Book Review – Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to BC Breweries

Craft Beer Revolution Title

Craft Beer Revolution – The Insider’s Guide to BC Breweries (Second Edition): Authored by Joe Wiebe, aka the Thirsty Writer, this is the quintessential guide to the world of craft beer in British Columbia which has been updated to include 40 new breweries that have opened up since the first edition came out in 2013. Craft beer has been exploding within our beautiful province where places are opening up and thriving in rural towns like Rossland with a population of 3500 all the way to Great Vancouver which now houses over 22 breweries with another 16 in surrounding suburbs to serve the millions that live here. Over the past few years craft beer can truly be considered a “revolution” in BC and in this book Joe guides you through all of our true craft breweries. It all began back in 1982 with one single brewery and through some significant growing pains and  many law changes it has expanded to 90 unique breweries and still growing to this very day. If you are in BC as a tourist, or a permanent resident, this book is essential reading for any BC craft beer enthusiast or fan in the making.

So what’s in this book anyway: Craft Beer Revolution has a bit of everything to be honest. Mr. Wiebe takes his audience on a journey through British Columbia and makes you feel like you’ve actually visited all these breweries yourself. Through his descriptions, stories and experiences at each brewery he visited – which is almost all of them, an impressive feat nonetheless – Joe manages to capture the essence, brand and back story of each location. He gives you a glimpse of the rich history behind the growth of each place and he highlights the incredible interconnections of so many of them, with brewers moving from place to place, often branching out to brew their own beer while still consulting, collaborating and helping their friends, partners and competition do the same. The book contains a mix of short stories, essays and of course overviews of each brewery which include a sample tap-list, location details, available services and he even lets you know which one’s have beds to sleep in – hopefully via a hotel or motel attached to the brewpub. I have started to use this as a reference every time I am looking to buy a BC Craft beer as Joe gives an honest opinion of his impression of the beers he has tired from each place and talks about the styles each brewery tends to specialize in.

How was the reading experience: I quite enjoyed this book, as it had a very nice flow to it that allowed me to read it in a reasonable amount of time, without feeling rushed or bored at any  particular point. Scattered in between the ninety brewery descriptions were little bits of relevant history, often in small essays talking about prominent figures in the BC Beer scene such as John Mitchell, dubbed the Grandfather of Craft Beer, as well as Nigel Springthorpe who is co-owner of the ever popular craft beer joint called the Alibi Room (and Brassneck Brewery too because owning one awesome place just doesn’t cut it anymore). I learned a lot of interesting fun facts and details, like the fact that Brewery Creek was a real creek that used to supply old breweries with water before it was developed into the area now known as Mount Pleasant. Still, the creek’s name lives on in one of the best private liquor stores in BC called Brewery Creek, which is located right in the area where it would have run through prior to modern day developments.

Overall Impression: I thought this book came together quite nicely and I was happy to read through it with a beer in hand and learn all about the breweries in my hood. It makes a great reference book and perfect addition to any coffee table, bar or bookshelf of a craft beer fan, be it a gift for a friend or yourself I suggest you check it out.

Where can I buy it:  Look for this book with a sticker price of $19.95 in almost any BC craft brewery or you can order direct with this link.

Have you read it yet? Please share your favourite part of the book or impressions in the comments section here.

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