How to Pair Local Beer With Local Books

I don’t know about you, but I spend my reading time with tea in the morning and afternoon and beer in the afternoon and evening. Don’t ask me why, but reading should be accompanied by something that makes you feel warm and cozy.

So which beer? You don’t want the book and beer to overpower or distract from the other. Well if you’re new to Oregon, I’ve got a couple of suggestions to help you choose the best beer to pair with your latest purchase from Ooligan.

At the Waterline by Brian K. Friesen

Goes best with: McMenamin’s Hammerhead Ale

This novel takes place in old Portland, a lesser talked about Portland. Back before handwritten typography was essential for business logos and canvas totes, a New Seasons was on every corner, or Fred Armisen. Back when there were maybe five local microbreweries, McMenamins was one of them. It started in 1983 (probably before your parents even considered having a kid, or before that kid moved out to Portland, Oregon).

Plus, it helps that the book mentions a McMenamins. And Hammerhead is my fav.

Runner up: Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale

This beer and brewery was made in Newport, Oregon, back in 1988. It’s a crusty town and it was a brewery whose patrons are the salt of the earth (or sea). Chad would have fit in.

Ricochet River: 25th Anniversary Edition by Robin Cody

Goes best with: Deschutes Brewery’s Pacific Wonderland Lager

Pop quiz for the native Oregonians out there: Do you remember reading this book in grade school? Well, now you have a chance to revisit Jesse and Wade in Calamus (*cough* Clackamas), Oregon—but this time you get to enjoy it with alcohol! Grab this light brew—perfect for taking down to the river—from a Bend-based brewery that started just four years before the book’s original release.

Runner up: a Montucky Cold Snack

I know it’s not a microbrewery. And I know it’s from Montana. And I know it’s owned by City Brewing. But it’s kinda the perfect drink to take on the Clackamas as you make ironic jokes about how naive Wade was.

Seven Stitches by Ruth Feldman

Goes best with: HUB’s Survival 7-Grain Stout

Ah yes, a fiction based on the Big One—the earthquake to screw over the Pacific Northwest royally for years to come. And then Meryem gets transported to another time where it was difficult to get by—especially for a Jewish-Vietnamese young woman. Survival Stout will help you relax and enjoy this whirlwind of a story.

Siblings and Other Disappointments by Kait Heacock

Goes best with: Fort George’s Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout

What pairs best with stories of your family? Alcohol, with a side of alcohol. These stories vary from heartwarming to gut wrenching, so what better to pair it with than Astoria’s beer brewed in bourbon barrels?

Memories Flow In Our Veins from CALYX

Goes best with: a cabernet sauvignon from Ponzi, or Reverend Nat’s Revival cider

I know, I said beer, but there’s more to Oregon than beer. This collection of stories and poems, which comes from the hearts of West Coast women, might bring up memories of your mother, grandmother, aunt, and cousins. And there’s something to a bunch of women sitting around a table drinking something delicious and red—no bitter hops required.

Bonus, from the vaults: The Portland Red Guide by Michael Munk

Goes best with: Lompoc’s Proletariat Red

Read about the socialist activist history in Portland while sipping on a Proletariat Red. Yum. Plus, now they come in cans.