Drinking Companion 

A book and a beer: match made in heaven 

| National   Drinks | Josh Bernstein

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This fall, you may confuse the bar for the bookstore.

In between tending to brew kettles and fermentation tanks, Brooklyn Brewery brew master Garrett Oliver has been hitting the books: The suds expert spent the past four years editing the massively comprehensive Oxford Companion to Beer ($65).

The nearly 1,000-page, A-to-Z reference guide digs deep into the minutiae of brewing and beer culture, covering topics that range from cask-conditioned ales to drinking traditions around the globe.

After all the exhaustive work, Oliver deserves a beer. So to celebrate the book's release, he collaborated with one of the book's contributors, Thomas Kraus-Weyermann, a writer and master maltster, to create the Companion, the latest beer in the brewery's reserve series.

Stylistically speaking, the Companion is a wheat wine, which follows the rubric of a potent barley wine, but with a hefty dose of wheat. The grain imparts a softer, richer mouthfeel, qualities on display in the Companion. But the beer also drinks deceptively light, with waves of luscious malt and a subtly fruity component.

Sometimes you can't judge a beer by its label.

Buy the Oxford Companion to Beer
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