Lots of great things have come out of Brooklyn: Nathan’s Hot Dogs, the egg cream, that accent (fuggedaboutit). But for many, one of the borough’s most important exports is Brooklyn Brewery beer. And the man behind it is Garrett Oliver, the company’s brewmaster since 1994.
From its founding in 1988, the iconic Brooklyn Brewery, which is housed in a former matzo factory on a Williamsburg corner, has emerged as one of the country’s top craft brewers. The superb lineup includes everything from the company’s signature beer, Brooklyn Lager, to seasonal brews like Black Chocolate Stout and Pumpkin Ale.
Oliver, who is widely known as one of the world’s foremost beer scholars, has deftly guided Brooklyn Brewery over the last two decades, developing quality brews that are now distributed to more than 20 countries. The brewery has also become one of Brooklyn’s top sights, welcoming thousands of visitors monthly for tastings and tours. Oliver is also the editor-in-chief of the beer bible Oxford Companion to Beer and author of the The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food.
In this New York Moment, Oliver explains how he got his start — “from a nice swanky office in Manhattan to a room full of boiling liquid in the middle of July” — and why he thinks beer is “the most diverse beverage in the world.” This year marks Oliver’s 20th anniversary with Brooklyn Brewery, which he sums up with this: “When you’re having fun, it goes pretty fast … ” So does a good bottle of beer.
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