Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery

Posted by jwpiper on February 17, 2009

I find it amazing how few African Americans seem to be remotely concerned with craft beer. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of stereotypical references to malt beverages in black culture. But in my experience, craft brewing can be a pretty pasty environment even among the ever growing mass which contributes only with consumption, such as myself. The number of black brewers or even visible black people in the beer industry as a whole is even smaller.

There exception which proves the rule is Garrett Oliver. This brewmaster and author is the most notable of only a couple of black brewmasters that I have ever heard of, let alone met. And let’s be clear: he is not noteworthy only because he’s one of the only black brewmasters or because he is brewmaster for one of the larger, more respected American craft breweries. Indeed, Garrett Oliver is author of the most referenced book on the subject of food and beer pairing, recognized as the foremost authority on American brewing styles, and is even up for the James Beard award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional for the second year in a row.

I had the opportunity to meet him this week at a Brooklyn Brewery event at Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood, OH. It gave me an excuse to finally purchase his book, The Brewmaster’s Table, which is now at the top of my reading list.

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