Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book & Brew: Halloween Edition

During September my library featured a display I put together where I paired up books with beers based on a theme. We used it to help advertise an event we had in October on home brewing called You Can Brew It! I had a lot of fun coming up with the pairings and lists, and I'm sharing a handful of them each week here on the blog.

This is my last Book & Brew post, just in time for my favorite holiday. While I was developing a list of books and beers, I made a trip to my local liquor store to take advantage of their customizable six-pack in hopes that their selection would trigger some new ideas (plus... yes, I'd get to try some new beers.)

One of the selections I couldn't resist was New Holland Brewing Company's Ichabod Ale. It was an easy book reference, a pumpkin beer, and brand new to me.

(See the end of the entry for the thumbnail and link to the brewmark!)

New Holland says on their website, "Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert." As far as I've learned recently, the presence of actual pumpkin in the beer doesn't really do much except lend some legitimacy to the claim of it being a pumpkin ale. It's the spices that really make that amazing Autumn taste that these beers have. Ichabod sadly isn't one of the highest rated pumpkin beers out there, it gets a 62 on Ratebeer.

I thought it was a decent example, though. I've had worse, and I've had better. I'm no pumpkin beer connoisseur, up until the last couple years I mostly drank Blue Moon's pumpkin beer. My annual Halloween tradition requires not only carving a pumpkin, but drinking pumpkin beer while I do it. I'm finally trying Southern Tier's Pumking this year, which is kind of a gold standard. But I've also had Tyranena's Painted Ladies, which is an excellent example of this kind of ale.

So the obvious book choice for Ichabod would be Washington Irving's classic, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." I could see it going with any spooky old classic horror tales, Poe being an obvious choice. Even though you could alternately choose New Holland's The Poet Oatmeal Stout for that.

Thanks for reading this series if you have been, there'll be more Halloween posts coming soon. I can't let it go by without talking about my film-viewing plans (and oh, there are always Halloween film plans.)

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