Oxford Companion To Beer By Brew Master Garrett Oliver

A book and a beer: match made in heaven

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.