Thursday, September 10, 2009

MORE: Books and Beer and Beer and Books

It's fall (ok, practically), and we all know what that means: Oktoberfest is nearly here! To celebrate and get one in the mood for its malty, hoppy excesses, the highly esteemed alco-literate hybridists Z.Blast and I have compiled another episode of BEEROK, cleverly titled: BEEROK PT. 3!


(And for those in need of a refresher as to BEEROK's philosophic and gastronomic underpinnings: just as you would match your wine with your dinner, BEEROK is crafted to match your beer to the book you are reading, allowing you to be clever -- even brilliant -- as you sip and skim! SO, DO IT!: Slurp and Soak! Swallow and Wallow! Or, you know... spend your days drinking beers suited to enhance and expose your reading experiences!)

Silver City Brewing Co.'s Fat Scotch Style Ale (Silverdale, WA) & Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting -- A scabrous, brilliant beer for a truly scabrous, brilliant book and as far as I'm concerned, you simply can't go wrong with either of these Scottish delights: robust and full of life, they aren't easy on the palate but that's not the point. The point is immersion; domination...enjoyment?...(Of course enjoyment.) Highly localized in their idiosyncratic flavors (the book for its vernacular and the beer for its Scottich malts), both novel and beer assault the senses like something divine falling right off god's bedside table. A great pairing for those who enjoy being reminded how BIG and REAL life can get. Enjoy!

North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (Fort Bragg, CA) & Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master And Margarita -- Don't think I'm taking the way out by pairing one of Russia's great novels to a beer solely because it too is a Russian! No, no this is all much more calculated than that...(right?)...For one: North Coast's Old Rasputin is known across all lands to be the best Russian Imperial Stout and thus also one of its darkest, most disturbingly complex distillations. This makes it a perfect match for Bulgakov's masterpiece, which is a wild master-work featuring such exquisite characters as Woland, the Devil masquerading as a Professor of Black Magic; his vodka swilling and decidedly articulate black cat; an insane novelist who's written a book about Pontius Pilate called The Master; reams of naked witches; and coteries of Moscow's Stalinist-era (and stuffy) artists and bureaucrats. Bulgakov's novel is an often hilarious reality-meets-fantasy tale of right and wrong as you've never experienced it before, and damned near perfect to immerse yourself in as you imbibe North Coast Brewing's best frighteningly dark and inscrutable spirit, Old Rasputin.

Russian River Brewing Co.'s Pliny the Elder (Santa Rosa, CA) & Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian -- It's been a long journey searching for a beer that could even come close to pairing with Blood Meridian's relentless stoicism, violent urges, and borderline satanic humor, but, alas, the chosen one has arrived: Russian River's Pliny the Elder. Probably one of the world's hoppiest IPAs (it's a triple, so it has at least 3 times the hops of your favorita normal IPA) it is also without question one its best. It pairs with McCarthy's picaresque Western about near-soulless bounty hunters out for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s because it is so bitter, so hoppy, so uninvitingly real a beer, you cannot choose to love it; it chooses you. Both linger on the palate for days, even weeks, if you let them, so be prepared. This is definitely a match for the strong of heart; the brawny in spirit. (If you're interested but not sure, check this cool clip which has Mccarthy reading from book in a part where The Judge speaks on war)

AS ALWAYS, GET BACK TO US WITH YOUR OWN BEEROK SUGGESTIONS! Let us know how it went, how it didn't, or just, what's next!

And....that's it. Drink up! Read Fast! Eat beer!


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