Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

Garrett Oliver Wins a James Beard Award

It was published a decade ago but is still considered the most-authoritative work when it comes to beer and food pairing: The Brewmaster’s Table by Garrett Oliver. The longtime brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewing in New York has received many accolades and is recognized as one of the great minds in the brewing world, not only for his work as a brewer, but also for his work as an author. Now, Garrett Oliver has transcended the beer world.

Garret Oliver is a James Beard Award winner in the “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional” category. He received the award at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony in New York City last week. As far as I know, he is the first brewmaster to earn one of these highly coveted awards. In fact, I believe he is the first beer professional to earn a James Beard Award.

In the world of food, winning a James Beard award is like winning an Oscar or a Grammy. The James Beard Foundation Awards are a presented for excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and culinary education in the United States. There really is nothing higher.

A prized possession: our autographed copy of The Brewmaster's Table.
A prized possession: our autographed copy of The Brewmaster’s Table.

This is an important accomplishment not only for the man, but also for the entire craft beer world. After winning the award, Oliver told Brooklyn Magazine:

It’s an awesome thing, especially as the culinary world has been oddly slow to recognize craft beer’s spectacular versatility with food, and the brewer is the chef’s nearest peer–we’re creating new flavors from our own ideas, ingredients and techniques.  Modern brewing is a creative pursuit.

I wrote a book on beer and food pairing more than 10 years ago (“The Brewmaster’s Table”) and Brooklyn Brewery just opened up a new brewery and restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. Aside from that, we’re now going to open a brewery at the Culinary Institute of America. So, I do feel that Brooklyn Brewery has been a real pioneer in the culinary world, and this award is a recognition of that. Brewing is hard work, and this award is a great thing for everyone in craft brewing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to fly the flag for our tribe!

Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.
Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.



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