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Beer O'Clock

by Jane Peyton

If you're looking for a book to introduce a friend to the wonders of beer, then Jane Peyton may just have provided it.

Beer o'ClockBeer O'Clock – subtitled 'Craft, Cask and Culture' – is an enthusiastic exploration of all things beer, ideally suited, I would think, to someone who is just getting intrigued by the subject.

In its sturdy hard cover, the book makes a nice gift package and is loaded with information presented in a clear and uncomplicated fashion.

With so many beer books on the market today, this one doesn't really break much new ground but it does cover the subject very comprehensively, with sections that explore everything from the history of beer to brewing techniques, beer styles and food pairing, with lots of recommendations for beers to try.

Also included are chapters on choosing the right glassware for each beer and the health benefits of the drink, as well as more quirky offerings such as the author's choice of beer heroes and a liberal sprinkling of trivia.

Pleasure of Learning

Design-wise, the book is more functional than elaborate. There are no illustrations, graphs or fancy tables: it relies very much on its words to tell the story.

Also missing is an index, which again underlines that this is a book to be read for the pleasure of learning about beer, rather than one to be consulted for reference.

The tone throughout is gently folksy, almost evangelical and full of verve. It's a book that is not dauntingly technical or dense with detail and yet is laced with passion.

In her introduction, Jane declares that 'converting women to drink beer is a particular mission' of hers. I think this book can do that job rather well, and can just as easily bring on board uncommitted men as well.

But this is not just a book for beginners. There's plenty in there for those of us who have been fascinated by beer for years, too.

First edition (2013)

208-page hardback (Summersdale)


Available now from

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