Beer and Book Club
Eric Hinderaker’s The Two Hendricks Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery discusses two men during the eighteenth century who played significant roles towards maintaining the Iroquois Confederacy amid a French-English rivalry regarding their mutual goal to control North America. Their history, somewhat hidden within broader narratives, at one point included a belief the two were only one person. Hinderaker discusses each men’s lives while also informing how the two men’s history merged (as well as why that could not have been possible). The elder took a trip to London and met the Queen. The younger met with several prominent British colonials. The discussion of both men’s lives provides a lens into the Anglo–Iroquois alliance, notably as it pertained to their place within the British – French struggle.
Before 1492, the Irish had never seen a potato; the Italians had never seen a tomato, and neither cows nor horses had ever stepped foot in North America. For that matter, Blue Grass remained in Europe, not in what is today’s Kentucky. Europeans also brought dandelions. Pathogens came, too, which spelled disaster for the indigenous population (Native Americans); disease killed 80-95% of Native Americans within 150 years after 1492. Those are only a few of the numerous lessons provided in Alfred Crosby’s 1972 seminal work: The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. As we observe Columbus Day, it’s time to crack open a good beer and revisit the groundbreaking book that changed how we thought about 1492.
This summer my goal was to read a light and easy book that was set in a brewery. Surely someone had written a cozy murder that starts with a body in a barrel? Instead I was waylaid by the image at the top of this entry. I immediately let our Slack channel know that I was going to be all over this book. I love a good Lifetime movie, and Enemies on Tap (1st of the Sweet Salvation Trilogy), promised that same magic.
Welcome to the next installment of Beer and Book Club! Today, my good friend Ben and I discuss Jeff VanderMeer’s genre-bending, science fiction-ish novel Annihilation (buy it here). Along with it, we’ll drink Double Helix, a Belgian-style blonde ale produced by Twin Leaf Brewing out of Asheville, NC.
Ben and I are back for another installment of Beer & Book Club (NC chapter)! After our last meeting in the UK, we’ve hopped back across the pond into the good ol’ US of A. Manhattan, New York, to be precise. There we met Joe Pitt, the enigmatic, vampiric protagonist of Charlie Huston’s pulp, noir, detective novel Already Dead. To complement our discussion, we drank Blood Orange Wheat from New Sarum Brewing out of Salisbury, NC.
Fear not, fellow PorchDrinkers, I have returned with my friend Ben for the next installment of Beer & Book Club. We’ll discuss Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day over a couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen, one of the most British beers you can get your hands on.
The adventurous spirit of the brewer gives life to the craft beer industry. From humble beginnings creating experimental homebrews to large scale operations, the way styles and ingredients revolutionize our palates is nothing short of incredible. That’s what gave me a real appreciation for Scratch Brewing Company whose philosophy of forage-to-keg brewing really tests what beer is capable of. I had to own their book “The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your Own Beer From Scratch” after our fellow PorchDrinking writer David Nilsen covered it in loving detail.
This installment of Beer & Book Club takes us to England, turn of the 20th century, where we immerse ourselves in three of H.G. Wells’ most recognized works: The War of the Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Time Machine. To complement the discussion, we’ll indulge ourselves with a fine specimen of a milk stout, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
When I was offered an internship for the summer at the Prosecutor’s Office in a small county tucked away in the fingers of Michigan, I immediately knew my summer reading had to include Anatomy of a Murder. Anatomy of a Murder has long been hailed as one of the best examples of how law & order actually work. Besides that, it was supposed to be damned entertaining. I’ve spent the last two months learning the ins and outs of prosecuting a case both in the courtroom and through the eternal, if overly elaborate, wisdom of Robert Travers (aka former Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker) and his Trout-obsessed country lawyer in Paul Biegler.
Fellow readers and PorchDrinkers, I apologize for my extended absence. You see, I’ve been reading a big book; more than 500 pages of fantastical mythology weaved with American sensibilities. I’m talking, of course, about Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
Welcome to the 5th installment of the Beer & Book Club series. This time of year always makes me yearn to be outside communing with nature but can’t always take the time to do so. This book transported me to the Pacific Northwest. So grab your day pack, throw this book & cans of Oneida inside and hit the trails!
Welcome to the 4th installment of the Beer and Book Club Series. I take serious thought into the beer and book I choose to pair. They can both be so complex that it can be challenging finding two that adequately complement each other but stand out in their own way. The book I chose was different from my usual genre of reading but the beer was a infusion of my two favorite reading beverages.
Welcome to the third installment of the Beer & Book Club series! I love the idea that each month a new individual can highlight a great read and a delicious brew to go along with it. When one pictures the craft beer world a few common themes repeat: beards, barrel-aged and hops (lots of hops). That is why for my first Beer & Book report I wanted to highlight some serious girl power.
The second installment of the PorchDrinking’s Beer and Book Club will be a tad different from the first. Although, I’ve been in two book groups, and I’ve even started one, they don’t work for me. Turns out, I prefer a solitary read and perhaps an impromptu conversation that results from the surprise of realizing someone else also enjoys the same authors and books as me. My favorite reading spot is in an upstairs room at home with my two dogs, a comfortable chair and a beer fridge. Maybe I’ve stumbled on to the perfect book club.
PorchDrinking is starting a beer and book club! Each installment will discuss a particular book along with a beer, a bar, a brewpub or what have you. The first meeting of Chapel Hill’s little chapter of Beer and Books (that is, my friend Ben and myself) convened at The Speakeasy in Carrboro, NC, and we discussed “A Voyage to Arcturus.”