Garrett Oliver | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and one of the foremost and finest-dressed beer authorities in the world. As brewmaster, he is essentially the “chef” of Brooklyn Brewery’s beers as well as being an outspoken advocate for the magic of aligning good food with great beer. In 2014 Garrett was honored to be the first beer professional to win a James Beard Foundation Award in the category of "Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Sprits Professional."
Garrett Oliver began brewing professionally as an apprentice at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989, where he blazed through the ranks to become brewmaster in 1993. He joined the Brooklyn Brewery as brewmaster in 1994, where his reputation for producing flavorful interpretations of traditional brewing styles and serving as an avid and entertaining lecturer and writer on the subject of beer spread around the world. Garrett has hosted more than 900 beer tastings, dinners, and cooking demonstrations in 16 countries, and writes regularly for beer and food-related periodicals. Over the past twenty years, Garrett has been responsible for many craft beer innovations, such as collaborative brewing, beers based on cocktails, and beer brewed from garapa crushed from freshly-cut sugar cane.
Many of Garrett’s beers have won national and international awards. He has served as a judge for the competition of the Great American Beer Festival for more than twenty years, and has been a perennial judge for the prestigious Great British Beer Festival competition and The Brewing Industry International Awards. He has hosted tastings and talks for many cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian, MassMOCA, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Geographic Society and The Jewish Museum. In the United States, Garrett has made numerous radio and television appearances as a spokesman for craft brewing.
Garrett has hosted beer tastings and dinners at many fine restaurants, cooking schools, and food events including several dinners at James Beard House, Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, Noma (Copenhagen), Restaurant Roberta Sudbrack (Rio Di Janiero), Restaurant Julia (São Paulo), The American Institute of Wine and Food, The Culinary Institute of America, the Sommelier Society of America, The French Culinary Institute, and The Institute for Culinary Education. Garrett was a founding Board member of Slow Food USA and then later served for five years on the Board of Counselors of Slow Food International.
Garrett’s first book, The Good Beer Book, co-written with Timothy Harper, was published in 1997 by Putnam/Berkley Books. In 2003 he authored The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food. The Brewmaster’s Table was the winner of a 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Book Award and was a finalist for the 2004 James Beard Foundation Book Awards. The Brewmaster’s Table was released in a paperback edition in May of 2005 and remains in print.
His most recent book is The Oxford Companion to Beer (OCB), published in October, 2011 by Oxford University Press. Compiling the vast knowledge of 166 experts in 24 countries and covering 1,120 subjects, The Oxford Companion to Beer is the most comprehensive book ever published on the subject. named the OCB one of the “Best Books of 2011”. Calling the OCB “a treasure trove”, the New York Times said “The Oxford Companion to Beer is a definitive resource not just for beer enthusiasts but for amateur brewers, professional brewers and the thousands of restaurants that serve great beers but are staffed by people who may know little about them.”
Garrett is a graduate of Boston University, and holds a degree in Broadcasting and Film. He is the recipient of the 1998 Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation and Excellence in Brewing, granted by the Institute for Brewing Studies. It is the highest award given within the United States brewing profession. He is also the recipient of the 2003 Semper Ardens Award for Beer Culture (Denmark). In 2007, Forbes named him one of the top ten tastemakers in the country for wine, beer and spirits.
While Garrett does travel widely, his main day-to-day focus is on the recipes, procedures, innovation and overall quality of beers produced at Brooklyn Brewery, at our sister brewery Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery) in Stockholm, Sweden, and for our joint venture project AMA, brewed by our friends at the Amarcord Brewery in Apecchio, Italy.
Find Garrett on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @GarrettOliver, and on Instagram @iGarrettOliver.
Years at Litfest: 2015
The Oxford Companion to Beer
The Brewmaster's Table
The Good Beer Book


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Litfest - A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food and drinks enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

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