The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food
Ecco (Harper Collins): 2003
The sartorially resplendent Garrett Oliver is the author of this primer on beer-with-food. The Brewmaster's Table contains no recipes: (only) the enthusiastic prose of an epicurean who has the elegant vocabulary with which to tell us why something tastes good.
When we are matching beer and food, the most important thing we're looking for is balance. We want the beer and food to engage in a lively dance, not a football tackle. In order to achieve the balance we seek, we need to think about the sensory impact of both the beer and its prospective food partner. "Impact" refers to the weight and intensity of the food on the palate."
The book is arranged by the beer styles of international regions and traditions; there are a few additional chapters on beer basics and beer-enjoying "principles." Marvelous photographs of beers, brewers, and brewers are interspersed throughout.
Oliver is a busy man, by the way. In addition to his duties overseeing brewing operations at the Brooklyn Brewery (which is undergoing an expansion in 2010, doubling the physical size of its plant), he is the Editor-In-Chief for the The Oxford Companion to Beer, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2011.
12 'Beer' Books for Christmas: This is another in a a series of 12 recommendations for beer-themed books —one per day, until the Winter Solstice, 21 December.
This is not a Top 12 list. It's my list of 12 books, personal delights. On Christmas Day: put your feet up, pour yourself a good beer, and read a good book. Better yet: give a friend the gift of a beer and a book. The entire list here.