Stephen Beaumont

Hi! I’m Stephen Beaumont and I’m told that I have the best job in the world.

I travel the globe seeking out great breweries and distilleries, sampling their creations and writing articles, columns and books about it all. I also host tastings and dinners, consult with restaurant and hotel operators about how to make their businesses even better, and lead groups from ten to one hundred on beverage and travel experiences.

That’s the short version. For more, read on!

Stephen Beaumont Headshot

If you are interested in my writing, tasting and travel page, please click here.

If you would like information about my latest books, please click here.


Books

Cover: Will Travel for Beer by Stephen Beaumont
Will Travel for Beer

My whole life is about travelling for beer, so one morning I woke up and thought I should write a book about the very best of my experiences. This book, my latest, is the result, filled with 101 exceptional beer journeys from Munich to Bangkok and Squamish, British Columbia to Finland’s northern Sahti Belt.

(Published in 2018)

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Cover: Best Beers by Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb
Best Beers

For the 3rd edition of my and Tim Webb’s Pocket Beer Guide, we changed the title and focused on only the best beers from some 60 nations around the world, along he way highlighting Iconic Breweries, Can’t Miss Breweries and Breweries to Watch.

(Published in 2017)

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Cover: Pocket Beer Book 3rd Edition by Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb
Pocket Beer Boo

This is the U.K. version of Best Beers. Same text and same reviews, just a different title and cover. No need to get both, unless you really want to…

(Published in 2017)

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Cover: The Beer & Food Companion - Stephen Beaumont
The Beer & Food Companion

Since 1994, I’ve been fascinated by the pairing of beer and food, the way that two great flavours can combine into something even better. This book is my exploration of the history, science and gastronomic beauty of beer and food pairing.

(Published in 2015)

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Cover: The World Atlas of Beer by Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont
The World Atlas of Beer

In 2012, Tim Webb and I published our first World Atlas of Beer, which was also the first global beer overview since the death of the revered beer writing pioneer, Michael Jackson. Of course, the pace of change in beer these days is rapid, so in 2016 we completely revised and updated our material for this, the 2nd edition of the world’s most comprehensive beer book.

(Published in 2016)

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Beer & Spirits Events

I began my career writing about beer and spirits in 1990 and hosted my first-ever tasting – a beer and chocolate pairing! – in 1993. Since then, I have hosted countless tasting events, from the series of consistently sold-out beer dinners I presented at Monk’s Café in Philadelphia during the late 1990s and early 2000s to boardroom whisky tastings at accounting and law firms to ‘edu-tainment’ events in front of crowds numbering in the hundreds.

Trained as an actor in my youth, I am completely comfortable speaking in front of crowds of any size and enjoy little more than telling stories and sharing knowledge with an audience, be they industry insiders, fervent drinks enthusiasts or simply curious occasional imbibers.

A few themes to consider:

  • A sampling of whiskies from around the globe, including classics like Scottish single
    malts and New Generation whiskies from India or France.
  • A beer and cheese pairing that illustrates how, while wine might get all the press, beer is actually the superior choice when it comes to cheese.
  • A beer dinner highlighting the many ways in which Belgian beers prove their
    incomparable food-friendliness again and again and again.
  • A tasting tour through Mexico, including the many faces of tequila and mezcal, plus the country’s new signature beer style, the molé-inspired Mexican Imperial stout.
  • An end-of-dinner sampling of whiskies and chocolates that demonstrates the incredible affinity whisky has for cocoa, and vice versa.

Of course, the above are only the tip of the iceberg and I would be happy to work with you to develop an event that’s uniquely your own. Prices are set according to scale of event, size of audience and degree of preparation required, but are flexible enough to fit within most budgets.

For more information, please contact me.

Having worked with Stephen on our ocean ships, I can say we found him to be an expert speaker, offering our guests a fun, informative experience with all the details to keep it educational and yet still full of great anecdotes to make it thoroughly enjoyable. Stephen brings to the table vast knowledge and a genuine love of what he’s doing.

Ross Martin, Corporate Beverage Manager, Crystal Cruises

Drink Tourism

Planning a larger scale beer or spirits event and need a knowledgeable guide to act as leader?

From city brewery crawls to luxury, all-inclusive tours, I’ve been leading drinks enthusiasts around the globe for almost two decades.

Writing regularly about beer and spirits affords me the opportunity to travel the world, which in turn allows me to accumulate insider knowledge concerning a wealth of drinks destinations, from the underappreciated island gem of Islay in Scotland, to Asheville, North Carolina’s South Slope brewery district and the breweries, biergartens and beer halls of Munich, Germany.

