So it’s that time of year again when you start planning Saturday afternoons in the sun reading a good book with a cold beer. Choosing books and beers can be difficult with so many great local breweries making cool brews, and so many good books to read. This is where Rrampt comes in. Just take our recommendations and you’re f—-ing troubles are over dude. We’ve matched each of our suggested books to a craft beer, so now all you have to do is clear some time and find a spot in the sun. Paddle boards and hammocks are good places to read, but a patio chair is just fine, too, or spot on the grass, or in your neighbour’s pool when they’re not home.
Book: The One-Eyed Man by Ron Currie
This is a must read for anyone who likes a unique style and cool perspective. The misunderstood main character finds himself the inadvertent star of reality tv after intervening in an armed robbery and eventually comes to peace with his wife’s death by the end, albeit unconventionally. Currie is the author of Everything Matters, which I haven’t read, but will now.
Craft Beer Pairing: Kilannan’s The Men Who Stare at Oats
Why? Going with the whole motif of ‘sight’ here.The fusion would be named The One-Eyed Men Who Stare at Oats. And a great book deserves a great beer.
Book: The Longest Year by Daniel Grenier
One of the best written books I’ve read in a long time from a young French-Canadian author in his debut effort. He weaves inter-generational stories together in two settings: Quebec and Tennessee. The characters involved have been born on February 29 of a leap year and this drives the plot as the grandson seeks to find the enigmatic grandfather who has escaped the natural order of aging. The prose will keep you reading even though the plot moves slowly at times.
Craft Beer Pairing: Maclean’s Farmhouse Ale
Why? There is an important scene that takes place in a farmhouse that is very important to revelations about the main character. And just like this book, you’ll want to take your time with the Farmhouse Ale – it’s that good. I’ve been drinking it since it was introduced about ten years ago.
Motional Blur by Robert Eringer
A quick, light read about a surfer/bartender who acts as a driver on the side. He takes a strange fare to Vegas on the day of his birthday and when they hit Sin City, they keep going. It’s a journey intended to impart wisdom to the surfer, who is need of some guidance in life. You can read this one in an afternoon easily so it’s a good beach/cottage book.
Craft Beer Pairing: Thornbury Cider
Why? Since this such a light, easy read, I thought a light easy-drinking beer would be a good match. You could finish this book in the same amount of time you drink two of these beers. Then it’d be time for a nap.
Book: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
One of the coolest books I’ve read and one Stephen King called “the best book of 2014”. I read it in 2014 and I read it again just recently, which is rare for me. It follows a character named Holly Sykes through six periods of her life and brings together characters that are so well written and with dialogue that is so spot on, that you forget that the book is set in alternate universe. This is a great summer read, but one that you’ll need to sink your teeth into – clear some time.
Craft Beer Pairing: Boneshaker by Amsterdam Brewery
Why? Playing up the whole Bone connection here. Plus the Boneshaker has a really intense, unique hoppy flavour which really matches Mitchell’s style.
The Acid House by Irvine Welsh
In the follow up to Trainspotting, it’s a collection of short stories told in the unmistakable style Welsh has where he embeds humour with compassion and realism with fantasy. He is the master of Scottish dialect and his characters, like in Trainspotting, are ones you want to laugh at but are forced to wince at more often. Not a new book, but a classic that should be read if you like that gritty-style. The stories are short and can be digested in a short time so it can picked up and put down at your convenience.
Craft Beer Pairing: Neustadt Scottish Ale
Why? Well, if you’re going to be reading authentic Scottish dialect, you might as well be drinking a Scottish Ale while you do it. And Neustadt does it right.
Book: A Softness in the Eyes by Harry Posner
Posner has a writing style that is very poetic and he creates creative plot lines that always have fascinating layers. In this, his second novel, he tells a story about a group of eccentric chess players gathered for a tournament on a Caribean island in a gripping tale of murder, love and strategy. You can find the book here along with Posner’s other works.
Craft Beer Pairing: Georgian Bay Lager by Hockley Valley
Why? This one was a regional choice. Posner is based in Caledon and so I went with a Hockley Valley region beer, and with a name like Georgian Bay (a body of water I spend a lot of time on and near with a book in hand) it was a no-brainer. A great beer too!
Book: Orphans of Winter by Rob Ritchie
Ritchie is one fourth of RPR, a burner of a rock group in Owen Sound, and a novelist. I read his Orphans of Winter recently and loved the mysterious plot he’s crafted around the worlds of hockey and aboriginal spirituality. The story moves from Vancouver Island to Toronto and to Newfoundland and the prose is crisp in engaging. This book is available in the library.
Craft Beer Pairing: White by Black Bellows Brewing Company
Why? Well, first of all, this is one of the tastiest beers I’ve had in a long time! But I couldn’t resist the White and the Winter, especially since it’s behind us now. Summer is here, and while it’s so hot out, we can sit in the sun and think leisurely about jumping into a white, wintry snowbank to cool down. Or just drink a well crafted Belgian Wit Beer.
All books read by Jesse Wilkinson
All beers sampled by Jesse Wilkinson
All naps taken by Jesse Wilkinson