The Oxford Companion to Beer

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1st Place Winner of the 2012 Gourmand Award for Best in the World in the Beer category.

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.

Edited by Garrett Oliver, the James Beard Winner for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional, this is 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 166 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, are recurrent 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.


Take a Look Inside The Oxford Companion to Beer:

The Oxford Companion to Beer
Barley Wine: The strongest of beers. While not always literally approaching the alcohol content of wine, they are often brewed to alcoholic strengths of 10% ABV, and sometimes more. CHARLES FINKEL
The Oxford Companion to Beer
Barrel-aging: A brewer at the Avery Brewing Company in Colorado prepares a blending session for barrel-aged beers.
JONATHAN CASTNOR PHOTOGRAPHY
The Oxford Companion to Beer
Britain: A team of horses delivers beer from Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, founded in 1758, to citizens of Tadcaster, England. Horse-drawn drays are still used to this day for many deliveries. MERCHANT DU VIN
The Oxford Companion to Beer
Glassware: Photograph, c. 1933, illustrating various classic beer glass shapes. Prohibition caused a lack of public knowledge of how to serve alcoholic beverages, an issue addressed in this nationally syndicated photograph. PIKE MICROBREWERY MUSEUM, SEATTLE, WA
The Oxford Companion to Beer
Insert, page 7: Home-grown and hand-picked Cascade hops and barley ready for homebrewing in Connecticut. The popular Cascade hops has become a signature flavor of many North American craft beers and is known for its grapefruit-like profile.
ERIC S. MCKAY
The Oxford Companion to Beer
Insert, page 16: A collection of antique beer labels ranging from 1920–1950, from countries all over the world. While bottling has been around for millennia, the attachment of labels only gained general usage in the mid-19th century. PIKE MICROBREWERY MUSEUM, SEATTLE, WA