With more people taking the plunge into their first West Coast IPAs, craft-made Pilsners, and Pale Ales, the second edition of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries by Joe Wiebe proves its worth as an excellent resource for budding beer geeks and beer tourists alike. B.C.’s brewery count jumped from 50 up to 90 since the first edition was released in 2013, so there are now 40 more reasons for anyone visiting or living in B.C. to get a hold of this book.
Wiebe’s descriptions and organization of each brewery is light, enjoyable, and easily consumed. The essays have been expanded, and a new intro has been written as well. While the true heart of this book lies in the catalogue and information of the breweries, hearing about the creation stories behind my favourite breweries is a treat. For instance, I had no idea that Phillip’s Blue Buck Ale used to be called Blue Truck Ale, after the blue milk truck that founder Matt Phillips would use for deliveries during the brewery’s beginnings.
For beer tourists, each geographical section of breweries lists which ones offer tours and food, and which have rooms to rent: valuable information for anyone planning a craft beer odyssey of their own. I particularly enjoyed the curated list of Wiebe’s favourite beers. I take those lists with me to the liquor store now, and I’ve made it my goal to try as many as of those as I can. I’m only at 8 out of 35 recommendations — but not for long.
This brings me to my major critique: this book made me so goddamned thirsty every time I sat down to review it. On two different occasions, I had to go out to the liquor store and buy a bomber of something. Someone should make “Best of B.C.” 12-packs and include it in the price of this book. It’s dangerous not to be holding a beer in one hand with Revolution in the other.
Written by a true insider of the industry, Craft Beer Revolution’s second edition gives the reader a real inside scoop, and I can’t think of a better industry to be included in. While you’d think the craft beer boom should logically start quieting down (doubling every four years would be madness), I still think the industry has room to grow. Watch out for the inevitable third edition in a few years.