8 Books Paired with the Perfect Brews

Posted on September 29, 2023

by Sam P

There are fewer simple pleasures in life than relaxing with a book in your hand and a drink nearby. In fact, it’s such a popular pastime, we dedicated a book club to it. Join us at one of the Toledo area’s many local breweries for one (or all) of our monthly Books on Tap meetings.

While you eagerly await the next meeting, consider pairing your next read with a beer to match. We’ve got some suggestions of our own below.

The Memory Librarian by Janelle Monae, paired with an IPA

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Monae’s 2018 album, Dirty Computer, is as much a musical album as it is a multi-media feat. With The Memory Librarian, Monae and several contributors expand upon the world built within the album (and accompanying short film) in this collection of science fiction stories. An IPA, with their diverse style portfolio—DIPAs, hazys, milkshakes—and, often, gnarly can designs.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, paired with a peach cider

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Grady Hendrix’s novels could be described as horror with a unique twist. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a great choice that features peaches on the cover. For this reason alone, the book would pair well with a peach cider. If you need more evidence, however, consider how refreshing a cider is on a hot summer day. Now, imagine how refreshing it would be while you discuss the latest true crime novel in your book club that handsome vampires keep infiltrating.

Beach Read by Emily Henry, paired with a shandy

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An easy-reading contemporary romance with an easy-sipping seasonal beer. In a case of opposites attract, two authors challenge one another to write stories outside of their comfort zones to escape the one thing they have in common—writer’s block. Wind down summer with the proper shandy in one hand and this book in the other.

Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal, paired with a lager

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Choosing another of Stradal’s titles, such as The Lager Queen of Minnesota felt too on the nose. Instead, consider Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club and live your best messy, Midwestern life without even having to raise your voice. Pair it with a lager, plain and simple.

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman, paired with an amber ale

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The Blacktongue Thief reads as though Kinch, the story’s main character and narrator, is recounting his adventures over a mug of ale in a small tavern on our way to a main quest. And Kinch seems the type of guy who wants a bit of a heavier beer to swig so I’ve paired it with an amber ale for this fantasy.

The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu, paired with a Scotch ale

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Were you expecting Outlander to pair with the Scotch Ale? Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. However, you may want to consider “ghosttalking” as opposed to time travel. Grab your thistle glass, settle in with that Scotch ale, and follow Ropa through supernatural Edinburgh where she ferries messages from the dead. There’s also something bewitching the children, so we’ve got that to look forward to unraveling as well.

In the Woods by Tana French, paired with a red ale

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Would you expect anything different than an Irish Red Ale with a modern-classic Irish crime fiction novel? First in French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, In the Woods is a heavy mystery surrounding some children in a Dublin suburb who didn’t come home one night. Twenty years later, there seems to be more to the story.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw, paired with a porter


Likely due to its popularity with porters in London, something about heavy rain and a private eye feels very right with the dark, robust taste of a porter. Coincidentally, Hammers on Bone follows a private eye through the streets of a waterlogged, occult London seeking a specific monster he has been hired to kill. Refreshing may not be the word for this pairing, but it’s certainly atmospheric.

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