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Good Beer Guide West Coast USA

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Ben McFarland & Tom Sandham

This is another splendid addition to the Good Beer Guide global series and benefits from the same excellent layout and inviting full-colour images. Ben and Tom do a terrific job of taking ‘Rough Guide’ irreverence into the world of beer, calling it as it is and not being afraid to point out negative aspects of their West Coast drinking experiences.

The book tackles destinations region by region – Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Las Vegas, Alaska and Hawaii – pulling out the must-visit bars and brewpubs, and highlighting the major producers through detailed spreads.

It’s not comprehensive, in the sense that not every beer at every brewery or brewpub is listed, but there are plenty of recommended choices and enough of a flavour of the enterprise to send you on your way. The authors even let their hair down in the appendices with lists of their favourite places to ‘enjoy the view’, ‘gorge on pizza and beer’ and ‘match beer and food’, among other criteria.

With a concise history of this part of the world and the chequered story of American beer to kick off, alongside valuable insights into how to get there and get around while you’re there, it’s an essential purchase for anyone who loves beer and is looking to head west.

First edition (2008)

320-page paperback (CAMRA Books)


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