I have a serious problem with books. My studio has piles of them. I can no longer allow myself to go into book stores as I will lose control and end up trying to cart away far more books than I would ever be able to read. I rarely leave the house without a few of them tucked away in my backpack. This is my favorite time of year to read. The cool days make it easy to stay inside, reading, and of course, having a beer. I often find that what I am reading determines what I am drinking. Here are a few beers and books to enjoy next to one another.
Pure Order Brewing Co. has become a popular hang out spot for locals, with a tasting room that is often accompanied by outside games, live music and food trucks. The laid back brewery is a great place to grab a pint while reading next to their impressive array of hop vines.
Earlier this year, owners James and David Burge planted a small field of cascade hops on the brewery property. The hop plant is a climbing, herbaceous perennial meaning that the external plant dies off during the fall. The root-stock lives underground during the winter and the plant materializes again in the spring. Because of this, the hop plant is establishing its root structure the first year it is planted and usually only develops a few hop cones, which is the part of the plant that is used in brewing. We were all shocked to see how well their hop vines did for a first year growth. By the end of this summer their hop yard was full of bushy vines with fat hop cones.
James and David harvested the hop cones this fall and brewed their Hometown Brown with them. This brown ale has a brief caramel-like sweetness and a quenching character. The hops flavor is mild, featuring a zesty spice note and some anise and citrus undertones. The easy-drinking nature of this brew means you can throw down a pint without a worry.
Grab a pint and sit in their beer garden while reading We Make Beer by local beer writer, Sean Lewis (santabarbarabeer.wordpress.com). Grab a copy of Sean’s book at the brewery’s gift store. Sean has autographed them with a different beer musing in each book. We Make Beer is a series of stories that feature engaging writing and intriguing views. Each chapter focuses on a different interview and is titled by a quote, with the meaning of the section accented by a star. Sean’s writing achieves what every journalist wants to accomplish in an interview. He looks past the beer and identifies the brewer’s mind and how their palate influences it. Sean places interviews in context for the reader while lacing his own insights on the meaning of beer into the text. The book makes a good lazy day’s read, lasting about a growler’s length of this easy-drinking brown ale. Whatever you end up reading, make sure to have some beer there because brews and books make a powerful pair.