Cover image for The big book o' beer : everything you ever wanted to know about the greatest beverage on earth
The big book o' beer : everything you ever wanted to know about the greatest beverage on earth
Swierczynski, Duane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia, PA : Quirk Books ; San Francisco, CA : Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
208 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TP577 .S95 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Big Book o' Beer is a lavish colour celebration of The Greatest Beverage on Earth, with numerous photographs and little-known facts. Duane Swierczynski takes readers around the world and through 10,000 years of history to answer all beer-related questions. Subjects include History (what is mead anyway?), Crafts and Gear (transform empties into dazzling arts and crafts), Science (why don't they teach this stuff in chem class?) and Arts and Entertainment (with beloved beer spokesmodels like Spuds McKenzie). Along with a recipe for beer ice cream, there are sections on classic cheap beers, rules of drinking games, guidelines for brewing your own and all the froth on Canadian beer.

Author Notes

John Heller is a gallery owner and work-incentive poster aficionado based in New Rochelle, New York.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Beer may have gone a bit upscale in recent years, what with all those microbrews and Belgian ales, but Swierczynski (The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion) is more interested in the history of Pabst Blue Ribbon and the trivia of hangovers, not to mention the physics of a flying bottle cap, the world's weirdest beer flavors (he's found banana and white chocolate mousse, among others) and beer label art. He divides this visually captivating compendium into a six-pack of chapters, covering history, geography, crafts, the sciences, the arts and even connoisseurship as they relate to readers' favorite hop-flavored brew. The "Bonus Can" chapter appears to include stuff that wouldn't fit anywhere else (e.g., Web sites and drinking songs). Swierczynski has amassed quite a collection of images: vintage Milwaukee's Best cans, jars of pickled eggs, Heineken mugs, drinking funnels and even beer can votive holders are all on display, and the random sidebars and diagrams will help hold readers' attention. Despite all this, the book is largely a jumble of only loosely related facts and lists, and virtually no subject gets more than a paragraph of text. It's too disorganized to serve as a reference book, and too choppy to be read all the way through, yet too attractive and entertaining to put down for long. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introduction: One Hundred Bottles of Beer on My Wallp. 7
Can #1 The History of Beerp. 9
Great Moments in Beer History: Antiquityp. 10
Great Moments in Beer History: Enlightenmentp. 15
Not-So-Great Moments in Beer History: Prohibitionp. 21
Great Moments in Beer History: Modernityp. 24
The Evolution of the Beer Canp. 28
Popular Expressions That Came from Beerp. 32
Prestigious Beer Awards and Ceremoniesp. 34
World Beer Recordsp. 37
The Year in Beerp. 40
Can #2 The Atlas of Beerp. 43
Ireland and the United Kingdomp. 44
Belgium and the Netherlandsp. 46
Germany and Austriap. 48
The Czech Republic and Polandp. 50
Scandinaviap. 52
Western Europep. 54
The United States of America: New Englandp. 56
The United States of America: Mid-Atlanticp. 58
The United States of America: The Southp. 60
The United States of America: The Midwestp. 62
The United States of America: The Southwestp. 64
The United States of America: The Westp. 66
Canadap. 68
Mexicop. 70
The Caribbeanp. 72
China and Japanp. 74
Australia and New Zealandp. 76
Can #3 Beer Connoisseurshipp. 79
A Field Guide to Beerp. 80
The Big Beersp. 84
They Live! Zombie Beersp. 94
Beer: An Owner's Manualp. 97
How to Act Like a Beer Snobp. 100
Cheaper by the Six-Packp. 102
Beer and Foodp. 106
Brew It Yourselfp. 112
Can #4 Beer Crafts and Gearp. 117
Aw, You Mugsp. 118
The Perfect Glass for Every Beerp. 122
Beer Kegs and Beer Kegeratorsp. 126
Beer Craftsp. 129
Games Beer Drinkers Playp. 138
Can #5 Beer and the Applied Sciencesp. 143
Health and Beerp. 144
Beer Isn't the Answer; It's the Curep. 149
The Physics and Chemistry of Beerp. 151
Alternate Scientific Applications for Beerp. 158
Beer Mathp. 161
Can #6 Beer and the Artsp. 163
The Metropolitan Gallery of Beer Artp. 165
The Art of the Beer Labelp. 170
Beer Commercials and Spokespersonsp. 176
Memorable Beer Moments in Television and Cinemap. 182
Beer and Literaturep. 187
Fictional Beersp. 189
Bonus Canp. 193
Beer Resourcesp. 194
Beer Glossaryp. 196
Toasts and Roastsp. 198
Drinking Songsp. 200
Beer Buddiesp. 203
Indexp. 204