michael Jackson, "The Beer Hunter." The book was completed just prior to his death on August 30, 2007. Jackson is listed as the Editor-in-Chief as his way of acknowledging contributions from selected correspondents.

The book has the detailed descriptions of beer one expects from Michael Jackson. The beers are arranged by geography and Jackson takes us on a trip through "Great Brewing Nations." These sections are further broken into regions and the distinctions in the beers to found, along with the brewing history of the areas, are noted. The book truly takes the reader on a world tour of great beers. The information is current and up-to-date, not simply reprinted from earlier works. (For example, the 2006 purchase of Frederick Brewing Co. in Frederick, MD. by Flying Dog is noted.)

The first part of the book is devoted to an introduction to the history, styles, and enjoyment of beer. There's enough detail to be interesting and informative, but not distract from the "travelogue" aspect of the book. Numerous photographs illustrate the beer, places and people discussed.

Beer: Eyewitness Companions is a fitting remembrance to a great beer evangelist and author. In the back of my mind I keep hope that there are more writings from Jackson that will be published in the future.

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