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Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasure of Real Beer with Real Food Paperback – 1 May 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; Reprint edition (1 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060005718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060005719
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A scholarly and readable book." -- Los Angeles Times

"Preached by the poet warrior of real beer and real food... The Brewmaster's Table [is] a feisty and erudite tome."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A scholarly and readable book."--Los Angeles Times

"The best and most important book ever written on the subject of pairing food and beer.."--Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Beer drinkers of all sorts will happily drift along Oliver's exhaustive tour. "--Publishers Weekly

Beer drinkers of all sorts will happily drift along Oliver s exhaustive tour. --Publishers Weekly"

Preached by the poet warrior of real beer and real food The Brewmaster s Table [is] a feisty and erudite tome. --Atlanta Journal-Constitution"

A scholarly and readable book. --Los Angeles Times"

The best and most important book ever written on the subject of pairing food and beer.. --Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution"

About the Author

Garrett Oliver, author of The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering The Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food, likens his role as Brewmaster at the award-winning Brooklyn Brewery in New York City to a chef: "The Brewmaster is essentially the chef of the brewery." Gourmet magazine described him as "a passionate epicure and talented alchemist."

In Oliver's new book, his expertise about beer is as entertaining and authoritative as his culinary tips, especially in the numerous savory beer and food matchups he recommends. How did Garrett Oliver come by these consuming passions?

After years of amateur brewing inspired by beers he had encountered during a year in England, Garrett Oliver began brewing professionally at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989. He was appointed Brewmaster there in 1993. He soon became widely known both here and abroad for his flavorful interpretations of traditional brewing styles and as an avid and entertaining lecturer and writer on the subject of fine beer. Garrett has hosted hundreds of beer tastings and dinners, writes regularly for beer and food-related periodicals, and is internationally recognized as an expert on traditional beer styles and their affinity with fine food.

In 1994, Oliver joined The Brooklyn Brewery as Brewmaster and partner. Many of his beers have won national and international awards. He has also served as a judge for the Professional Panel Blind Tasting of the Great American Beer Festival for eleven years, has judged the prestigious Great British Beer Festival competition five times, and the Beverage Industry International Awards twice.

Oliver has hosted tastings and talks for numerous cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian, MassMOCA, and The Jewish Museum. In the United States, Garrett has made numerous radio and television appearances as a spokesman for craft brewing, including segments on NPR, CNN, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, The History Channel, Food Network's "Emeril Live, and CBS' Martha Stewart Living.

Garrett has hosted beer tastings and dinners at many fine restaurants, cooking schools, and food events including dinners at James Beard House, Oceana, The Waldorf-Astoria, the Slow Food Cheese Festival and Salone del Gusto in Piemonte, Italy, The Association of Westchester Country Club Chefs, The American Institute of Wine and Food, The Culinary Institute of America, the Sommelier Society of America, The French Culinary Institute, and Peter Kump's New York Cooking School (now ICE), and the London BAR show. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Slow Food, USA.

Garrett's first book, The Good Beer Book, co-written with Timothy Harper, was published in 1997. Oliver is a graduate of Boston University, and holds a degree in Broadcasting and Film. He is the recipient of the 1998 Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation and Excellence in Brewing, granted by the Institute for Brewing Studies. It is the highest award given within the United States brewing profession.

