Last spring when we were doing research for our profile of Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster for Brooklyn Brewery, we spoke to the obvious folks: Other respected craft brewers, bar owners, beverage writers and experts in the beverage. But unlike most brewer write-ups, this particular piece required a call to the editors at Oxford University Press, that ultra-prestigious publishing house that puts out every-thing-you-wanted-to-know tomes on food and drink.
That’s because in addition to making great beers–truly, the large format, bottle-conditioned brews he creates and ages on N. 11th Street in Williamsburg are some of the finest in the country these days–the man is author of the first-ever (and brand-new) Oxford Companion to Beer.
“He’s the ultimate authority on beer,” Grace Labatt, Oliver’s editor at Oxford told us. “Few people in the world know every aspect of beer,” she said, noting that Oliver curated a whopping 1,140 entries from dozens of writers on topics like technology, science, history, philosophy, traditional styles, flavors and food pairings. “He’s a renaissance man,” she told us, “when we have meetings, he just spouts off facts.”
Now you can get those facts in the beautiful book itself, along with one beautiful beer. Part of the 750 ML bottle Brewmaster Reserve series we were telling you about, it’s an ale called The Companion, and was brewed specially in an old style known as “wheat wine” right here in Brooklyn by Oliver and his co-authors, Horst Dornbusch and Kraus-Weyermann. You can get both the book and beer together in a special $80 package called the Brooklyn Box Set. The only catch is you have to pick it up in person at The Brooklyn Brewery (that’s 79 North 11th Street between Berry and Wythe Avenues). Hell, it’s not even much of a catch, considering the brewery functions as a brewpub selling great beers just like the Companion, to boot.