What would you say if someone asked you to travel across the US Northeast for a few months with the promise of free beer every day, and all you had to do was take some pictures? Yeah, that’s what I would say too.
That’s also the answer that photographer Bethany Bandera gave to beer author Ben Keene. Be thankful that she said yes because her photographs are the perfect compliment to Ben’s writing about the breweries they toured and the beers they shared across the US Northeast while working on his first book.
Ben’s new book, The Great Northeast Brewery Tour, is more than just a chronicle of his journey to some of the best craft breweries on the East Coast. Part guidebook, part tasting journal, his book also provides tons of useful information for completing your own brewery trek from DC to Maine. Every turn of the page provides information about a new brewery, it’s beer lineup, the creative people behind the beer, and even recommendations on where to stay when you visit.
Last night I got a chance to meet Ben at Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis, where we discussed beer, his new book, and the changing craft beer scene in Annapolis. Tom, the manager of Metropolitan, setup a lecture and book signing as an unofficial Annapolis Beer Week event.
It was at the book signing wher I learned that Ben, who now calls Boston home, grew up in Severna Park. It was when he left for college and traveled the world that his eyes were opened to the possibilities of craft beer. He later turned his passion for travel, beer, and writing into a profession. Working as a freelance journalist, Ben has written for Beer Advocate, and DRAFT Magazine, and was also a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Beer.
Ben knows what he’s writing about in The Great Northeast Brewery Tour, and every page makes me want to get out to the breweries I’ve never visited. Pick up his book if you even have an inkling of a desire to tour some of the best breweries in this part of the country. Just like a few pints make the craziest ideas sound good, turning a couple of pages will have you ready to hit the road.