A few months after that Wheatmiser I discussed last week I was broke and out of work.  I saw an advertisement in the free newspaper about a beer and cheese pairing at Binny’s Beverage, a local liquor store.  The featured speaker was Garrett Oliver.  I cannot honestly remember if the event was $5 or $10, but I was so broke I discussed the expense of going with Beer Bitch and really debating the value of it. I took the train and walked the last mile to avoid the cost of a bus transfer.

If you have ever seen Mr. Oliver he always shows up in the blazer with a Brooklyn Brewery logo and I thought great I spent my life savings to hear a pretentious SOB hear himself talk.  Then he opened his mouth, and well, he is anything but my first thought.  What followed was a great speech and explanation of five beer and cheese pairings.  He explained everything to us in a building block format to make sure we comprehended the concept from beginning to end.  Without that lecture I might never of become the beer blogger I am today.  People asked questions and he never turned one down.  I asked him what basic concepts I should know as someone who is just starting to pair beer and food.

At the end of the event Beer Bitch came to pick me up.  I begged her to let me buy a six pack or two of Brooklyn to take home.  As I was deciding what to buy, the brewery rep came and got me.  She said “Mr. Oliver would like to talk to you.”  Seriously I was dumbfounded this highly accomplished brewer wants to talk to scrawny poor little me?  I went over and he asked me my name, told me to keep asking the right questions, and gave me an autographed copy of his book, The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food.  This was a rough time in my life and the validation he gave me can not be put into words.  By this point in my life I had backpacked through mountains, earned multiple diplomas many with honors accolades, amongst a host of accomplishments my mother could rattle off, but I felt so unsuccessful back then this one act brightened my world.

I have spoken to Garrett Oliver a few times since then.  He does not remember me from that day, and I do not expect him to.  I do remember him and what he did for me.  In repayment to him could you do me a favor and buy his book? 


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  1. […] less preservatives, fresh and in many cases sustainable.  Slow Food USA was in part founded by Garrett Oliver the brewer at Brooklyn Brewing Co.  Consumers are not just clamoring for craft beer, but also […]

  2. […] on October 20, 2011 9:52 am / no comments Brewmaster’s Table by Garrett Oliver was given to me years ago by Garrett himself and has all the elements of a good beer book.  Oliver starts off with […]

  3. […] Other Oddities on January 25, 2011 4:35 pm / no comments After my run in with Garrett Oliver (see here) I delved into craft beer with no end in sight.  I used to scrape together enough change to go to […]

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