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The Oxford Companion to Beer
For millennia, beer has been a staple beverage in cultures across the globe. After water and tea, it is the most popular drink in the world, and it is at the center of an over $450 billion industry. With the emergence of craft brewing and homebrewing, beer is experiencing a renaissance that is expanding the reach of the beer culture even further, bringing the art of brewin ...more
Hardcover, 920 pages
Published October 7th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published September 9th 2011)
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This is pretty much an encyclopaedia-like tome discussing beer and related concepts. It doesn't really go into much detail on any concept or term, but I think it does a great job of giving you the basic idea and including most, if not all, of the terms you'd want to consult if you're a beer aficionado. I'd say it's a great starting point and you can do further research if needed.
It will be a while before I “finish” this book because it’s not meant to be read cover to cover. Instead, it’s an encyclopedic volume where you can look up any key word or phrase related to beer and brewing. The entry may be a single paragraph or several pages, and by following the “see also” suggestions, you’ll find yourself flipping from related topic to topic, learning all kinds of good stuff. When I looked up something related to sour beer, I found myself still following breadcrumbs througho ...more
I always love reviews that start: "If you read only one book this year, let it be..." Well, if you buy only one major beer reference book this year (or in this lifetime, come to that, let it be The Oxford Companion to Beer. This book is incredibly comprehensive -- from yeast to labels to pub games, it is all there. And it features knowledgeable contributors who can really write, including Canada's own Josh Rubin. I have to say I was particularly impressed by editor Garrett Oliver's contributions ...more
I certainly have not read this all the way through in the one month I have owned it, but I have turned to if quite frequently. I have found it to be thorough, intelligent, and well crafted throughout. It is highly possible I will discover some terrible oversights or errors as I continue to use this tome that will change my 5 star rating, but it is just as highly improbable. One look at this Goliath and I knew I was going love it; I am just glad it has, thus far, lived up to my beer geek/regular ...more
Dear Lord, 868 pages of small type in dual columns. Much more than you would ever want to know about every facet of beer, from chemistry to biographies of significant brewers to food pairings. Intermittently fascinating. I've borrowed a copy from the library. Probably don't need a permanent reference copy.
This was one heck of an epic read. A bit more advanced than I was prepared for, and a touch drier than necessary, it still made for an interesting (if slow) read. I'd be interested to know what a beer expert or aficionado thinks of this book, but it certainly made for a very educational read for me. Cheers!
So much info in this book, but it's not one you'd want on the coffee table for browsing unless you're a brewer yourself. Still, lots of info and well done. For those with an interest in beer, this is a good read, but unless you're needing a scholarly tome/cyclopedia on beer, it's not an essential purchase (only because its price point doesn't lend it to being of broad appeal).
Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery in New York City and one of the foremost authorities in the world on the subject of beer. A host of more than 700 tasting and pairing events in 12 countries over the past two decades, he is perhaps best known as the author of the award-winning book The Brewmaster’s Table. He has made many appearances on television and in other media, writes ...more