Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the author of The Brewmaster's Table, and the foremost authority in the United States on the subject of traditional beer. After years of amateur brewing inspired by beers he had encountered during a year in England, Garrett Oliver began brewing professionally at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989 as an apprentice. He was appointed brewmaster there in 1993. He soon became widely known both here and abroad for his flavorful interpretations of traditional brewing styles and as an avid and entertaining lecturer and writer on the subject of fine beer. Garrett has hosted hundreds of beer tastings and dinners, writes regularly for beer and food-related periodicals, and is internationally recognized as an expert on traditional beer styles and their affinity with good food.
Question: How was Brooklyn Brewery founded?
Garrett Oliver: Well I actually am not the founder. The founder is a guy named Steve Hindy who founded it with his neighbor Tom Potter and Steve had been a reporter in the Middle East. He knew all the major players over there from Yasser Arafat to all the people that really were the main people on the stage back in the ‘70s and ‘80s and when he worked over in the Middle East they often, the journalists, would make their own beer when they were stationed in places that didn’t allow alcohol, so through that he fell in love with brewing, came back to United States and was brewing with his neighbor who was a banker. He was a commercial bank loan officer, and they got together in started Brooklyn Brewery in 1988. I came on in 1994 to build the new brewery in Brooklyn and to expand from the two beers that they had back then to the 15 or 16 a year they we create right now, so I've been with the brewery for 14 years now.
Question: What’s your favorite Brooklyn beer?
Garrett Oliver: No, they are all kind of like my children, so which is your favorite child, now some days you might actually have an answer for that question and they would be true I think of beer as well but if you ask me middle of winter you can get a completely different answer then you can get or hot day in summer you could ask me on above and you will get a different answer than you get in my house, it really depends on what I am having for dinner, so I think of the beer says all having their particular talents and just about like what moved I am in nearly particular time.
Question: What would you drink if you (inaudible)?
Garrett Oliver: On the board is going to be more likely wheat beer or a Pelzer because I am probably going to be having a number of them, I don’t want anything too heavy but I like a, I like the shot bitter flavor of the pelzer and I am probably going to lean in that direction.
Question: What would you drink on a snowy December night?
Garrett Oliver: Well it depends on before or after dinner, if it is a before dinner, with dinner it is brown yale, it’s after dinner then it is going to be our black chocolate sale.
Question: What would you drink at a rooftop party?
Garrett Oliver: Roof toping cleans well in my case it will be a roof top in Brooklyn but I do have a big 800 square feet roof and these days of totally been our Brooklyn local one which is a one that we are doing the bottle re-fermentation on, it’s 9% so you have to be careful about the stairs if go back down from the roof but we would be having a very good time with that in the last year.
Question: You have just closed a major deal in the Financial District. What do you have?
Garrett Oliver: It’s Brooklyn lager because that’s probably why at least for us that’s our flagship that’s our flagship beer in beer that were probably best known for and thankfully almost anywhere you go especially down town in New York City you are going to see Brooklyn lager and we still love it, I think it is a great beer.
Recorded On: March 25, 2008