It seems like wherever you are along the I-5 corridor between British Columbia and Oregon, good beer is near. There are nearly 150 breweries in Washington alone. While many Pacific Northwest beers can be found on tap at a number of pubs and restaurants in the region, some beers are sold almost exclusively from the brewery, making a brewery road trip all the more important.
Lisa Morrison's Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest is a beer lover's guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Morrison introduces you to off-the-beaten path breweries like Skookum Brewery in Arlington and Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise Oregon, in addition to the stalwarts of Pacific Northwest craft beers like Deschutes Brewery, Pike Brewing, and Pyramid Brewing.
The introduction of the book includes a "Beer 101" section, a great overview of the brewing process. There is also information about the key factors in making great beer, beer styles, and a helpful glossary. The book is divided into three parts for each state/province. Each section includes a number of cities as well as maps for various neighborhoods, so you can take along this book for a walking tour that hits several breweries or pubs.
Morrison offers her favorites for each city or neighborhood in don't-miss lists of brews to look out for at each brewery. She also includes interesting facts and insider tips throughout the book. I was excited to read that Brouwer's Café replaces tap lines when they need to be cleaned to insure no off flavors alter the taste of the beer. Sidebars in each chapter introduce readers to some of the region's beer pioneers, beer festivals, and brewing techniques, like steam beer and dry-hopping.
Lisa M. Morrison will be in Seattle to promote Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday, May 17th at The Pike Brewing Company from 5-8 p.m. Her visit coincides with American Craft Beer Week (which incidentally overlaps with Seattle Beer Week).
Check back tomorrow for Part II of this week's Cooking the Books and tips on local breweries to visit.