A great read, lots of fabulous pictures, and a great look at beers from around the world. The World Atlas of Beer offers a brief (and fascinating) history of beer, takes you through chapters on each of its ingredients, tells you about the different brewing processes - from micro to macro - and covers the important topics of how to pour, what kind of glass to use, and how to pair foods with your beer. And all this before you are taken on a whirlwind tour around the world to discover the beers unique to each region.
With the proliferation of microbreweries worldwide over the last decade, a book such as this cannot hope to cover more than a small percentage of beers available - it can only hit SOME of the highlights for each region - and in that I found it a bit disappointing. I was a little shocked to see that Guinness, Ireland's best known export (and the beer that converted me from mainstream beers) was not even listed. In Ontario, Canada, (my home province) there are 8 beers (all microbrewed) listed, out of hundreds to choose from. And the authors didn't even try to cover the unusual beers from exotic locales like Tibet, Nepal, Samoa, or Uzbekistan, etc. (A great resource for discovering just how many breweries are out there is beerme.com)
But even with the limited selection of beers described, it is still a great read and a beautiful coffee table book, and I highly recommend it.