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The Oxford Companion to Beer [Hardcover]

Garrett Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 65.00
Price: CDN$ 40.76 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 15 2011 Oxford Companion To...
For millennia, beer has been a favorite beverage in cultures across the globe. After water and tea, it is the most popular drink in the world, and it is at the center of a $450 billion industry. Beer is, as the saying goes, "proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." The first major reference work to investigate the history and vast scope of beer, The Oxford Companion to Beer features more than 1,100 A-Z entries written by 160 of the world's most prominent beer experts. Attractively illustrated with over 140 images, the book covers everything from the agricultural makeup of various beers to the technical elements of the brewing process, local effects of brewing on regions around the world, and the social and political implications of sharing a beer. Entries not only define terms such as "dry hopping" and "cask conditioning" but give fascinating details about how these and other techniques affect a beer's taste, texture, and popularity. Cultural entries shed light on such topics as pub games, food pairings and the development of beer styles. Readers will enjoy vivid accounts of how our drinking traditions have changed throughout history, and how these traditions vary in different parts of the world, from Japan to Mexico, New Zealand, and Brazil, among many other countries. The pioneers of beer-making are the subjects of biographical entries, and the legacies these pioneers have left behind, in the form of the world's most popular beers and breweries, arerecurrent themes throughout the book. Packed with information, this comprehensive resource also includes thorough appendices (covering beer festivals, beer magazines, and more), conversion tables, and an index. Featuring a foreword by Tom Colicchio, this book is the perfect shelf-mate to Oxford's renowned Companion to Wine and an absolutely indispensable volume for everyone who loves beer as well as all beverage professionals, including home brewers, restaurateurs, journalists, cooking school instructors, beer importers, distributors, and retailers, and a host of others.

Frequently Bought Together

The Oxford Companion to Beer + The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food + Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink
Price For All Three: CDN$ 72.28

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Product Details

Product Description


"The Oxford Companion to Beer covers everything that has to do with our favourite beverage." --Taps Magazine

"Garrett's (Oliver) and incredibly knowledgeable guy." --Josh Rubin, The Toronto Star

"Beer's faithful now have their bible." --Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail

"It's a one-stop resource." --Macleans

About the Author

Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food. He has won many awards for his beers, is a frequent judge for international beer competitions, and has made numerous radio and television appearances as a spokesperson for craft brewing.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new Bible Nov. 6 2011
Together with Jancis Robinson's Oxford Companion to wine, this book is the first authoritative one on the history, culture, and practice of brewing. A must for any beer enthusiast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference book to beer. April 25 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This encyclopedia of beer is mesmerizing and fantastic as a reference on my shelf. Great if you want to learn more about beer, and fantastic for the home brewer. You won't read this from front to cover, but you will find yourself spending many hours flipping through its pages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Le dictionnaire des bièrophiles March 6 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ce livre est tout simplement une bible en soit mais sur la bière.
Livre ultra complet touchant à tout les termes inimaginables relatifs à la bière.
C'est un must !!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent Oct. 29 2011
By Mathieu
Probablement l'ouvrage le plus complet jamais écris. un encyclopédie qui se lit littéralement comme un livre! Couvre réellement tout les aspects et les éléments concernant la bière, sa fabrication, sa chimie, ses différentes dérivations, etc.

Un encyclopédie à posséder pour tout amateur de bières

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition Quality Nov. 28 2011
By Jeffrey Stanley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was torn whether to buy this as a print book, or Kindle edition. I decided to get the Kindle version because of the value of being able to carry it with me in my phone, computer, kindle, and iPad. I don't regret the decision.

The Kindle illustrations are quite good, which is not always the case. I always hesitate to buy Kindle books with illustrations. In OSX Lion, you can three-finger drag images from the book (on the cloud reader) into a word processor and see what the specs are. The images all seem to be 425ish-by-X (where X<425). Plenty of resolution to look very crisp in an ebook. Plenty of beautiful color. The book is not heavily illustrated. The one bitmap table I came across was readable, but not especially crisp (a very nice unit conversion chart).

