Wow. Summer went by quickly.
Fear not, however. With the beginning of August comes another Books + Brews, your monthly low-down on what’s worth reading and drinking. Whether you’re headed back to school (and appropriately aged) or just getting ready to face Fall’s onslaught of pumpkin beers, take a minute or two to check out my beer and book recommendations. This month’s are courtesy of my recent trip to Asheville!
August’s Brew: ESB, Green Man Brewery (Extra Special Bitter, 5.5%, 32 IBU)
My wife and I had never been to Asheville before, so we naturally checked out as many breweries as possible during our short time there. It’s a trip that’s definitely worth your time, and Green Man is a must-stop if you’re looking for a great brewery. Their location is beautiful, their buildings are diverse (they have a swanky new taproom and a vintage dive bar-looking one), their tour is friendly and informative, and, most importantly, their ESB is a fantastic brew.
Honestly, I’d be content smelling this beer all day. I might be saying that because I’m on Whole30 and can’t actually drink beer (sad emoji), but seriously. Between the caramel, cocoa, and toasted notes, it’s a fantastic one to take in. It goes down smooth, and, at only 5.5%, it’s an easy one to enjoy a few of. The roasted malt flavors are a treat, and there’s just a hint of sweetness that follows. This is a great one for not only the everyday craft beer drinker, but a good gateway beer for someone who thinks they don’t like craft beer (or even dark beer). All in all, it was probably one of my favorite beers from the trip.
On a side note, if you’re ever interested in heading to Asheville, I highly recommend The Wandering Gourmand’s guide. Bryan’s done a great job of outlining what’s worth checking out when!
July’s Book: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Jonathan Evison (304 pages)
I meant to read this book a while ago, but it somehow fell off my radar. When Netflix released a movie based off of it, though, I knew I had to pick it up. Fortunately, my Asheville trip didn’t disappoint, and I was quickly able to snatch up a great used copy at Downtown Books & News. Oh, and my wife, Ashley, got to hang with Luke Skywalker:
Anyway, about the book.
At the beginning of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Benjamin Benjamin is pretty much in shambles. He’s lost his wife and family, and he’s borderline bankrupt. After enrolling in a course called The Fundamentals of Caregiving, he accepts a job taking care of Trevor, a nineteen-year-old with muscular dystrophy. Ben quickly learns that the fundamentals of his course have left him pretty unprepared, and the lines between caregiver and patient quickly become blurred as a friendship between the two develops. This continues when they take a cross-country roadtrip to visit Trev’s father, which is quickly derailed and spirals into an adventure of hitchhikers, fist fights, arrests, and a mysterious pursuit.
This book explores grief, friendship, and catharsis in ways that are sure to resonate with most readers. And, with a movie starring the ageless Paul Rudd, who can resist?
That’s all I’ve got for this month’s installment! What books and beers are you checking out this month?
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