Notes on a Beermat: Drinking and Why It's Nescessary Paperback – Sep 16 2008
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"A truly wonderful book from beginning to end, hugely comic, delightfully acerbic, gloriously discursive and staggeringly well informed. In short, it is very like an evening with Mr. Pashley himself, but cheaper and with fewer trips to the men's room." -- --From the foreword by BILL BRYSON
"Perhaps the greatest endorsement I can give Notes on a Beermat is that after reading only a few pages, I was overcome by a powerful urge to run up the road to the local pub and finish the book there." -- --From STEPHEN BEAUMONT, worldofbeer.com
"Perhaps the greatest endorsement I can give Notes on a Beermat is that after reading only a few pages, I was overcome by a powerful urge to run up the road to the local pub and finish the book there."See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
It's a book for beer-lovers with a sense of humour, and those who like a good story. Some of my favourite sections include 'The Subway Game', as well as ruminations on bar staff, music in pubs, the history of beer, beer culture, and beers with actual flavour. It's a breezy read best enjoyed with your favourite microbrew.
As for the author himself, while he has his opinions about what a true pub should be, he never comes across as anything more than a charming, witty gent who'd love to tell you a story (or three) over a pint... (or three)
This is, after all, a humour book. And as with any humour book, your ultimate opinion will be formed by whether or not you thought it was funny.
It would make a fine addition to the true beer-lover's book collection. It's not written for anyone else.
This is not a beer guide - it's more about beer culture really - and the author does not try to pass himself off as anything more than someone who happens to live in Toronto and enjoys a real beer in a nice environment. To Grouchy, all I can respond is "Mr Pot, are you familiar with my friend Mr Kettle?"
If you're a Canadian who enjoys great beer and a dry wit, you'll enjoy this book. I'm recommending it to all my beer-drinking friends. (And no, I don't live in Toronto but I'm looking forward to visiting some of the places mentioned in the book).
He starts off talking about his love of craft breweries, but cannot pass up any opportunity to proclaim the evils of InBev, Carlsberg, and Molson. It doesn't stop there, either. He complains about things that have no place being discussed in a beer book - everything from Boston and The Police songs to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis movies to Kaiser buns. Any music that doesn't have a brass section is meaningless noise, in his eyes.
There's one part where he complains about an annoying, bragging wine-expert. Look in a mirror, buddy. You just drink from a differently-shaped glass.
Pashley makes himself out to be some sort of world traveler who's sampled the beers of the world, but he's not. He's been to Toronto, New York, England, and Belgium. That's it. He spends the whole time talking about Canada with respect to Toronto, and then 7/8 of the way through, he finally deigns to spend one chapter talking about other Canadian breweries. I don't personally hold the "anti-Toronto" sentiment that the rest of us Canadians are expected to have, but his book does nothing to affirm that.
Sure, I enjoy craft beers. Sure, I play trumpet and enjoy jazz and read books. But I also like the big beers, rock music, and action movies. And even if I didn't, I wouldn't want to hear his opinions on those things in a beer book. Pashley is a grumpy, chubby old stick-in-the-mud using his medium as a desperate measure to get people to adopt his outdated outlook on life.