Book Reviews

Book review: Brew North.


Congratulations to Ian Coutts for having written a book that explores the evolution of brewing in Canada and how advertising to sell beer developed.

Canadians love to drink beer (per capita consumption is 68.5 litres. It used to be much higher). Owing to the size of the country and compositions of the population, drinking preferences change. In some provinces ale is tipple of preference, whereas in others, people like lager.

The author explores and explains how these trends evolved. He goes into the detail of beer brewing but not to the extent of other beer books. This is admirable as most beer drinkers like to enjoy their preferred alcoholic beverage rather than learning about arcane details of two-row and six-row barley, or for that matter various strains of yeast, just to name two important factors. But the most important beer is the quality and suitability of water, and Canada has lots of it.

Brew Canada is country’s beer history, but also how the country grew and the reasons for it the growth.

The author has done an admirable job detailing how advertising has become one of the most important components in the financial success of the “big” industry. He also, successfully explains how traditional beer flavour got lost in the “industrial brewing process” and the reasons for the proliferation boutique brewers across the country/.

This is a book that one reads with great interest page after page and at the same time admiring the pictures, old beer labels, and drawings of long ago.

Generally, the average beer drinker is interested in consuming, but this book would be of importance to anyone who really likes beer, and well-brewed beer to enjoy and cherish for its taste, and textural finesse.

You will learn what makes true beer as opposed to “industrialised beer” that sell because of advertising “ the sizzle but never the steak”.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes fine, and meticulously brewed beer , is interested in its taste, and for individuals in the advertising industry.

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