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Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer
November 1996 --- Vol.1 No.3

An unapologetically opinionated view of what's brewing
across the continent and around the globe.

! SPECIAL HOLIDAY GIFT EDITION !

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Previous Issues

Christmas Gift Ideas

For the Aesthetic Beer Drinker

True, most North American breweries now offer their own beer glasses for sale, but who really needs another 16 oz. "shaker" sleeve or lame pilsner glass with a brewery logo stamped on it? Probably not the beer aficionado in your life.

Glassware


For the true beer aesthete, however, there are many lovely and delicate beer vessels on the market, beginning with the wonderful glasses of the great breweries of Belgium. The Belgians have known for years that a proper glass contributes much to the enjoyment of a beer; this is why every brewery in the country has its own unique line of glassware and why I know of at least one beer drinker who was refused a particular brew in a Belgian cafe not because they were out of the beer, but because they did not have the proper glass in stock! Unfortunately, Belgian beer glasses are not always easy to find, unless you live in Belgium or know where to look!

In North America, one great place to look is in the catalogue of beer importer Vanberg & DeWulf, where they present a wide range of glasses from the classic Duvel snifter to the thistle-shaped glass of Douglas Scotch Ale. Each glass is beautifully detailed and a pleasure to drink from, just as the Belgians intended. Give Vanberg & DeWulf a call at 1-800-656-1212 or 1-607-547-8184, email them at [email protected] or fax your request to 1-607-547-8374. You can also find more information about Vanberg & DeWulf's products at their website at https://belgianexperts.com.

Not all North American brewers are content with boring glassware and many them offer a variety of drinking vessels ranging from beautiful tankards and elegant stemmed glasses. One of the most beautiful I have seen lately comes from Ontario's Sleeman Brewing: a shapely crystal pilsner glass unobtrusively stencilled with a green and white Sleeman logo. They are shipped two to a box and cost CN$24.95 a pair, plus shipping and handling. For ordering information, call Sleeman at 1-800-ALE-1834 (253-1834) from within North America or 1-519-822-1834, or fax your request to 1-519-822-0430.

Rogue Stien


Another impressive beer glass I picked up this year came from Oregon's Rogue Brewing. It is a very handsome green ceramic mug with a raised Rogue logo on the side done in tan and black and a clever no-slip pad on the bottom. It can be ordered from Roguewear Mail Order for US$18.50 plus shipping and handling. Call 1-800-489-4582 from within North America or 1-541-867-3660 for more information, or fax your request to 1-541-867-3260. Rogue merchandise can also be ordered online at https://realbeer.com/rogue/merchandise.html.

Christmas Gift Idea

For the Beer Lover in the Kitchen

Everybody Eats Well in Belgium

by Ruth Van Waerebeek with Maria Robbins

Workman Publishing,
New York, 1996
US$24.95


As far as I am concerned, the cookbook of the year is Ruth Van Waerebeek's Everybody Eats Well in Belgium. It is Van Waerebeek's first book and it is indeed a marvellous debut, paying splendid homage to one of the most unjustly ignored cuisines of the world.

Seasoning the book well with personal anecdotes and notes on the country and its people, Van Waerebeek offers 250 recipes complete with a short histories or vignettes concerning the dishes and easy-to-follow instructions. Even if, or perhaps especially if you have no idea what a waterzooi is and have never braised an endive, this is a wonderful book filled with the joy of food. It is available at bookstores or directly from Vanberg and DeWulf at 1-800-656-1212 within North America or 1-607-547-8184, or you can email them at [email protected] or fax your request to 1-607-547-8374.

Cooking With Beer

by Lucy Saunders

Time Life Books,
Alexandria, Virginia, 1996
US$12.95


Lucy Saunders has done much over the years to popularize the notion of cooking and dining with beer, and now she has released a cookbook detailing many of the fabulous recipes that she has developed along the way.

Cooking With Beer is a smallish book but one that is almost impossibly packed with more information than you could imagine. In it, Saunders explores beer styles and how to best pair them with foods, offers tasting hints and beer handling tips, and presents simple guidelines on cooking with beer. And then there are the recipes, over 50 delicious dishes covering everything from breads to seafoods to desserts, each employing ingredients that should be simple to find and also partnered with a recommended beer style. This cookbook offers great value and would make a fabulous stocking-stuffer.

Christmas Gift Idea

For the Novice Beer Lover

Beer For Dummies

by Marty Nachel with Steve Ettlinger

IDG Books
Foster City, California, 1996
US$19.99


As much as I despise the ...For Dummies series of books -- which were a good idea when they started out as computer manuals but have now rampaged out of control, addressing everything from beer and wine to gardening and sex -- I must confess that Marty Nachel and Steve Ettlinger have done a great job on Beer For Dummies and deserve to sell the tens of thousands of copies they no doubt will.

Packed with far more information than I could detail here, Beer For Dummies explores everything from homebrewing and beer tasting to beer buying and cooking with beer, and does so in the simple, jargon-free fashion that has made the ...For Dummies series a massive success. If you are an experienced brewer or aficionado, you may find yourself passing over more of this book than you read, but for the novice to intermediate beer lover this book is just the thing.

Christmas Gift Idea

Some Other Great Gift Ideas

Stephen Beaumont's
A World of Beer

A World of Beer

Stephen Beaumont's
A Taste For Beer

A Taste For Beer

"Indispensable!"
-- Dirk Manuel, BeerScene

Read the whole review.

