A Book & A Beer – The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

This is my second novel from Emily St. John Mandel that I have read preceded by Station Eleven which was an interesting read but I was a little off-put by the voice and style of the author. I liked the backdrop for this book which is a Ponzi scheme that characters become enmeshed in.

And for the most part I liked the book. Oddly, the architect of the investment theft has his moment in the book and his story is the most affecting and filled with ghosts of memory. In fact, the people inside the scheme and that section of the book was by far the most gripping. The lead character though is a bit slack and not a story mover which may explain the flashbacks and forwards and the long character list. I also got the feeling that the books are of the same universe but because Station Eleven was set in post pandemic world that the timelines were muddy.

Because of the grift element, I would recommend either finding a ‘whale’ beer in your fridge or purchase a beer that is all hype. Not because I think that hyped beers are bad but because, this book makes you think of how people can be swindled and if you are in the mindset, you can judge the beer more by the contents than the cover.

In the Tap Lines for May 2021

header_attractionsIt’s my go.  This month is when my shot is scheduled to happen.  Let’s hope it goes well and well for all of you as well.  And this month, there will be plenty of fun beer info for vaccinated beer fans.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries to plan a brewery and distillery visit to
~ special featured reviews of beers from Three Weavers in Inglewood and Athletic Brewing in San Diego
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (not as far in the future now, events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to God Awful Movies
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

In the Tap Lines for April 2021

header_attractionsNo fools today.  Just more exciting beer news from Los Angeles and the world.  Really, we will go traveling as we transition from home bound to bound for taprooms  

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from Indiana and March Madness
~ special featured reviews of Belgian styled beers
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Tagline
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

A Book & A Beer – Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

The March book is the first book from the Oprah imprint, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho.

You may have seen the videos that preceded this book which are really good and I highly recommend. This book is much in the same vein. Good, up to date advice about bridging the conversation gap. This book is not a tirade, it is not a downer, it covers a very hard topic but with what I call a firm lightness. No one is off the hook and dark history is told straight up and facts are reiterated strongly. (Get outta here with your misguided reverse racism) But Acho is a warm ebullient person and that comes through. It may seem an easy comparison but he is like a friend who you can trust to navigate tough situations.

For those open to learning and to correcting their past mistakes, this book provides a strategy on how to be an ally and more importantly a friend.

Three words on the beer choice. Crowns & Hops. If you haven’t had a beer from the dynamic duo of Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, then order the book and then go find one of the many beers that they have released in the last six months. They have a new Italian Pilsner, Miles to Italy that I need to go out and buy for sure. Plus they have a collaboration with Great Notion on a Gose named Crowns and Axes that look intriguing too.

In the Tap Lines for March 2021

header_attractionsMoving on to the third month of the year with a little more hope in our step.  Vaccines are getting into arms which means we inch ever closer to life pre-pandemic with taster trays and not being forced to purchase meals.  

~ e-visits to (3) breweries known for nitro ales.
~ special featured reviews of beers from The Bruery for the second month in a row!
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Awkward Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to No Such Thing as a Fish
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

A Book & A Beer – Deacon King Kong by James McBride

This month we travel to New York and a community filled with nicknames in Deacon King Kong by James McBride.

This is a bold and brash book filled to the brim with characters. Real 3-D characters. The plot follows he aftermath of a shooting. Sportcoat, the Deacon, possibly a bit addled from too much King Kong homemade hooch shoots a drug dealer in broad daylight. From there we learn about all of the people in this community. Cops, parishioners and the mob. This book just blazes. Not a dull moment even when the action shifts to gardening. Even the narrative digressions are larger than life.

The first choice of beer would be Boomtown Brewing’s Graffiti series of IPAs. Bright 16oz cans that resemble spray paint cans. Next up is a detour to where Sportcoat came from and Fonta Flora and their inspired beers made with ingredient sounds like Paw Paw. Lastly, I would suggest a big barleywine something with an ABV that would match the Kong.

In the Tap Lines for February 2021

header_attractionsYes, this here blog is California centered due to my LA living.  But this month, we will kick it up a notch since California Craft Beer Week is taking over the SF Beer Week slot this year. Plus a hush-hush secret beer review is coming too  

~ e-visits to (3) breweries here in California
~ special featured reviews of beers of (4) special beers from The Bruery
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Deacon King Kong by James McBride
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to KingCast
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

In the Tap Lines for November 2020

header_attractionsOnly two months left in this dreadful year and maybe the twin holidays of a Thanksgiving and Christmas will raise the spirits.  Speaking of the latter, as per BSP tradition, I will begin posting Christmas beer labels after Turkey Day.  Have a great month!

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from GABF medal winning breweries
~ special featured reviews of the (3) Black Tuesday variants in their virtual tasting box. 
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to You’re Wrong About
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

A Book & A Beer – Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman

2020 is a bubble year in many different aspects. NBA players live in one in Florida, I live in a modified one herein Glendale and Deborah Feldman lived in an even more restrictive one growing up in a Jewish sect in Williamsburg in New York City.

This book had so many moments where I would not have survived. My brain is not wired to “behave” just because some dude says so. And for women, well the situation was much worse. Unless of course, you are one who is wired to follow a particular course.

Unorthodox has become a Netflix show quite different from the book. If you have binged that show, the book will be a good companion piece with additional information that will stagger the mind.

It would be an easy reach to say the He’Brew range of beers would be a good choice to be drinking. Especially considering that beer is not part of the ceremonial aspect of the religion. Instead I would look for wine/beer hybrids since that libation is more associated with the church. Firestone Walker makes a good many grape must beers as does Homage and Smog City.