Because of our longstanding love of books, we’ve added a new section to the site: Book and Brew Reviews. Here, we’ll review hiking, beer, and travel-related books while enjoying a beer or two along the way.
Global Beer Tour
This book checks all the boxes. Hardcover heft, bookish nose, bright and colorful appearance. We won’t go so far as to review the mouthfeel, however (it’s been done). We like the clean design and simplicity throughout Global Beer Tour. The intro gets right to the point, leading with a brief definition of craft beer and explaining the reasons behind “beer touring”, or beer travel. Essentially, beer doesn’t travel well so it’s always best to drink from the source!
The Pacific Northwest
With thousands of breweries nationwide, the US is well represented in Global Beer Tour. In our corner of the PNW, Oregon makes a strong showing with Bend, Hood River, and Portland represented. Washington comes up a bit short with just two Seattle breweries — Pike and Populuxe — making the cut. While these are certainly representative choices, we’d love to see a little more Washington in the next edition. Psst...Lonely Planet...Bellingham, WA is the next big PNW beer town (and if you happen to need local authors, you know who to call)!
The Rest of the World
Outside America, several Canadian breweries are covered — including a few from our beloved neighbor to the north, Vancouver. Further abroad, we’ve sipped Hitachino Nest White Ale at True Brew (a train station pub) in Japan, and can verify that Lonely Planet’s coverage is spot-on. Similarly, the writeup of Craftworks Namsan in South Korea is true to our experience, even suggesting a visit to the N Seoul Tower atop Namsan — though we hiked rather than taking the cable car.
And of course, there are many places we haven’t been but would love to go. For example, who knew that “beer is booming in Ethiopia”? Not we! Wanna know how to say “Cheers!” or ask for a beer in the local language? Global Beer Tour has you covered. It’s pronounced “Leh-tay-nah-chen” in Ethiopia. Now you know.
One of our favorite features of the book is its suggestions of local highlights near the breweries. Nearby hikes, bike rides, galleries, and museums are recommended — like the famous Gum Wall, Great Wheel, and Pike Place Market near Pike Brewing in Seattle. To locals these may be considered tourist traps, but they are fun, easy-to-access points of interest near the brewery. Hell, we are locals and have visited them all more than once!
Travel Notes International IPA
Travel Notes pours a hazy rose gold, like the first sunset you witness over a foreign land. The nose is subtle but predominantly citrus in tone. This IPA is juicy straight through with a bite of hops from the start. The South African mangos combine with the citrus, and tropical notes of American hops, while New Zealand hops give impressions of gooseberry. The fruity hop flavors give way to a crisp bitter finish, touched by the tartness of South American açaí berries. As Travel Notes warms up a bit, the açaí character becomes more pronounced.
Overall, this is a great representation of the current trend of fruit infused IPAs. Unfortunately, it's a limited run. According to the press release: "Travel Notes will be available in select locations across Northern California, the UK and Europe." In other words: to get your hands on Travel Notes, you're most likely gonna have to travel!
Overall, we highly recommend both book and beer for inspiration in your beer travels. Cheers!
BEHIND THE SCENES: WATCH THE MAKING OF TRAVEL NOTES HERE