Book and a Beer is a new regular feature here at Brews + Books – a chance for authors, brewers and bloggers to tell you a little bit about their favorite books and beers.
David Gutowski is another blogger who has managed to combine two of his passions into a compelling site. On Largehearted Boy, David covers the worlds of music and literature with multiple daily updates, and regular features include musicians discussing their favorite books and authors matching music with their stories. David was kind enough to take a few minutes to write about one of his favorite book and beer pairings.
I have actually been thinking of pairing beers with books for a while, ever since Lauren Groff matched a beer with each short story in her Delicate Edible Birds short story collection in an essay for my blog.
Luckily for me (and the rest of my state), the Free the Hops campaign overhauled Alabama’s archaic beer laws last spring, and high gravity beers are now available in Alabama for the first time. Our local beer store has become a favorite shopping destination, the owner our weekly tour guide to tasty new brews. With new beers arriving weekly over the past several months, my wife and I have expanded our palates, but one beer remains the standard in our house – Yuengling Traditional Lager.
Yuengling is hardly a fancy beer, just a drinkable, affordable cold fermented lager, perfect for both weekend cookouts and the occasional visiting musician or two (or five). Of course, I am most likely to enjoy a beer with a book in my hand, and I would pair Yuengling with a collection of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, Welcome to the Monkey House. Just like Yuengling, I have always felt Vonnegut was underrated by the critical community (especially earlier in his career). His stories share an accessibility with the beer that is admirable and can only be achieved through dedication to their respective crafts.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. has been one of my favorite authors since I first read Slaughterhouse 5 in eighth grade. Come to think of it, even water tastes better when I’m reading one of his books…
Have a favorite beer and a favorite book? Want to write a few paragraphs for Brews + Books? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.