We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $93.00

848 pp.
144 illustrations, 7" x 10"


Publication date:
September 2011

Imprint: OUP US

The Oxford Companion to Beer

Editor-in-chief Garrett Oliver
Foreword by Tom Colicchio

For millennia, beer has been a favorite beverage in cultures across the globe. After water and tea, it is the most popular drink in the world, and it is at the center of a $450 billion industry. Beer is, as the saying goes, "proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

The first major reference work to investigate the history and vast scope of beer, The Oxford Companion to Beer features more than 1,100 A-Z entries written by 160 of the world's most prominent beer experts. Attractively illustrated with over 140 images, the book covers everything from the agricultural makeup of various beers to the technical elements of the brewing process, local effects of brewing on regions around the world, and the social and political implications of sharing a beer. Entries not only define terms such as "dry hopping" and "cask conditioning" but give fascinating details about how these and other techniques affect a beer's taste, texture, and popularity. Cultural entries shed light on such topics as pub games, food pairings and the development of beer styles. Readers will enjoy vivid accounts of how our drinking traditions have changed throughout history, and how these traditions vary in different parts of the world, from Japan to Mexico, New Zealand, and Brazil, among many other countries. The pioneers of beer-making are the subjects of biographical entries, and the legacies these pioneers have left behind, in the form of the world's most popular beers and breweries, are recurrent themes throughout the book.

Packed with information, this comprehensive resource also includes thorough appendices (covering beer festivals, beer magazines, and more), conversion tables, and an index. Featuring a foreword by Tom Colicchio, this book is the perfect shelf-mate to Oxford's renowned Companion to Wine and an absolutely indispensable volume for everyone who loves beer as well as all beverage professionals, including home brewers, restaurateurs, journalists, cooking school instructors, beer importers, distributors, and retailers, and a host of others.

Readership : Students of beer and brewing, homebrewers, restauranteurs, journalists, university and cooking school libraries, beer importers, distributors, and retailers, and the wide general audience of beer enthusiasts. The Companion is an ideal holiday gift.


  • "The Oxford Companion to Beer covers everything that has to do with our favourite beverage."

    --Taps Magazine

  • "Garrett's (Oliver) and incredibly knowledgeable guy."

    --Josh Rubin, The Toronto Star

  • "Beer's faithful now have their bible."

    --Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail

  • "It's a one-stop resource."


The Oxford Companion to Beer
Appendices (Beer Festivals; beer magazines, newspapers, and websites; beer organizations and clubs; beer museums)

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food. He has won many awards for his beers, is a frequent judge for international beer competitions, and has made numerous radio and television appearances as a spokesperson for craft brewing.

The Oxford Companion to Wine - Edited by Jancis Robinson
Beer - Charles Bamforth
The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink - Andrew F Smith
Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England - Judith M. Bennett
The Oxford Companion to Food - Alan Davidson
Edited by Tom Jaine, Jane Davidson and Helen Saberi

Special Features

  • Most comprehensive reference work on beer ever published.
  • Over 1,100 entries by renowned beer experts across the globe.
  • Entries on every aspect of beer, including chemical, technical, social, cultural, and linguistic.
  • Editor-in-Chief Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, is the foremost authority on beer in the United States.
  • Ideal resource for both practical information and engaging beer anecdotes.
  • Foreword by Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio.