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Great Beer Guide: The World's 500 Best Beers Paperback – October 5, 2000

39 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 5, 2000
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"American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye: A Guide to the Nation's Favorite Spirit"
The bible of American whiskey has been updated. Organized in an A-to-Z directory by distillery, then brand, this second edition features more than 330 whiskeys, including more than 120 new entries. See Details

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Jackson is the world's best-selling beer writer. He's written numerous books on the subject and has won many awards, including 1999 Glenfiddich Drinks Writer of the Year. Michael is also a journalist, and writes regularly for publications including The Independent and Whisky magazine. He lives in London. Find out more at

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: DK (October 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751308137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751308136
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,954,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Ulrey on February 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure anyone in the world has sampled more brews than Michael Jackson. No, not that Michael Jackson. This one is (from what I've been able to discern) the pre-eminent beer critic in the world.
"Great Beer Guide" covers several hundred beers from all over the world but avoids the "x number of stars" format and, in fact, doesn't offer a numerical rating at all. It's assumed that if the beer was good enough to make it into this guide that it qualifies at the top of it's class, whether it be a pilsner, lager, or ale, or even one of the exotics like a lambic or barleywine.
The biggest draw of this book for me was the layout. Each of the 500+ pages is occupied by a single beer, which is pictured in both it's bottle incarnation and also as a draft, giving you not just an idea of what the beer looks like but also the official glassware it's intended to be served in. Some of the more unusual glassware includes a beer from Oregon that is served in a pint glass with a half-log as it's base!
In addition to the pictures the text also tells you what type of beer it is, where it's from, the alcohol content by both volume and gravity, and finally a description of the beer itself (again, there is no effort made to play favorites, but if the description sounds up your alley it would be more than worth your time to track the beer down).
Alas, many of the beers listed in the book have limited distribution, so depending on where you live you'll probably only have access to a reasonably small percentage of these brews. Nonetheless, I was able to track down quite a few by special order that the local liquor stores would probably have never stocked of their own accord. And who knows? If you find yourself doing a lot of travelling you might just manage to cross all of these off your list sooner or later. But I doubt it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By W. N. Hay on March 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Jackson begins the book with a guide to the ingredients of beer and the types of beer and how they are brewed. That is very informative if you are a beer lover. He neglects the Westvleteren 12 but that is perhaps because it is near impossible to find in the United States. Under each beer is a wonderful description of the taste plus a picture of the glass and the suggested serving temperature. The serving temperature and the type of glass are critical. Enjoy this brilliant mans book. By the way he really knows his history.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By isala on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Michael Jackson has sacrificed his liver so that others might know what beers are around!

This book covers just about every major beer there is. The only complaint I have is that I cannot taste them all. It covers the history of beer, different types of beers, different beer making techniques (you will be amazed!), in short - it covers everything about beer!

It has chapters on different beers, and different regions. Obviously, the chapters on Belgium, the UK, and Chech Republic are "must reads". In a very nice and generous touch, he also tells us about US microbreweries, that produces surprisingly potable products. We now live in Alaska, end enjoy the some of the local produce from the Alaska and Silver Gulch breweries. The book is a little bit to big to bring on the travel, but I think he has also written a pocket guide.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Noel Molloy on May 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Another quality book from Mr. Jackson. Brilliant photographs, easy to read, enough to give one a thirst! Doesn't seek to impose his views by ratings (which I found a surprise). Unusual shape / format for the book, in a chunky style which I liked. I'm sure an enthusiast for beer like Jackson would like to have put many more than 500 beers into the book if it was at all possible.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By - Kasia S. VINE VOICE on May 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being one of the world's oldest beverages, beer was known to Egyptians and Mesopotamians, even written about by ancient Sumerians and still enjoyed to this day, the constant way of reinventing and flavor and introducing new brands can be overwhelming but not with this easy to read guide.

Sometimes there's more to beer than meets the eye. Like tea it's more of a simple, easy and relaxing beverage that lacks the arrogance of coffee and hard liquors and the overly sweetness of cocoa and some wines. Even thought I like all the above beer is still an incredible invention, it's perfect for a weekend afternoon or chilled one or two for dinner when I just don't feel like cooking. I really do drink it because it like everything about it, not to get tipsy and forget everything, people tend to look down on it for some reason, but beer deserves some love and appreciation. Apparently one beer a day is good for the circulation, the hard part is having just one!

This book is more of a large pocket manual, but too thick to fit into any pocket, with each beer in alphabetical order taking places on each page, showing beautiful photos of the bottle, the proper glassware for serving and all sorts of flavor and history information. I can count on this to inform, entertain and show me beers that I will probably never tastes or find but at least I know to be on the lookout! I tend to like lighter beers, and the Asian ones always seem to tickle my fancy, currently Tiger beer just has my heart, and its extremely simple and non fussy I even love the name, which represents my favorite animal. Fruit flavored beers are also fun, but when I feel like something sweet. Currently having discovered great strawberry ale I am in search of new and untested brews.
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