Welcome to the Bar Towel Beer Library!

Good beer books are invaluable possessions of a beer lover, as they detail what makes beer such a unique and enjoyable beverage. There is so much information associated with the history and heritage of brewing, and good beer books are essential components of a beer lovers' bar. This section will feature reviews of the finest beer books, with links for online purchasing at

The Simon & Schuster Pocket Guide to Beer, written by Michael Jackson
This was one of the first books I read when I was initially interested in unique and rare beers, and it is still an extremely useful resource. Think of it as a Leonard Maltin movie guide for beers, breweries and brewpubs. The Pocket Guide to Beer contains tiny reviews for over 2,000 beers worldwide, as well as capsule descriptions of the breweries and countries of origin. As well, due to its compact size, the Pocket Guide is especially good for travelling. Well worth it.

Beer Blast, written by Philip Van Munching
Beer Blast is not really a book about beer, but about the marketing of beer. The marketing and advertising of beer is extremely important to the mass brewers of Canada and the United States, and this book is a lively and fun read chronicling the marketing battles of the large brewers and the large importers in the United States. This book seemed to confirm the belief that large brewers care more about image than taste - from the perspective of unique beer lover, that is.

The Great Canadian Beer Guide, Second Edition, written by Stephen Beaumont
Stephen Beaumont revamps and updates his Great Canadian Beer Guide with a second edition, published in 2001. You can find a full review of the book here.

A Taste For Beer, written by Stephen Beaumont
Probably my favourite work by Toronto-based beer author Stephen Beaumont, A Taste for Beer is a wonderful book about the enjoyment of beer. It is a book that introduces and trains the reader to the benefits of good beer. Mr. Beaumont introduces the styles of beer, and includes numerous recipes for cooking with beer. Mr. Beaumont writes with passion, and the experience of savouring good beer is verbalised in this fine book.

Premium Beer Drinker's Guide, written by Stephen Beaumont
In Stephen Beaumont's newest book (published 2000), the Premium Beer Drinker's Guide, Mr. Beaumont once again promotes the benefits of trying unique and unusual beers. The Premium Beer Drinker's Guide profiles over 60 specific beers across the global style spectrum. Printed on glossy paper with many colour photos, this guide is a wonderful addition to a premium beer cellar. As is the case with most of Mr. Beaumont's books, the Premium Beer Drinker's Guide will undoubtedly help convert beer brand loyalists into diverse connoisseurs.

Stephen Beaumont's Brewpub Cookbook, written by Stephen Beaumont
Another fine book by Stephen Beaumont, and as the title suggests, compiles recipes from some of the best brewpubs of North America. Brewpubs are often the finest places to enjoy good beer, and the food available can be just as tasty. Mr. Beaumont reproduces recipes from local brewpubs such as the Roasted Butternut Squash and Beer Soup from C'est What, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from Denison's, and Acadian Jambalaya from the Granite Brewery. Profiles of the brewpubs are included, as is a beer style glossary. Keep in mind that the beer made at the brewpubs themselves is not required for the recipes nor are recommended as the meal-matching beverage.

Michael Jackson's Beer Companion, written by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, the world's pre-eminent beer author, explores the styles, beers and breweries of the worldwide beer culture. The Beer Companion is vast and informative, and is the guide that no beer connoisseur should be without.

The Great Lakes Beer Guide, written by Jamie MacKinnon
A fine beer and brewery guide detailing the microbreweries of the Great Lakes provinces and states: Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec and Vermont. Mr. MacKinnon loves his beer, and it is evident in the ratings of the beers reviewed. However, it is a good resource for a beer connoisseur living in this region of the world, and similar to the Pocket Guide to Beer, it is a great travelling companion. The Great Lakes Beer Guide contains strong sections for Ontario and Quebec, if not somewhat out of date now (the guide was published in 1997).

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