Book Review: The Brewmaster’s Table

A quick note before I get started. My weekly schedule has had a sudden shift, I’m more employed this week than last week. As a result, I’ll now be doing my Monday post on Tuesdays.

So nothing will have changed.


Short review:

Get this book.

Slightly Longer review:

Don’t get this book because then you’ll have no need to read this blog, you’ll know it all already.

This is the best book about food and beer I’ve seen. It’s well written, well researched, and full of beautifully done photographs.

Long review:

The first time I read this book was about 3 or 4 years ago, the second time was about 15 min. after I finished it the first time.  Since then I’ve probably read it six or seven times. It’s that good.

Garrett Oliver lives the life I want.  He’s the head brewmaster for a brewery known for great beer (Brooklyn Brewery), and when not on the job he apparently spends his time eating really good food and writing books about it.

The first section of the book is a rather in-depth look into what makes beer beer. It mainly looks at a general history of beer and the brewing process. Every re-reading has yielded some little factoid for people to pretend to be interested in when I bring it up at a party.  For those keeping count, I’m now up to nine things I know.

After that warm up, Mr. Oliver really shows off his beer lore chops, and goes into a discussion of common styles. He gives the history of each style, a description of the generally agreed upon flavors, aromas, etc. that you can expect when you get that style, and what foods go well with it. This is where the book REALLY shines.  The ideas are so good, and so well described that I’ve actually gotten dehydrated from drooling so much while reading it.

My favorite pairings that I’ve gotten to try so far:

English Barley wine and English Stilton- Actually, if you sat me down and said “Chris what’s your Favorite?” with no further clarification, I would either say “my wife” or “J.W. Lee’s Vintage Harvest Ale” with Stilton, depending on my mood.

Dopplebock with roasted Venison- I eat more deer than any other meat, and my fall back preparation involves a spicy adobe inspired rub. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Celebrator was made just to have with roasted white-tail with spicy cocoa rub.

Wit with omelets- Not only does it taste good, but it’s beer with breakfast (or brunch). It’s basically the best part of Mimosas without having to buy crappy champagne (let’s be honest if you’re using good champagne in a Mimosa, you either are: obscenely rich, pretty dumb, or both).

For this week’s recipe, I’m going to keep it simple.

Milk Stout Float

1 scoop of good vanilla icecream.

1 bottle Milk stout (also known as a cream stout or sweet stout)

Put scoop of icecream in mug and pour the beer over.








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Filed under Books, Food

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