Sunday 3 May 2009

Three Sheets to the Wind

What a wonderful title for a book about a massive global pub crawl. It would be tempting to be jealous of the "spawny bastard" Pete Brown for not only having the gaul gall to spend three months on one massive boozy jolly around the World's heaviest beer drinking countries, but then to rub it in for the rest of us who haven't had the chance; If we buy the book we've just paid him for the privilege, surely?

And I could be jealous were it not for the fact that it is a serious look at beer drinking cultures, how they vary, but at the same time have significant and important similarities. Pete looks at how our own drinking culture contrasts in some ways with the rest of the world but also how every country has it's own idiosyncrasies when it come to attitudes towards beer.

For me there were not really any surprises. Having visited Germany, Belgium and Oregon USA myself, three of the thirteen countries in his great trip, I can easily understand the rest of the cultural observations he makes. It is clear to me, and to Pete, that the British beer view is somewhat blinkered. To make further conclusions here would spoil the point of the book, but moreover, the issues raised would be far too complex for a humble blog like this.

Pete does not really have any answers; For me there are even more questions raised. That, in itself, is the charm of the book. With the media enjoying every attack they can make on our cultural alcohol based socialisation and the Government making every gain they can from this attack and the media jumping back in to sell even more on the back of this terrible alcohol related harm that is our binge drinking culture, apparently, books like this are sorely needed.

Do you get the impression I enjoyed the book? I hope so. Pete's next book, "Hops and Glory", is out early June. I still have to read his first book, "A Man Walks Into A Pub". I guess I'd better get reading.


Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Yes, Oregon USA IS a country.

Stonch said...

He has the Gaul? Which one? Obelix?

Unknown said...

Thanks Jeff, I knew there was something wrong there...mind you, I believe after such a trip the comparison might be accurate.

BUL180, of course Oregon is a country, everybody knows that.