Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So Perfect Together

Wine and cheese have always gone well together.

So have milk and cookies.

Just saying those combination of words likely instilled different responses in you.

For example, "wine and cheese" might have made you think of some social gathering. Typically an evening event involving mingling and interesting discussion in a somewhat cultured setting.

"Milk and cookies" likely stirred up a warm comfortable feeling and might even have reminded you of your mom or childhood or other fond memory of a tall cold glass of milk and the overwhelmingly pleasing smell of fresh baked cookies.

So you can imagine how pleased I was when, perhaps a month or so ago, I stumbled upon the following blog:

Brews and Books

The "catch-phrase" for the blog is: Giddy about reading. Serious about drinking.

True to it's promise, this blog, created and run by Josh Christie, really is passionate about books and beer. And the posts are always interesting, informative and, okay, inspire me to either want to crack open a book or crack open a beer -- often both (but usually not in the same post)

Well, sometimes in the same post.

Several weeks ago, Josh was talking about literary beers in a post entitled Literary Libations; Beers Named After Books & Authors. It's a wonderful summary of some beers that were brewed with books in mind. If you're a book lover or a beer lover (or like me, a lover of both), then you simply can't miss reading it.

I was particularly delighted to find, among the beers Josh mentions, a couple that were made by a microbrewery here in Ontario (in Campbellford, about half-way between Toronto and Ottawa, ON - about 2.5 to 3 hours out of Toronto, to those GTAers who see everything only in relation to the center of the Canadian universe)

They're called Church-Key Brewing -- a small, fun looking operation, serious about their love of well-crafted beer. (And obviously folks who enjoy books and a good pun).

Although it was a somewhat common phrase for a bottle opener (usually when referring to opening a beer bottle), I was pleased to learn that the term "church key" wasn't just a Northern Ontario thing particular to Levack/Onaping Falls. I hadn't heard it used anywhere else in a long time and so had thought it might just be local slang that we used.

Church-Key Brewing does look like a fun place. And I do love supporting Canadian and smaller independent breweries. So I was quite delighted to discover they exist. I'm even more excited to get a chance to sample some of their products, too.

Here are some of their more literary-minded brews:

Catch her in the Rye
A rye and caraway ale

Like Water for Chocolate Porter
A delicious winter brew, done as a heavy weight 8% alcohol beer)

Grains of Wrath
A double IPA 8% alcohol big on malt and hops

The Lactese Falcon

A Flanders Sour Brown Ale characterized by a slight to strong lactic sourness

Photo from Beer Blog

While it seems like these often sell out and are rare, I'm eager to get my hands on them and try them out.

Methinks a fall trip to Campbellford might be in the making some time soon.

It makes me wonder how each beer might taste while reading the books their names were inspired by.

And one last note, I only read two of the books on this list -- can you guess which two?


Josh said...

Mark, thanks so much for the high praise for my blog - hopefully the content I produce continues to meet your expectations. It really made my morning to wake up to an incoming link from your blog.

I've had embarrassingly few of the beers I listed on Literary Libations, and I can't wait to hear how the Church-Key brews taste.

Mark Leslie said...

Josh your blog has always met with my "Great Expectations" - thanks for the great content you're producing.

Once I get my hands on the Church-Key brews, I'll certainly let you know how they are . . .