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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read--lots of information about matching beer and foods (and where it makes a better match than wine). Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster for the Brooklyn Brewery (in the US) but is happy to discuss all types and brands; he writes very well and makes the subject very interesting (even for spouses not that interested in beer). Highly recommended for the beer enthusiast or noob.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 91 reviews
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dispelling the Image of Beer as "Cheap Fizz" 16 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Before Garrett Oliver visited our wine/beer shop, I hadn't read a word of this book. Now, I can't put it down.
It was obvious, during his hour-and-a-half visit/tasting that he was a wizard. Grabbing various cheeses and beers from our shelves, seemingly on a whim, I wondered what he was up to. But tasting Ommegang's Three Philosophers Quadrupel alongside the ubiquitous Humboldt Fog; tasting Dupont's Miel with a sheepsmilk beauty; tasting Garrett's own Brooklyn Monster Barleywine alongside a stinky Stilton, it made us all realize that this guy was the brew master.
After that, I opened his book, and my world was changed forever. Food, which I had always tried to pair with wine, was transformed into a whole new experience. And the rows of weird-looking bottles that I used to simply stare at for hours during a slow shift at the store, now made sense. Who knew that the $5.50 Le Coq Imperial Double Stout was a "world classic"? Garrett did. Who knew that the $3.79 Schneider Wiess was a "tour de force"? Garrett did.
His book is at once a recipe for a culinary celebration, and an encylopedia of beer styles and producers. The simple organization of the book is perfect! He starts with the chapter: Wheat Beer, for example. Then, within that chapter, he addresses different styles and regions-for example, German weissbeer. That section is then divided into 3 parts: a history of the style and an explanation of the beer itself; pairing that beer with food; and, notable producers of that style. This simple yet intelligent organization lends to a broad base of interest and knowledge within each chapter.
Garrett doesn't get too technical, but he doesn't dumb it down either. There always seems to be a real passion flowing over the pages, and he is not shy about letting this passion show like a neon sign. Of course, he harbors a bit of arrogance over wine when it comes to pairing beer with food. However, the more I test out his suggested pairings, the more I realize that his arrogance is pure genius. The extent to which he has "researched" food pairings (groaning work, to be sure...) is simply amazing. With any given beer style, he will list ten or twenty different dishes or styles with which to pair that beer. I also enjoy his ability to invoke the essence of "place", as it relates to the beer experience. He writes of an experience in amsterdam, watching the barges, drinking beer with his salmon, and enjoying the moment. He recalls the homely atmosphere of London beerpubs with fondness. He describes the musty, cobweb-filled Belgium lambic houses in great detail.
And somehow, he manages to never drift too far on a tangent, and always pulls whatever experiences he has had back to history and the beer itself. The amount of knowledge in this book is astounding. His food pairings are exquisite (though sometimes, I think he is a bit too generous). The historical information is both interesting and helpful in understanding the beer and its roots. And his introduction and description of each style is impeccable. If you walk into a store like ours, and the sheer selection of beer scares you, just thumb to the index of The Brewmaster's Table, and you'll probably see a reference to whatever bottle you're holding in your hands.
Warning: this book will drastically change your culinary world! It will consume you, and turn every meal into a new opportunity to turn a good beer into a magical experience. As you pore over each chapter, you'll want to run down to the store and hunt down that particular style, just to see what Garrett's making such a racket about. The pages, with the absolutely beautiful photography and descriptions, will consume you to the point that you've just gotta have that Imperial Stout, right now! And if it hasn't happened already, this book will certainly make sure that you will never again let the likes of Budweiser fizzy water pass your lips.
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious writing about beer 16 May 2003
By Michael Johnson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of beer it is disappointing to go into a book store and see dozens of intelligent books about wine and then look at the beer books. There are several good books on homebrewing, recipes, and styles. However, this book looks seriously at beer and food. Sure there is some background information and history of beer. Mostly it lists many of the beers and what they pair well with. It is the kind of book needed to take beer more seriously.
Part One: The Basics
1. What is Beer?
2. A Brief History of Beer
3. Principles of Matching Beer with Food
Part Two: Brewing Traditions
4. Lambic
5. Wheat Beer
6. The British Ale Tradition
7. The Belgian Ale Tradition
8. The Czech-German Lager Tradition
9. New Traditions - American Craft Brewing
10. Unique Specialties
Part Three: The Last Word
Glassware, Temperature, Storage, and Service
Beer with Food: A Reference Chart
Typically each style is talked about in general then a bunch of brewers are covered including food pairings. Garrett mentions in his foreward that a bunch of recipes from a who's who listing of chefs were left out of this edition. I look forward to another book with recipes. There are nice color pictures in this book too.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book with wide appeal 3 Mar. 2004
By Brian A. Schar - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a good introduction to craft beer for newbies, and a good source of information for connoisseurs as well. It surveys the major beer styles, and discusses the best food pairings for each, teaching skills that help the reader decide what beer to pair with which food.
Wisely, Oliver omits the technical descriptions of beer styles and focuses on what they taste like. For homebrewers and beer geeks (hey, I'm one myself), discussions of IBUs and original gravities are great, but they can turn off people who are just interested in drinking good beer and in expanding their beer horizons. And this book is as much about spreading the good word about craft beer as it is about appealing to those who already love it. However, there is enough information about history and brewing to appeal to the most advanced brewer. Indeed, Oliver does a good job at keeping it breezy and accessible without being pedantic or "dumbing down" the material.
The appendix at the end provides a list of suggested beer and food pairings. It is useful and provides a quick reference that you can consult before heading out to the store.
If you have any interest in craft beer and good food, you will enjoy this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Beer Book 15 July 2007
By M. lewis - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read alot, and use Amazon alot, and have read many beer books, but this is the first time I've been prompted to write a review. This is by far the best book on beer I've read. Comprehensive, delightful, and informative, it would be enjoyable even for someone who was not a beer enthusiast. I don't particularly care about pairing beer with food, and so might have overlooked this volume. However, even passing lightly over the sections about beer-food combinations, it remains the best book on beer I've seen! It's my beer bible!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for discovering new beers and food pairings! 28 Feb. 2007
By Robert - Published on
Format: Paperback
I take this book with me whenever I enter any store with a good selection of beer. It has proven to be an invaluable source of advice as i peruse the shelves of imported and craft beers. i never appreciated how good beer and foods could go together before i tried some of the combinations in this book. The discussions of various Belgian styles, particularly the Saisons, has been eye opening for me.

I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants to expand their beer experiences and more importantly, to anyone who wants to experience how different beers and different foods can come together in some wondrous ways.
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