Book Review: Britain in a bottle


A visitor’s guide to Britain in a bottle

Britain in a bottle is an extensive guide to distilleries, breweries, vineyards and cider mills of the UK.  Maybe not a full guide – how many books would that take?, however, this is a handy tome for in the backpack or the car when travelling about discovering the alcoholic gems of the UK.


Written by Ted Bruning and Rupert Wheeler.  Ted Bruning has been a journalist and author in the licensed trade and hospitality industry since 1986, working for titles such as The Morning Advertiser, CAMRA  monthly paper, What’s Brewing, and has freelanced for trade titles including The Publican, The Brewers’ Guardian, Caterer & Hotelkeeper, and On Trade Preview. Book credits include Historic Pubs of London, London by Pub, Brewery Breaks, The Microbrewers’ Handbook and The Craft Distillers’ Handbook. Phew!  Rupert Wheeler has been involved in publishing for over 30 years and was previously the managing editor of Whisky Magazine. He is a judge in the World Whiskies Awards and has recently moved to Orkney, where he now works part time at Highland Park Distillery, taking tours and running tasting events. So you can say that they both know their stuff!

darnleys gin kingsbarns fife scottish gin foodie exploreres

With an increase in breweries and distilleries across the UK producing more diverse products and focusing on provenance, Britain in a bottle couldn’t be released at a better time. Covering over 340 establishments all over England, Scotland and Wales.  Each region comes with a map showing roughly where the business is located.  You’ll probably need to use your Sat Nav or a real map to find your way to them if you aren’t a local.

World famous names sit side-by-side with smaller operators.  Each one given pride of place. One thing that you do realise from the book is that you are never far from a brewery, distillery, vineyard or cider mill.  And with lockdown easing and things returning to normal I’m sure that most of them would welcome a visit from their customers, or potential customers.

Drygate Brewery - now open!

Britain in a bottle isn’t just a listing, there are also what is termed close-ups. These are pages where terms and details are explained in detail such as how exactly alcoholic strength is derived and guides to the different beer styles around.

If you enjoy having an excuse to travel and to visit distilleries, breweries and vineyards, then this is the book for you.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously but knows its stuff.

We received a copy of the book to review.



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I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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