Beer in the Stacks

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When most people picture a bar in a bookstore, they envision the ever-popular coffee or smoothie bar.  In fact, the idea of a cup of coffee and a good book are nearly inseparable in many minds.  Stop at almost any Borders or Barnes and Noble and you’ll find a Seattle’s Best or Starbucks cafe.  The number of indie booksellers with coffee shops isn’t insignificant either, and even libraries are adding coffee and pastries for browsing readers.

It should come as no surprise that when I picture a bar in a bookstore, something different comes to mind.  In my mind, beer and books are a perfect match.  Book clubs have latched onto the idea, and breweries are hosting their own book clubs.  It makes sense – a little liquid courage gets book discussion going, and bars benefit from a pleasant group pumping money into their draft lines.

Although the comments have remained on this page, this article has moved to the Hop Press on RateBeer.com. Click here to read the rest of “Beer in the Stacks.” Thanks!

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7 responses to “Beer in the Stacks

  1. I think that this would be a FANTASTIC addition to Portland. However after Old Port rent prices and the “friendly” Maine business climate I worry that it would end worse than it started…

  2. This is a fantastic, fantastic idea, and one that I would definitely patronize if there were such a bookstore/bar in Boston. It also seems like it would be a great combo for selling books– once you get a little tipsy, the cash just flows. The last time I was drunk downtown, I wandered into a Borders and walked out with an impulse purchase, and I’m the kind that usually only buys used.

  3. Very cool! Thanks Josh for putting the list together. These places would be awesome for a charity Beers for Books event for childhood literacy in developing countries. We’ve found there is a very high correlation between book-lovers and craft beer lovers. Wish there was a bookstore like that here in Tokyo. 🙂

  4. Hi Josh-awesome article!
    It’s actually the Bookstore Bar at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle-the Library Bistro isn’t open in the evenings
    The bar has books all around that can be purchased for $5-or read for free while someone is in the bar-
    Plus, for the duration of the baseball season we have a selection of beers priced at Ken Griffey Jr’s batting average-since he returned to the Mariners this year-it’s a great deal for beer lovers-today it’s $2.15!

    Let me know if you need more details!

    Thank you!
    Brandyn Hull
    Public Relations Manager
    Kimpton Seattle Hotels & Restaurants
    Hotel Vintage Park, Hotel Monaco & Alexis Hotel
    Tulio, Sazerac, Library Bistro & Bookstore Bar
    206-340-6678
    brandyn.hull@kimptonhotels.com

  5. Hi Josh – thanks for the post about The Spotty Dog! Visit us anytime – the first one’s on me. Portland is a great spot and I hope to get back up that way someday.

  6. @Elisa; Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot more examples of shuttered bookstores than successful ones in the Old Port over the last decade. Hope springs eternal, however – Portlanders do love their local beer, and Grittys and the Great Lost Bear both recently hosted book signings.

    @Amanda; I’ve bought books in Boston after a few pints as well. I assume the clientele at these stores is the type that buys a lot more books with just that slight push. I’ve handsold to inebriated folks before, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

    @Gary; I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of Beers for Books until you mentioned it. Thanks for putting it on my radar! I guess there is something to this beer and book thing.

    @Brandyn; Thanks so much for the info. I’ve only virtually visited Seattle (outside of the airport, at least), so I wasn’t sure on some of the details. I’ve corrected the post above. Great idea for a beer promotion – wish I could think of something similar to do with our book stock.

    @Kelley; Thank you! The idea started rattling around in my head after seeing the great redesign of Spotty Dog’s website. If you’re ever in Portland, I’d be happy to buy you a pint of some of our local best.

  7. As if there’s going to be any reading in that place with all those sluts walking around.

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