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How the Brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery Spends His Sundays

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

When Garrett Oliver was growing up in Hollis, Queens, he would implore his father to “do this, or go do that.” His father always had the same response: “I am doing creative nothing.” Mr. Oliver, the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery for 24 years, said that it was not until he “was well into adulthood” that he finally understood what the phrase meant.

The author of “The Good Beer Book” and “The Brewmaster’s Table, ” Mr. Oliver, 56, is a busy man. The editor of “The Oxford Companion to Beer” can also be found judging beer competitions around the world, or creating recipes at the brewery in Williamsburg, as well as at its outpost at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. But on Sundays Mr. Oliver is all about doing creative nothing. He has lived in a brick carriage house in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, since 1996.

NOWHERE MAN Unless I’m going to the beach, I am not going anywhere until at least 12:30 or 1 p.m. That’s my chill out time. Breakfast can easily take an hour and a half. I French press my coffee, and sit there with my iPad.

ANYTHING GOES OMELET I eat the same thing every morning — yogurt, granola. But on Sundays it will be French toast, it will be omelets, leftover omelets. My favorite of the year was mapo tofu a spicy tofu dish my friend made, so I had the leftovers and I made an omelet. It was unbelievable! Things you might never think of, like cassoulet, make a great omelet. Texas chili, that makes a great omelet. Anything that has ground meat and a lot of spice makes a great omelet.

READING, WRITING I’m a paper reader but on the iPad. I read The New York Times, I read New York magazine, I read The Guardian. I bounce around a little bit. I write a fair bit here and there as well. Right now I don’t have anything due, but if I promise somebody an article or a review, Sunday is going to be the day that I set aside for that.

JUST THE BASICS I try to fit in some kind of a workout in the afternoon or into the evening. Just the basics. I’ve got weights, I do push-ups, all that good stuff. If I don’t do my certain routine, I can’t say I’ve exercised.

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