The biggest letdown of the Kindle edition is common with Kindle books: the index's page numbers are useless. The index is also not hyperlinked. Thankfully, the contents are hyperlinked and most Kindle software will allow you to do a text search.

There are lots of very good web links following various sections. A couple of examples are that the draught section ends with a link to the BA's excellent technical manual, and the Cicerone section ends with a link pointing to the organization's web site. It is definitely a modern book that embraces the web.

There are already many reviews covering content. I haven't read enough to comment on that. What I have read so far has been accurate and concise. It isn't terribly in-depth on any topic, but covers a very wide range of topics.

Highly recommended. If you carry a smart phone, Kindle, or iPad it is a heck of a nice thing to keep in your pocket or bag. I'd give it five stars if the index were hyperlinked.

29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK June 20 2012
By Beerior - Published on
While a comprehensive survey of the past and current state of beer and brewing with regards to style, history, notable breweries, technical aspects, etc; the OCB has several flaws which diminish what could have been a powerful work and an indispensable reference. The entries are of greatly varying quality and depth, even when dealing with closely related topics, and contradictions are not uncommon. Entries also frequently digresses into and are even sometimes dominated by discussions which are tangential to the topic at hand. Furthermore, reading from a technical/chemical stand point, many such entries are somewhat watered down and seem to serve to buttress common, if not properly conceived, notions rather than attempt to elevate a less knowledgeable reader. In short: the OCB was written with readability in mind, rather than to be a serious work of reference. The entries on beer history and notable breweries are quite well written and researched, however the notables breweries list does seem to be biased heavily toward traditional continental breweries.

In summary: not a bad read, and an accessible overview of the past and current state of beer and brewing. The OCB sets up a less experienced reader to further explore a rich and fascinating world, but could use quite a bit of work regarding both editing and overall content in order to better inform and elevate readers of all levels.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Beer Reference Book Oct. 13 2011
By Sean Williams - Published on
"The Oxford Companion to Beer" is a complete A-Z listing of all things Beer. Want to know about your favorite brewery? Interested in brewing terms like wort, hops, mash? This book has it all.

The book takes all of the topics and presents them in alphabetical order like a dictionary. There is a handy grouping of terms into categories at the beginning of the book to guide you in finding terms that you might not remember the name of. Each entry is succinct and skillfully written by experts from the brewing industry and academia.

The printing quality of the book is superb. The book feels as substantial as the content it contains with each page printed on high quality smooth paper. The book compares to the finest quality dictionaries in print.

If you are interested in beer and want to have handy reference around for research or conversation starters, this is the book to have.
49 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Short... Oct. 19 2011
By D. Cutter - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Okay, that may be a bit facetious. Nothing of this length and quality exists on the market today, so in that it is quite impressive. (though, if my memory serves me correctly, there is a "Beer Bible" coming)

However it suffers from:

a) The simple need to proofread and error correct,

b) A bit of an East Coast bias (then again, I am about as West as one can get in the main 48 so... however, I have yet to find mention of Widmer (anyone?) or regional mention of the PNW or Colorado)

c) Did I mention proofread and edit - this coming from someone loath to do either - but it is very noticeable and clearly sectionally dependent as well - I think some folks must have submitted too late for the proofreaders.

Oh, and for me personally, d) too shallow on fruit additives.

There are some key brewers missing, and a few regions criminally underwhelmingly mentioned. However in general it covers most topics... but it is no Modernist Cuisine. Myhrvold has set the bar for what to expect in a book attempting to be the 'comprehensive guide'.

Still while I have rated the 1st edition in the middle of the pack - I expect that will rise with the second edition, which if judging by the Companion Oxford Wine text, will come out in 2016.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A conversation starter! July 2 2012
By brad - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the ultimate coffee table book. When you first buy it, you might quickly browse through it and think to yourself that you have purchased the ultimate coffee table book. But after you take a second or third glance through, you realize this is actually much more. This is an informative, incredibly thorough, impressive account of everything beer. Few times have I been so impressed with a product. Truly a pleasure of a purchase.
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