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The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food Hardcover – May 13, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Julia Reed's South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long by Julia Reed
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Oliver, the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, argues that brewing beer is far more complicated than making wine, and pleads with beer drinkers to reach past the shelves of mass-produced hops toward bottles produced in more specialized breweries. His message may seem past its sell-by date, but his tour of beers and his brew-and-food match-ups are anything but stale. After explaining beer-making processes, Oliver launches into his beer-food combinations; though he offers no recipes, his recommendations- the classic pairing of Irish stout with oysters; the dark, caramely flavors of Trappist ales balancing a duck confit; the IPA from his own brewery complementing Thai, Mexican, and Vietnamese food-are excellent. Beer drinkers of all sorts will happily drift along Oliver's exhaustive tour.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“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)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (May 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006000570X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060005702
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Noted beer author, foodie, and Brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery for the past 20 plus years, Garret Oliver, serves up the book on beer and food. The first third of the book covers the obligatory information on beer, beer history, and the principles of matching beer with food. He concentrates on six major traditions: Lambic Beer, Wheat Beer, British Ales, Belgian Ales, Czech-German Lagers, and American Craft Brewing. He concludes with a discussion of styles that don’t fit neatly into any given category. In his discussions of beer traditions, he knows how the beer is brewed, it is obvious that he has actually had and enjoyed the beers he describes, knows how to cook the food he describes and has actually had the beer with the food. Oliver’s knowledge and enjoyment of beer and food comes through on every page of this book. The book is intelligent, well written, engaging and easy to follow. Even though the book is 12 years out of date, it is full of substance still relevant today.
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