Review of Brewed: A Guide to the Beer of New Zealand Second Edition – Jules van Costello

Posted: October 30, 2018 in nonfiction, Review
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The New Zealand beer industry is a dynamic one – full of larger-than-life, passionate characters; from loveable rogues through to budding mad scientists. Our beers are just as diverse. Bringing together brewing traditions from all over the world and combining these with Kiwi ingredients, ingenuity and creativity, we have a beer culture unlike any other.

Since the release of Brewed in 2015, the New Zealand beer industry has continued to grow dramatically, which this revised edition takes into account by featuring 45 new breweries, meaning over 160 commercially operating New Zealand breweries are profiled. Additionally, the tasting notes for over 450 beers have been revised and are now in a separate section, divided into beer type, for easier comparison of beers produced by different breweries.

Brewed includes a style guide written specifically for the New Zealand craft beer market and has all the information needed to make the increasingly complicated beer world a lot more comprehensible.

Brewed will encourage experimentation among engaged beer consumers, helping them to discover new breweries and, with the use of the comprehensive tasting notes, benchmark them against old favourites. It will also help emerging beer drinkers to identify beers they will enjoy, starting them on a journey of discovery.

Brewed: A Guide to the Beer of New Zealand Second Edition

Jules van Costello

Potton & Burton

Supplied by Potton & Burton

Reviewed by Steve

Jules van Costello (né van Cruysen) wrote his first edition of Brewed in 2015, and in the two following years the scene changed sufficiently that a new edition was felt to be warranted. So what’s the difference between the first and second editions, and is it worthwhile getting the new one?

The basic layout is the same, but the second edition splits the tasting notes out from the breweries. In my opinion this is an improvement. Jules divides his tasting notes into styles. Hopefully not too many will be confused as to what style of lager or pale ale is in the glass (there are an awfully large number of beer styles in these two categories). The new edition is also about 10-15 pages longer, mostly due to the extra 45 that have opened, although obviously a few have also closed. What I do miss are the various area maps showing the locations of the breweries in the cities.

Is it worth it? Yes. The splitting out of the tasting notes from the brewery description makes for an easier and less cluttered read. Jules still mentions the styles the breweries focus on in their descriptions. But the tasting notes fill in the blanks, with Jules offering the suggestion of “Must Try” for the best or most distinctive examples within each stile.

I wish to thank Potton & Burton for the edition provided and offer my sincerest grovelling for being so late with this review.

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