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What Book Should Omnivoracious Pair with Stone Brewing's Latest Vertical Epic Ale?

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In the past, Omnivoracious has had fun with some posts on beer-book pairings, first with a two-part look at what beers the authors would pair with their own books and then a tasting that sampled one beer along with several books. Now, Stone Brewing has sent their Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale, a Belgian Porter with spices, and we'd like to know what book you think would go best with this beer. We'd prefer suggestions of recently published books, but older books are fine, too. Stone Brewing's pretty big on the reading--they even have their own reading series for authors at their brewery/restaurant.

To give you enough context to make your pitch for the book or books we should feature with this beer, here's what head brewer Mitch Steele had to say about the 09.09.09 Verticle Epic Ale: "During the brewing process we added dark candi sugar, vanilla bean, and tangerine peel to complement the flavors of the porter. The vanilla bean addition is fascinating, as it actually enhances the chocolate character from the roasted malts, and the candi sugar adds a nice hint of molasses flavor to the finish. The tangerine actually turned out to be quite subtle on the finish, and combines nicely with the chocolate malt character. We aged this beer on French oak chips, which contributes a smooth and subtle woody undertone and even more vanilla flavors."

If you ever thought that creating a unique beer was simple...think again. (You can find further notes and ingredient information here.) Which is why we want to put a lot of thought into this particular book-beer pairing. And, er, it's a great opportunity for you to plug your favorite book, recent or otherwise.

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For extra credit, tell us what book you'd pair with the other beer they sent: BrewDog/Cambridge/Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner, with more info here (scroll down).

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It has be Waterland by Graham Swift:

Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.

Read it or you're a tool.

tim

The book is called Let Slip the Dogs of Love (Suburban Legends of the Living and the Dead), by Eugene Kachmarsky.

The work is an anthology of short stories primarily for a YA/Teen Lit audience, although it speaks to the young at heart and in mind of all ages. While the base-setting for all the stories is the (sub)urban present, in some instances time-travel and post-death experiences also take the reader to settings beyond the here and now.

Some of the characters whose stories are told include: a controlled-substance addict; a heartless, ruthless, misanthropic yet patently cowardly municipal communications empire mogul; a biker with a missing testicle; a young, gay, black, radical civil disobedient with a bent for vengeance with flair; a professional hit man and biker-gang rat with a tragic sense of timing; a grown-up spoiled brat who thinks managing a network of government assassins makes him one; an eight-year-old boy who dies at an airport and ends up correcting a grievous injustice committed over 250 years ago; a despondent writer who writes his own epitaph moments before being murdered; a skateboarding boy whose leg is broken by bullies and the 10 year-old Punjabi girl with a miraculous healing touch who befriends him; a professional hockey player from Eastern Europe facing extorting murderers and fighting back with his computer-hacking genius.

The stories are delibreately written from a variety of ethnic perspectives—including one from a North American native POV—highlighting the experience of natives transplanted from their indigenous lands to North America. Racial, cultural, sexual prejudice and socioeconomic injustice are common themes explored.

if that doesn't sound exactly like this beer, then i've been drinking all the wrong suds for thirty years.

Lots of tropically grown, or otherwise warm climate items in there. Hard to imagine a pairing that doesn't involve the warmer regions of the world.


Joseph Conrad's numerous sea tales come to mind, to me.

I propose a short story collection by Joseph Conrad, preferably with "The Secret Sharer", which is the short story most appropriate to the description to me.

The seductive sound of that brew makes me think of Shriek:an Afterword.

It also makes me think of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Shadow of the Wind, Samantha Henderson's Heaven's Bones and Paolo Bacigaluppi's Pump Six.

The sweet with the dusky makes me think of Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (for the 090909).


Dano Pendygrasse's new coffee table book, Out West, would go nicely with this since it deals with the history of snowboarding in Canada -- and what's more "epic" or "vertical" than that? Full-colour pictures and a great look at how snowboarding got from there to here.

Joe Abercrombie's newest, Best Served Cold, because most ales I enjoy are.

Paul Jessup's Open Your Eyes, because the wee sampling I've had seems both vertical and epic.

I haven't finished either book, yet, so I'll also suggest the definitive Clark Ashton Smith collections Night Shade has been releasing. Much as I know you adore the man, his verbosity and love of the purple would prevent him from describing a "beer" in less detail than Steele's description; Smith would probably need another paragraph or two.

I'm definitely pairing this with some turn-of-the-century historical fiction, like Heyday by Kurt Anderson. In other news, I need to get my hands on this years Vertical Epic Ale since 09.09.09 is my birthday :)

An oldie: Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, which was recently re-released.

A new one: I'm eager to hear more about Paulo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl.

It also seems to me that Nicola Barker's Booker-nominated Darkmans could successfully stand up against a hearty brew or two.

Robert Freeman Wexler's "The Painting and the City" would be perfect for the Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner. Absolutely perfect.

Vertical Epic would go well with Tobias Buckell's limited edition story collection, Tides from the New Worlds. Tides would be the "dark candi sugar, vanilla bean, and tangerine peel" to Vertical Epic's porter.

Or with Robert V. S. Redick's novel, The Red Wolf Conspiracy. Red Wolf would be the porter to Vertical Epic's "dark candi sugar, vanilla bean, and tangerine peel."

Sounds like a lot of different flavors, so how about a collection, specifically my little collection YOU MIGHT SLEEP... which mixes horror, SF, experimental fiction, the sort of indie/zine autobiographical writing popular during the 1990s, fiction of the ethnic experience, and pornography (speaking of spicy!).

Plus, this sort of complex and interesting beer sounds like the sort of thing one might drink to wind down, you know...you might sleep after drinking one.

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