Garrett Oliver: The British Know Their Beer
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 did you first become interested in beer?
Garrett Oliver: Like most people I drank beer in college, I didn’t really care about it or for it in particular it is just was there. And it was only I am move to England that I suddenly noticed beer is something was work paying any attention to and beer in England was this whole different things was the hand-pumped beer which is known as cask condition or they refer to as there is real beer and it’s lower in alcohol but had so much more flavor and this was back in the days near early ’80s when you didn’t have anything but Budweiser, Miller and Coors, or beers like that in those days, so this was the first beer I ever had waves and waves of flavor and I fell in love with that and also the culture of the pub, which was tremendous.
Question: Do you remember the beer that set it off?
Garrett Oliver: Well I knew I was fascinated right way I went straight as soon as I arrive, I flew in to Gatwick, took the train to the courier station got off the train and went straight to a pub, I heard all about the pub and how great it was and I mean this big bowl look like a beer, old fashioned dimpled mug and the size of a fish bowl or something and the beer is not actually warm and flat as they say that it is, it has light natural carbonation and it’s cool rather than cold and that was the first point of the British real yale that ever had and I still do remember it, when I was done with it, I wasn’t sure that I like that or not but I had another one so I could find out you know it’s one of those things and yeah my job was stage managing rock band, that’s what I was doing in London but on the side I was going to falling in love with beer in getting more and more interest that so, I was a progression in that way but I was pretty much immediately interested.
Recorded On: March 25, 2008
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