Tours can be as small as an afternoon hopping from one bar or brewery taproom to another or as involved as an ultra-luxury tour of Belgium or Kentucky, with prices ranging according to length and involvement. For more information, please contact me.

If you want an experience that is authentic and off the beaten path, you want Stephen Beaumont. He is full of local culture and historic anecdotes and facts, and you will be welcomed with open arms by the locals. We really enjoyed Stephen’s expertise, his sense of humour and his access to all the wonderful little cafes and pubs he shared with us.

Shelley Gilberg, participant in the Beaumont-led ‘Beer, Bravery & Bubbles’ tour in 2018

Bar & Restaurant Consulting

Whether it’s a start-to-implementation design, training and roll-out package or a simple drinks menu design or staff education program, a local, one unit operation or a national program execution, I have experience at all levels of hospitality consultancy. A few of the projects I have helped along include:

  • I developed the Four Points ‘Beer Hotel’ program for Starwood Hotels & Resorts shortly before it was disrupted and derailed by the events of September 11, 2001. A few years later, I helped the company resurrect the plan before they decided to take it in- house and appoint a “Chief Beer Officer” in 2007.
  • On two occasions, in 2014 and 2016, I devised a plan for bringing quality craft beer aboard the ocean-going cruise ship, Crystal Serenity. Both selections were extremely well-received by guests.
  • From 2003 to 2012, I was a partner in and head beer specialist for beerbistro, a beer- centric restaurant located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During that time, I helped design the bar, implemented a complete beer program – parts of which are still in use today – contributed to the development of the food menu, helped hire and train staff and generally did what bar and restaurant owners need to do, which is a bit of everything.
  • For three years from shortly after its opening in 1999, I helmed the beer program at the Bier Markt in Toronto, now an eight outlet chain. Over that time I trained staff, developed beer-themed events and oversaw the evolution of the beer menu, among other tasks.

I have also over the years spoken at numerous brewing, distilling and hospitality conferences, including multiple appearances at the Cheers Beverage Conference, VIBE Conference and National Restaurant Association Show and speaking engagements at Cerveza México, the Craft Brewers Conference and the Copa Cervezas de América.

Consulting and industry speaking engagements are both priced according to scale and degree of involvement. For more information, please contact me.

As producer of the VIBE Conference, my first concern for our programing is to provide the most current and forward thinking information I can to the on-premise professionals in attendance. When it comes to beer and what’s happening in that realm, my go-to person is Stephen Beaumont. His presentations at our conferences have been some of the most highly attended and highly rated workshops, and I never worry that the results and ratings will be anything but excellent.

Lawrence J. “Laddie” Weiss, owner of Weiss Foodservice Visions, Inc.

About Stephen

Described as both “one of his generation’s greatest beer writers” and “a national treasure” by What’s Brewing and as “beerdom’s Brillat-Savarin” by The Celebrator, Stephen Beaumont is one of the world’s most authoritative voices on beer, as well as a widely recognized writer on spirits, food and travel, having covered these fields for almost thirty years.

As author of his most recent book, Will Travel for Beer, and co-author with Tim Webb of two editions of The World Atlas of Beer (2012 & 2016), published in a dozen countries and ten languages, Stephen has amassed an unparalleled understanding of what’s going on in the fast- paced and expanding world of beer and spirits today. If there are good lagers or ales, tequilas to be had, whether in San Francisco or Singapore, Montreal or Milan, Stephen knows about it, and has most likely sampled them!

In addition to the above international best-sellers, Stephen has authored or co-authored ten other books, including three editions of The Pocket Beer Book/Best Beers (2013, 2014 & 2017), two editions of The Great Canadian Beer Guide (1994 & 2001) and the landmark Beer & Food Companion, as well as contributing to thirteen others, including both 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die and 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die, and the recently-released East Coast Crafted. Stephen is also Editor-in-Chief of Original Gravity magazine in Canada and authors columns and articles for publications as diverse as the spirits quarterly Whisky Advocate, the UK beverage industry insider site just-drinks.com, and various airline in-flight publications.

When he is not writing about or tasting beers and spirits, Stephen travels the world talking about them, at a beer dinner in Toronto, a seminar in São Paulo or a competition in coastal China. He has worked on the beer and beverage programs of numerous corporations, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the Walt Disney Company and Crystal Cruises, and appears regularly at conferences such as VIBE and the International Wine, Spirits and Beer Event. Stephen is a member of both the British Guild of Beer Writers and the North American Guild of Beer Writers.

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