Stephen Beaumont's
Great Canadian Beer Guide

Great Canadian Beer Guide

Christmas Gift Idea

For the Cyber-Beer Lover

Michael Jackson's World Beer Hunter

by Michael Jackson

Discovery Channel Multimedia,
Bethesda, Maryland, 1996
US$34.95


Unless you carry a notebook computer everywhere you go, a CD-ROM is not necessarily the most convenient tool to assist with the locating of great beers. For sheer entertainment, however, Michael Jackson's World Beer Hunter sure offers a lot of fun.

Better organized and easier to use that Jackson's first CD-ROM, simply entitled The Beer Hunter, the great beer bard's newest multimedia effort takes the premise of that initial, U.S.-focussed disk and expands it to a world-wide view. Included are such features as Quick Time videos of Jackson, pre-arranged tours that focus on subjects from beer styles to great pubs and audio clips covering everything from Aass to Zum Uerige. By far the most useful section, however, is the World Guide portion that allows you to tour the globe, stop wherever you wish and find out what Jackson thinks is worthy in that neck of the woods.

One could easily spend hours fooling around with this CD-ROM, and that makes it a great gift for any computer-oriented beer lover on your list. (Just be sure to tell them that the somewhat irritating ambient sound may be turned off at the "Help" page.)

Christmas Gift Idea

For the Travelling Beer Lover

The Simon & Schuster Pocket Guide to Beer

by Michael Jackson

Discovery Channel Multimedia,
Bethesda, Maryland, 1996
US$12.00


The ultimate pocket beer guide is back! The Simon & Schuster Pocket Guide to Beer by Michael Jackson appears to be threatening to become an annual with the recent release of the 5th edition, coming well before my 4th edition has even had the chance to become dog-eared!

For the novice, intermediate and expert alike, this is _the_ world guide, packed with Jackson's notes on more than 1,500 beers from all corners of the globe. But as most beer aficionados know this already, the question becomes whether or not this edition is sufficiently different from the last one to warrant its purchase. And the answer appears to be no, but with qualifications.

Without comparing the two books entry-by-entry, it appears that most of the expansion of this edition is based in Asia, which grows from a mere two to eight pages. Elsewhere, the U.S. entry increases by a couple of pages, the British Isles also plumps up by two and a handful of other countries gain a page or less. All told, it adds up to a 15 page increase in length; not really enough to justify the expense of a new copy, unless you plan a trip to Japan in the next year or so.

If you or your favourite beer lover does not have a recent edition of this book, however, get it! This is a magnificent resource and an essential tool for any aficionado who does even a moderate amount of travelling.

Christmas Gift Idea

For the Winter Beer Lover

I've been so busy lately that I haven't even had the time to sit down for a little relaxed beer tasting, so I'm afraid that I cannot report on how great the seasonal beer selection is this year (sorry, Greg from B.C.). What I can report, however, is that a huge variety of winter beers is out on the market now, including the following safe bets that are in my cellar awaiting my pleasure sometime (hopefully) soon:

  • Shaftebury Winter Ale (British Columbia, Canada)
  • Vancouver Island Hermannator (British Columbia, Canada)
  • Upper Canada Winter Brew (Ontario, Canada)
  • Unibroue Quelque Chose (Québec, Canada)
  • Geary Hampshire Special Ale (Maine, USA)
  • Harpoon Winter Warmer (Massachusetts, USA)
  • Great Divide Hibernation Ale (Colorado, USA)
  • Anchor "Our Special Ale" 1996 (California, USA)
  • Samuel Adams Winter Lager (Boston Beer Co., USA)
  • Samuel Smith Winter Welcome (Yorkshire, England)
  • King & Barnes Festive Ale (Horsham, England)
  • Bush de Noel/Scaldis Nöel (Hainaut, Belgium)
Sign up for Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer Update to receive tasting notes on some of the above beers on or around December 15.

Feedback

Lots of encouraging e-mail continues to pour into the World of Beer mailbox -- Thanks and keep it coming. We'll return to addressing your questions and comments next month.

In the meantime, we continue to welcome all of your hints, tips, suggestions and questions for World of Beer. If you have something you would like to let us know about, just click here: [email protected], or use the form found below to submit your comments while subscribing to the mid-month World of Beer updates.

Coming Next Month

The Premiere of Kitchen Table Tastings -- Reports from the informal beer tastings I regularly hold -- you guessed it! -- around my kitchen table.

The First Recipe Excerpt From the Forthcoming Stephen Beaumont's Brewpub Cookbook -- I know that I said this last month, but this time I really mean it!

World of Beer Update

World of Beer Update

Further to last month's story on the Coors-Molson licence dispute, a resolution has been reached...for now. Coors has agreed to leave the licence in Molson's hands until at least June 30, 1997, but offers no guarantee that it will renew its agreement with the Canadian brewing giant after that date.

While Molson is optimistic that this deadline extension means they will be able to work out a way to keep the licence to produce the number one selling light beer in Canada, Coors is decidedly less so. Quoted in The Globe and Mail in November, a Coors spokesperson said that the new deal is only for the convenience of Coors and the brand's Canadian customers and says nothing about the American brewery's long-term plans.

SBWoB will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.

New! Current! And Free

The World of Beer changes so quickly that it can be almost impossible to keep up! But that challenge just got a little easier with the debut of the mid-month Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer Update. Beginning in January and continuing on or about the 15th of every month, we will e-mail you a short update on articles from the previous month's World of Beer and provide details on stories we're following for future issues.

So don't get left behind. Register here to receive the Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer Update each and every month. It's free!

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Stephen Beaumont is an author and veteran beer writer. His latest realease is the innovative, two-hour audio book, A World of Beer, an all-original and all-encompassing journey through every facet of this drinkable work of art we call beer.

Stephen Beaumont reserves all rights that pertain to the text of his articles, in any form that it appears.

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