Category Archives: The Brooklyn Brewery

The One Book Every Beer Nerd Should Own

The Oxford Companion to Beer book with Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen gueuze bottles

Last Christmas I received a number of great beer-related gifts, including a set of Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur glasses that I use all the time. But the gift that I’ve got the most from is The Oxford Companion to Beer. The book is an amazingly in-depth encyclopedia-like tome with information on just about everything you could ever want to know about beer. I consult it constantly, to clarify beer terminology, do research for posts on this blog and much more.

The Oxford Companion to Beer is edited by Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver. But it’s composed of writings from more than 165 beer experts from more than 20 countries. And though some entries go into painstaking detail, the majority of the book is easy to read and understand. And it’s organized alphabetically so it’s easy to look up whatever beer, brewery, brewing method or any other term you’re interested in.

The book doesn’t come cheap, with a cover price of $65. But it’s worth the money, in my opinion, and you can find deals on The Oxford Companion to Beer online at sites like Amazon.com, which currently sells the hardcover version of the book for $38.40 plus shipping and the digital Kindle edition for just $19.24.

I highly recommend picking up a copy. I’ve read a number of books and articles on beer and brewing, but The Oxford Companion to Beer is by far my favorite.

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Bathe in Brew with Dogfish Head Beer Soap, Shampoo

Dogfish Head Beer Soap and Beer Shampoo

I just took a shower and cleansed my filthy form with both beer soap and shampoo from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. And I smell damn nice, if I don’t say so myself.

The Dogfish Beer Soap is made with the brewery’s “90 Minute Imperial IPA, saponified oils of palm, coconut, rice bran, olive, ground hops, barley, essential oils of lavender, rosemary and fir.” The Dogfish Beer Shampoo is made with “Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale, saponified oils of palm, coconut, rice bran, castor, essential oils of cedar, pine, spruce, rosemary and fir.” (The front of both labels say the products are made with 60 Minute IPA, but the ingredient lists on the backs says different.)

I feel comfortable reviewing beers on this blog, because I know my shit when it comes to craft beer. However, I’m no soap/shampoo expert, so I won’t even try to evaluate these Dogfish products. They sure do smell good, though, and I feel quite clean.

The soap and shampoo come in 3.5-ounce bars, and they cost $5 each. (The Dogfish Beer Shampoo is also apparently quite popular in the professional dog-grooming world, at least according to Dogfish Founder Sam Calagione’s book about the launch of his brewery.)

Dogfish isn’t the only beer company that makes beer soap, either. Brooklyn Brewery sells tins of beer soap for $10, and they contain three bars of soap made with different varieties of Brooklyn brews. Stone Brewing Co. sells a handful of different $6 soaps that use Stone beers as ingredients.  And The Beer Soap Co. offers a ton of different soaps made with beer ranging from Budweiser to Delirium Tremens.

You may not be able to swim in beer like the Boston Beer Co.’s Jim Koch. But it’s easy enough to bathe with it.

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Brooklyn Brewery’s The Defender IPA, Official Beer of New York Comic Con

Brooklyn Brewery's The Defender IPA NY Comic Con beer

Next week, Brooklyn Brewery will release The Defender, a hoppy, amber, draft-only IPA it brewed especially for New York Comic Con. The Defender will be officially released at a launch party on Tuesday, September 25 at the Brooklyn Brewery tasting room.

Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver brewed up The Defender, and the brewery worked with DC Comics designer Milton Glaser, who came up with the beer’s logo, and cartoonist Tony Millionaire, who drew up the superhero you see above.

Unfortunately, the brew will only be available in a handful of bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but I guess that makes sense; it was brewed specifically for New York Comic Con after all.

In general, I’m a fan of superhero-themed brews, though I’m not sure why. I’m not really a comic-book kind of guy. I’m particularly partial to Clown Shoes’ Supa Hero IPA.

If you’ll be in Brooklyn next week and want to attend the launch party, you should send an RSVP here.

Here’s the full (super-nerdy) back-story on The Defender superhero, from The Brooklyn Brewery:

“Once, a long time ago, benevolent Beer Gods bestrode the lands of the world, bringing wonderful beer and great happiness to the People. Collaborating joyously among themselves, the Beer Gods defended the pleasures of the table and promulgated the virtues of Flavor, Variety, Deliciousness, Versatility and Honesty in beer. And the People loved them for it.

“But the Beer Gods were far too trusting – in truth, they were not without enemies. Out of the stygian depths of the Earth’s crust rose a cabal of anti-Beer Gods, the Megaliths. Taking the peaceful Beer Gods by surprise, the warlike Megaliths cast a powerful spell that drove the Beer Gods down into the shadows. Flavorful beer vanished from the land, and the People wept. Their victory complete, the Megaliths sent among us the ghostly pale, thin tasteless beers known colloquially as “foam jobs”. Blandness led to mediocrity, mediocrity led to hate, and hate led to suffering. And O, how the People suffered! They forgot the true taste of beer, the soft rustle of barley, the smell of hops.

“And then, just as it seemed that the darkness had stamped out all good things, a new dawn rose over Brooklyn. A hero came to rescue the people from the iron grip of the Megaliths – The Defender! Spawned in deepest Brooklyn and robed in a cowl of shimmering amber, the Defender wielded the rich power of caramel malts, the sharpest unbreakable blade of pure hop bitterness and an incredible focused blast of hop aroma to shatter the Megalith’s spell. The Beer Gods awoke to find themselves forever shielded within the hearts of the People, and once again the great virtues of true beer spread through the land. Even now, the Defender will be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out. Should your shadow ever grow long, your spirit sag, and your knees buckle, you need only remember these words — BRING FORTH THE DEFENDER!”

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