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A beer odyssey

How a home-loving Englishman gets to know the world through the bottom of a beer glass.

[alcohol] Pete Brown thought he could beer, after all, he had written bestseller Man Walks into a Pub, about the English pub culture. But the home-loving and un-adventurous beer journalist is totally unaware of the beer cultures of the great abroad, and his burgeoning curiosity thus sends him out on the pub-to-pub round of time, from London to Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany, Australia, China, USA and home again. He returns several kilos heavier and many pounds lighter, with a solid filling anxiety and a gloomy view of the domestic drinking culture as a bonus.

Last stop before dritings

Where the pubs in Barnsley's hometown outbid each other in cheap brushes, offerings like the "Hulk" and "Cut the Bull" vodka cocktails, whose mission is to get customers the fastest possible dritings, he finds words and phrases abroad that he can't even translate into English. . Ireland's "craic", Spain's "la chispa", Germany's "gemutlichkeit" and Denmark's more debatable "hygge" describe, according to Brown, the magical stage where you have drunk enough to get rid of the snip and feel more lively, but before you lose control. In England, the closest terms are "merry" and "tipsy", both of which have a negative feminine tone, possibly "a bit pissed", which only suggests that this is the last stop before Dritings station. It's hardly a coincidence that 20 percent of weekend crime in Prague, the capital of beer nation number one, is due to full British.

The idea behind Brown's beer journalism is not an academic campaign for beer's qualities versus wine, although he argues convincingly that beer goes far better with cheese than wine. . .

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