An interesting, but inconsistent book. The beginning was good, the last part was good, the middle was long. His discussions of the origins of beer (who knows?) seemed solid, and his tracing of Temperance, if a bit biased (c'mon, it's about beer) had some really good points and brought in both Canadian and United States Prohibition and the ways around it. Temperance in England was also detailed, and the problems temperance caused itself by being a code-name for prohibition, rather than actual restraint.
The middle, though, was not very memorable. I think he repeated himself on the drinking vessels, and contradicted himself on Queen Victoria's opinion on the strength of her drink. I didn't go back to double check. He did get better with the side-comments as the book went on. Early on they came out of nowhere and were jarring in the flow of the book. By the end he had more deftly woven history and opinion together to make them read smoothly.
If you are interested in ale & beer & history, you'll probably enjoy the book. If you are interested in history, you'll probably find it a bit long, but still interesting.
Overflows with oddities & intriguing details about world's oldest alcoholic drink.