Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Premium Beer Drinker's Guide: The World's Strongest, Boldest and Most Unusual Beers

Premium Beer Drinker's Guide: The World's Strongest, Boldest and Most Unusual Beers

by Stephen Beaumont

A unique book on beer in that if focuses exclusively on the best in beer — the elite premium brands — in an attractive, well illustrated format. The book offers reviews, ratings, food suggestions and descriptions


A unique book on beer in that if focuses exclusively on the best in beer — the elite premium brands — in an attractive, well illustrated format. The book offers reviews, ratings, food suggestions and descriptions

Editorial Reviews

The Globe and Mail
You will savor this handsome guide ... Featuring clear photographs and crisp prose, it covers the latest trends.
David Armstrong
Concise description of brewing methods, unpretentious tasting notes ... with a lightly erudite touch ... nicely illustrated.
—(San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle )
Bill Brand
The illustrations are excellent and the photography is mouth-watering.
—(Oakland Tribune)
Coleman Andrews
Thorough, smart, and accurate ... I wager Beaumont will soon have you longing for an Orval or an Old Crustacean or a Floreffe Dubbel.
Martin Wooster Morse
An imaginative, quirky and interesting guide ... Beaumont is one of the world's best beer writers.
—Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, April/May 2001
Color photos rich enough to knock even the most staunch of teetotalers from the wagon.
— (Living in Style - Reviews, October 2000)
All About Beer
Steve Beaumont's writing ... [pairs] beer with other fine things in life in a thoughtful way.
Beaumont writes widely for food and beverage magazines and produces a monthly beer magazine on line. Here he profiles 60 beers that are big in flavor, character, intensity, and often alcohol. They include a range from lagers to stouts. He includes a number of anecdotes as well. The ample illustrations are in bright color. Canadian card order number: C00-93048-5. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt


Premium Beer Defined

When I began drinking beer in the 1970s, the hierarchy of North American brews was pretty simple: there were regular beers and premium beers. The regular ones were those major-brewery products that we drank on a day-to-day basis, while the premium brands were the slightly more alcoholic offerings from those same breweries, the ones we ordered when we felt like going out on a limb. Imports were as scarce as well-hopped ales; and save for one or two offerings from the better regional breweries, craft-brewed beers were virtually nonexistent.

Immediately following the start of the craft-brewing renaissance - that wonderful period in the mid- 1980s when a wave of small breweries sprang up, producing small-batch beers full of flavor and replete with character - things did change but only slightly. Pretty much abandoning the premium beer segment to this new wave of microbreweries, the majors continued to fight for the ordinary beer market among themselves. Meanwhile, the trickle of imported brews slowly built itself up into a steady stream.

Today, the face of the beer market on the North American continent bears little resemblance to that of my earliest days as a beer enthusiast. Brands once thought of as ordinary have been reclassified as premium; those once viewed as premium have become known as superpremium or extrapremium; low-cost brews have flooded the market, putting price pressure on the beers of other categories; what we knew as microbrewery beers are now called craft-brewed beers and range dramatically in quality, style and price; and that steady stream of imports has become a raging torrent. It's no wonder that for many, beer shopping has become as intimidating a prospect as wine buying or car shopping.

Which is wrong. As complex and distinguished a drink as it may be, beer has never been a pretentious beverage. Relaxing, sociable and flavorful, yes; pompous, elitist and incomprehensible, never. Beer has always been class unconscious, the drink of princes and paupers alike, enjoyed as much by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt as by the laborers of pre-Industrial England. It is for after work in Japan and for breakfast in Germany; for warming bones chilled by winter in Sweden and for slaking thirsts brought on by the midday sun in Australia; for celebrations with friends in America and for relaxing with the family in Belgium. In short, beer is the everyday drink for the everyday person.

And premium beer, true premium beer, is the special-occasion drink for those same everyday people. That is the only useful definition of a "premium" beer and the only one that matters. It applies equally to a domestic beer, an import or the product of a brewpub and that of a megabrewing corporation. A premium beer is a special kind of beer that offers you an experience well beyond what you expect out of drinking a beer. Period.

These are the beers that you will find in this book: special beers, ones that stimulate your senses and challenge your perceptions and, above all else, make a bold statement in your glass. Premium beers are not the ones that finance brewing conglomerates or whose names trip easily off the tongues of beer drinkers around the world, but they are the ones that can and often do make a brewery's reputation. They are also the beers that brewers create for the love of the art of brewing, and the ones that we drink because we appreciate that art and will go out of our way to taste its excellence.

There is nothing wrong with a well-made pilsner or a terrifically flavorful amber ale, but those beers will not be mentioned on the following pages because, as good as they are, they are our ordinary, everyday beers. The styles and brands that you will meet in this book are the crème de la crème of the brewing industry worldwide, those beers that either speak to a proud history of brewing or are representative of the modern brewer's creativity at its best. They are the big beers: big in flavor, big in character, big in intensity and frequently big in alcohol. You could call them super-extra-premium or the premier grand crus of the beer world, but I prefer to just call them what they are: truly premium beers

Meet the Author

Stephen Beaumont is a leading international authority on beer. The author of four books, his writings on beer regularly appears in such publications as the Globe and Mail, Saveur, Food & Drink, SMOKE, Wine X, Wine Enthusiast, P.O.V., Malt Advocate, and his own monthly on-line beer magazine, Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer at www.worldofbeer.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews