Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!
This month’s theme: FALL
Well, fall is ALMOST upon us! Here in Illinois, the leaves are juuuuust starting to change colors and the temperatures literally just dropped yesterday which means my favorite season of the year is coming up! Fall wasn’t always my favorite but now I am in love. No more hot weather. Pumpkin flavored things. Cozy sweaters. All good things, people. All good things.
Fall is also a great time for beer, I think! I love the new flavors that feel just right with the cooler temperatures because summer is a great time to quench your thirst, but it’s hard to drink the heavier flavors and maltier drinks when it’s so warm outside!
I also feel like fall is a big homebrew season for us. I don’t think we ever planned that intentionally but I guess with summer usually involving vacations (or in last year’s case, moving into a house), we usually end up brewing and drinking some new beers in the fall. Homebrewing is something I had never done until I met Shane (who has been homebrewing since before it was legal for him to even drink his own beer) and I love how it’s become something that we do together. Whatever beer we brew is mostly his brain child since he has all of the knowledge and experience, but I’m starting to really understand the process and what exactly is involved to make a good-tasting beer. (Usually I just help out and do what he tells me when, or choose things based on his guidance haha.) I’m really enjoying learning more about it all each time we brew!
We’re pretty small-scale right now but eventually Shane wants to get into some big-time brewing with much nicer equipment (which we can’t splurge on at the moment) and a bigger space to brew (which we just don’t have) so each batch is about five gallons, give or take, but that usually lasts a pretty long time, even with big beer drinkers like us!
Since homebrewing always gives me a fall feeling for whatever reason, I wanted to feature our latest homebrew! We did a “practice run” because we want to brew some beer for our wedding, so this is what we came up with! It’s nothing fancy, really. We’ve tasted a lot of craft beers lately that are amazing and a lot that seem like they go overboard so we TRY to keep our homebrews fairly simple yet delicious to not overcomplicate things (and also don’t want to screw up the whole batch because that’s just a waste of time and money and excitement). This beer is just a “golden hop ale” as Shane calls it which essentially just means a golden ale with a nice hop flavor. I’ve grown a bit tired of IPAs at the moment because the hoppiness can get a bit overwhelming so I love that the taste is there but not overpowering. I’m really enjoying this new beer! It’s a nice, easy drinker and so far I’m neglecting the other beers in our fridge so I can keep drinking the homebrew.
[The Raven Cycle and a homebrew in an Oktoberfest glass because that seemed appropriate]
For my book selection, I chose The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Even though I read THE RAVEN BOYS in March and THE DREAM THIEVES almost immediately after BEA last year, for some reason these books just remind me of fall. (Maybe because TDT came out in September so that’s when there was more buzz?) I was going to say that the books take place in the fall, but they really don’t… So that doesn’t even make sense. I’m not even sure when BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE starts, but… I guess I’ll find out soon!
I’m planning on reading this gorgeous little ARC of BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE this fall (aka almost immediately) and I just feel like it’s a perfect fit with the change in the weather and the crisp, fall leaves. The feel of the books just carries a sort of fall feel. I always feel like light contemporaries are perfect for summer and there’s just a sort of feeling that makes me want to read The Raven Cycle on a chilly fall day with the wind blowing and leaves tumbling to the ground. (Though Maggie Stiefvater would no doubt be able to twist that phrase much more beautifully than I can!)
Who can really say why I relate these books to fall, but I do! If you haven’t started the series yet, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE comes out October 21st so you still have time to catch up! For those of you who have read the series so far, do they scream fall to you, or is that just me??
Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!
Not a big beer drinker? Here’s a list of the other beers I’ve had recently and my current thoughts if you’re looking for a good place to start!
- Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Blue Moon. Pumpkin Beer // 5.50% ABV. Pumpkin beers are always a favorite in the fall, but I actually have yet to find one that really knocks my socks off. I fell in love with this one from Blue Moon at first, but the more I drink it, I wish there was a bit more flavor. It’s still a solid choice for a pumpkin beer, especially if you’re trying one for the first time, but I’m still in search of the best pumpkin beer out there! (Suggestions?)
- Octoberfest by Sam Adams. Oktoberfest/Märzen // 5.30% ABV. Okay, I had my first Octoberfest a BIT early this year (It was August. Whoops.) and I had to take a break because it was still a bit too warm out for Octoberfest, but the temps just dropped and I’m ready to kick back with one tonight!
- Cinnamon Horchata Ale by Blue Moon. Herbed/Spiced Beer // 5.50% ABV. I have seen SO many mixed reactions for this one already but honestly, it is exactly what it sounds like — a beer that tastes cinnamon-y and like horchata. Personally, I liked it (maybe tasting a bit more Christmas-y than fall?) but I can also understand why some people hated it! It’s a lot of flavor but I thought it was quite tasty. Tastes like a snickerdoodle but in beer form. Mmmm.
- Apex Predator by Off Color Brewing. Saison // 6.50% ABV. Saisons aren’t necessarily a fall beer, but I tried this one recently at a local craft beer restaurant and it was SO delish. I’ve been getting really into saisons for whatever reason (must have been having some really good ones because I actually hate the one that Blue Moon has out in their sampler pack) and Apex Predator was quite tasty. Also a really nice, easy drinker but don’t have too many because they’ll catch up with you quickly!
** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **