By Jay Brooks
Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 11:13 am in On Beer.
While a great new book on beer was released a few weeks ago, today is the “official” publication date. The book is The Oxford Companion to Beer, and it’s a new encyclopedic reference book on all things beer. It was put together by a friend and colleague, Garrett Oliver, who’s the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery in in New York, and the author of the seminal beer and food book, The Brewmaster’s Table. The actual authors include something like 166 beer writers, brewers, suppliers, brewing scientists and researchers; experts in their fields one and all. In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of the contributors, too, and wrote around 25 of the 1,100 entries in the 900-page book. As a result, I don’t think it’s fair for me to review it, though I must say it’s getting fairly good press already, including a rave by the New York Times’ Eric Asimov, who called it the “ultimate beer guide.”
Published by the Oxford University Press, the cover price is $65, but it’s considerably less on Amazon, though if you can afford it I’d certainly encourage you to pick it up at a local bookstore. Perhaps the best evidence that the world was waiting for a book like this is the fact that it sold out, twice, before its official publishing date. According to the Oxford University Press (OUP), who considers a reference book a success if it sells a few thousand copies, they sold out of the initial 10,000 print run from pre-orders, printed another 5,000 which also immediately sold out, and are now on the third printing, all before today’s publication date. If you’re already thinking about Christmas gifts this year, this might be an ideal choice for the beer lover in your life.