Where to travel to in 2019, and what to read and drink while you’re there – upgrade your trip to the world’s best holiday destinations with our book and beer picks…

Condé Nast Traveller recently released its list of top holiday destinations and best places to go for 2019. We’ve picked five where you’re guaranteed great beer, and we’ve also helpfully suggested a decent read to take with you…




THE BOOK: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Set up as if it’s true crime, when in fact it’s a fictional psychological thriller, this Booker-longlisted murder mystery follows the 1869 trial of Roderick McCrea for triple homicide. His Bloody Project cleverly reveals ‘original’ evidence from the case against the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands’ atmospheric surroundings – think bleakness, remoteness and terrible weather. But don’t let that put you off visiting…


THE BEER: Swannay Brewery’s Scapa Bere

A ‘Viking’-style beer made with bere malt grown on Orkney, this special-edition brew from Scotland’s most northerly brewer has a salty flavour, perfect to sup on Orkney as you’re surrounded by rough seas and plenty of salt spray.




THE BOOK: The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton

Australia’s most famous novelist released his latest book last year, and it expertly evokes Western Australia’s arid, sun-drenched, dehydrated salt lakes. Teenager Jaxie runs away from home in an attempt to meet up with a girl, but instead gets hopelessly lost on the flats and discovers a stranger banished to the outback.



THE BEER: Feral Brewing Co’s Hop Hog Pale Ale

After reading about the unrelenting heat and Jaxie’s desperate attempts to find water, you’ll be desperate to quench your own thirst. Feral’s Hop Hog is exactly what you need – packed with American hops, it’s full of citrus notes that mean you’ll have downed it all before you even realise.




THE BOOK: The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin

Set just after the end of World War I in New Orleans, and based on a true story, Celestin’s debut bagged him the CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger for Best Debut on its release. The story follows the Axeman, a serial killer causing carnage in the city as the police, the Mob and – weirdly – Louis Armstrong try to unmask the killer before it’s too late.


THE BEER: Urban South’s 2nd Set Pilsner

This Bohemian pilsner is made with German hops and malts by a brewery that aims to combine American and European methods. The beer’s name comes from the fact it will see you through the ‘second set’ (second act, we’re guessing) of one of the city’s many shows. It also claimed gold in 2017’s US Open Beer Championships.




THE BOOK: Funeral In Berlin by Len Deighton

Spy-fiction master Deighton released this espionage masterpiece in 1964, as a follow-up to The Ipcress File and Horse Under Water and following the same unnamed British agent (played by Michael Caine in the films). Funeral In Berlin concerns the Red Army Security trying to do a deal with the British Intelligence. Inevitably, everything falls apart due to ruthless double crossing.

THE BEER: BRLO’s Berliner Weisser (preferably straight from the tap at its brewery)

The city’s famous sour beer is less of a novelty and now more of a global trend, with brewers across the world bottling their own takes on it. Here, though, you can enjoy a true local treat – minus the sweet, fruity syrup many places insist on adding.




THE BOOK: The Piranhas by Roberto Saviano

You’re in Italy, so it has to be a book about the Mafia. Although not set in Matera, Saviano’s latest novel is based in Naples, where the ‘Paranze’ roam the streets spreading fear and intimidation. These groups of teenage gangs mark the territory of their mafia bosses, with a little help from some AK-47s. Saviano, who had to go into hiding after writing his previous book Gomorrah, knows this subject inside out, so The Piranhas feels real even though it’s fiction.



THE BEER: Lisa Lager by Birra del Borgo

A golden beer brewed in mid-Italy with Cappelli wheat from Puglia and Italian orange peel. Order a margherita, pick up The Piranhas and you have all you need for a perfect Italian evening in 2019’s European Capital of Culture.