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Oktoberfest

Today the tents will open at the most famous beer festival in the world: Oktoberfest. That’s right, it starts in September. For those of us who can’t make it to a Munich beer tent between now and the end of the festival on October 6th, here’s the Oktoberfest entry by Conrad Seidl in The Oxford Companion to Beer, edited by Garrett Oliver.

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Kosher beers for Hanukkah

By Garrett Oliver
I always knew that my family was a little different, but it wasn’t until my mid-teens that I realized exactly how weird we were. An African-American family living in the suburban greenery of Hollis, Queens, at the outskirts of New York City, we thought little of the fact that my father’s big hobby was hunting game birds. With dogs, no less. Often on horseback. Around the holidays, my Aunt Emma made wonderful chopped liver, and in the springtime, our table was often festooned with matzoh bread.

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Nothing says ‘holidays’ like beer & cheese

You’ve heard of the ever-popular wine and cheese pairing – perhaps you’re even a big fan. But you may not know that even wine experts says you haven’t tried a good pairing until you’ve had cheese and beer. While the combinations of beers and cheese are seemingly infinite, Garrett Oliver points us in the right directions with a few suggestions. The pairings listed below were excerpted from The Oxford Companion to Beer.

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Beer, a perennial potion

What do you really know about beer, the third most popular drink in the world (after water and tea)? We all know whether we like it or not, and which brand is our favorite brew, but do you know all there is to know about the drink? Try your luck with our quiz below from facts and figures pulled from The Oxford Companion to Beer!

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How is beer made?

Ever wonder what ingredients are needed to make beer? How do they interact? What exactly does fermentation entail? Garrett Oliver, editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer, takes us inside the Brooklyn Brewery to show us where beer comes from and how fermentation works. He is brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the foremost authority on beer in the United States.

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A pint of Guinness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Let’s take a look at a part of Ireland’s history since 1759 — the brewing of Guinness. Now raise a pint of Dublin’s own Guinness to our fellow Irishmen and women. The following article is Brian Glover’s entry on Guinness in the Oxford Companion to Beer, edited by Garrett Oliver.

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Christmas beers

By Garrett Oliver
For those of us who celebrate Christmas, this time of year is resplendent with sights, songs, and smells that bring the holiday instantly to mind. Most of us who grew up with a real Christmas tree in the house are instantly transported by the smell of a freshly cut fir tree. For others, it’s the smell of pies baking. For the ancients, it was frankincense and myrrh. For me… it’s latex paint. Wait, I can explain!

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Another lesson from Garrett Oliver: rice in beer

Rice is not the first thing that comes to mind when you are drinking a nice, cold beer. And if you’re a beer connoisseur, even less so. For many years, it has been considered to be an affront to the institution of craft beer making to use rice. However, some beer makers are toying with the use of rice in beer again as homage to the practices that occurred before the Prohibition. This counterculture attitude reflects how beer brewers are looking to the past to evolve current drinkers’ palates. The following excerpt from the The Oxford Companion to Beer goes into detail on exactly how rice is used. Enjoy!

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Prohibition

Prohibition, or “the Noble Experiment,” refers to the period between 1919 and 1933 when the sale, manufacture, and distribution of alcohol were illegal in the United States. Although it may have lasted only 14 years, Prohibition was the culmination of decades of protest and lobbying and has ramifications that are still felt today. It remains the focal point of the ongoing debate surrounding the potential dangers and benefits of alcohol and people’s right to drink as they please.

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Life in a brewery

What kind of crazy things happen at a brewery bar? What is some of the interesting stuff you can do with beer? What’s proper beer etiquette? If you don’t like beer, what beer should you try? How do you become a brewer? How do you break into the brewing industry? Interviews with the Eric Peck, Brooklyn Brewery Tour Guide and Bartender, and Tom Price, Brooklyn Brewery Brewer and Lab Manager, reveal life inside a brewery.

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An Oxford Companion to surviving a zombie apocalypse

Sons are eating their mothers’ brains. Brothers are eating each other’s brains, and the baby is eating the brain of the pet cat. It has finally happened. The zombie apocalypse is here. As May is International Zombie Awareness Month, I offer my bloodied hand to guide you through the five things you need to know to survive a zombie apocalypse.

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What are you drinking?

By Jonathan Kroberger
Today is International Beer Day and there’s nothing we like to talk about more than a few good brews. Between the Oxford Companion to Beer, America Walks into a Bar, Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing, The Economics of Beer, and several episodes of The Oxford Comment, OUP employees have managed to imbibe a little expertise in the area.

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Hosting a holiday party with special guest Christmas ale

Now that the calendar has turned the page to December, holiday season is in full swing. Aside from the lights and decorations flooding streets and buildings everywhere, this is the season of holiday parties! We will be celebrating The Oxford Companion to Beer through the month of December, and to kick off the month, we are turning our attention to hosting a holiday beer tasting.

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