Saturday, July 25, 2009


So, to continue the success of BEEROK PT. 1 -- our experiment in alco-literate hybridism -- we bring its aptly titled second installment: BEEROK Pt. 2.

Here goes (and sorry if the novels are a bit dated):

He'brew Beers R.I.P.A. (Coney Island, NY) and Phillip Roth's The Great American Novel -- An I.P.A wildly different than those you're used to, He'brew Beer reimagines the classic IPA with this malty and highly-alcoholic rye-infused interpretation. Like the book, it hides tremendous percentage of alcohol well (i.e. gravitas?) , under blankets of schmaltzy flavor. For its part, Roth's uproarious reexamination baseball's roots does the same, providing a great lesson in history and histrionics beneath its own schmaltzy blankets of slapstick fun. A great book for a great beer and a fun beer for a fun book.

21 Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermelon (San Francisco, CA) and Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler -- This delightfully experimental beer (with yes, natural watermelon flavors) is as challenging to categorize as Italian Calvino's novel is -- and trust us, that's really saying something. Part watermelon juice? Part thriller? First and second person narrations? Yeasty and wheaty? Both are sure to arouse questions of the writer's and the brewer's inspiration, asking: why do we do make these things (beers and narratives) by certain recipes? And what good is deviation, then? A bizarre if not beautiful pairing; good for the adventurous.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co.'s Pre-Prohibition Pilsner (Snoqualmie, WA) and Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men -- As good a pilsner as one can have -- crisp yet smooth, complex yet drinkable, hoppy yet floral -- Snoqualmie's Pre-Prohibition is a long lost American classic. A pilsner as pilsner is supposed to be. A beer for all the great beers we've lost. And so, I'd say, is Penn Warren's 1947 Pulitzer Prize Winner, which is as classic an American novel about American Politics and the American Narrative as was ever written. This pair makes a great match for those hot and breezy nights which recall the great deserts of the world. (And fyi, the audiobook version of All the King's Men with Michael Emerson as narrator is wonderufl).

More soon, including The Best of Canada...etc... AND AS ALWAYS, please, get back to us with your own great Beer-to-book matches, inquire about unmentioned ones, or let us know how they go!

(And if you don't like beer, see Liberty Bay Books' Wine Night which matches wines to books....)


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