Books and beers to keep you warm all winter

Winter can be a long, cold season, but these book and beer pairings by Kat Rogers-Hern will help you survive.
A long, cold winter calls for good books and great beer. (CBC)

With chilly winter nights right around the corner, it's time to hunker down with a good book and a cold beer.

That's easier than ever in Ontario, where we have an increasing number of breweries who will deliver their brews right to your doorstep.

With that in mind, here are five pairing picks to get you through the holiday rush without having to make an extra stop on your way home.

Malagash by Joey Comeau

Giving us a glimpse into small town Nova Scotia, Comeau's story of a teenage girl who refuses to accept her father's impending death is beautifully crafted and darkly funny. A quick read, it partners family relationships with computer hacking as a means of holding on and keeping grief at bay.

Pairing: Provincial IPA, Dominion City Brewing Co.

This hop-forward IPA showcases three Canadian varieties from a single farm in Quebec. With assertive citrus notes offset by a light grainy sweetness, you may find yourself reaching for a second can in your race to devour the book in a single sitting.

A History of Canada in 10 Maps by Adam Shoalts

What better way to wrap up Canada 150 than with an exploration of its past? Explorer Adam Shoalts analyzes early maps in order to paint a picture of the land that would become a nation, bringing its earliest stories, voices, and battles to life. Combining geography, cartography, history and anthropology, Shoalts leaves no stone unturned. Non-Fiction.

Pairing: Rye Road RPA, Highlander Brew Co.

Rye malts and flaked rye are well supported by gently spicy, citrusy hops in this smooth, light bodied brew. Subtler than your average American Pale Ale, it's perfect for your voyage into our colourful past.

All We Saw by Anne Michaels

Toronto's poet laureate returns with a collection of poems about what it really means to love. Her work takes readers on a journey from the first pangs of desire to the grief of a love lost, reminding us of our humanity along the way. You'll find yourself reflected in her words. Poetry.

Pairing: Bricks & Mortar Coffee Porter, Left Field Brewery

Rich and complex, this collaboration with Pilot Coffee Roasters is a full bodied brew that delivers roasted coffee beans and bittersweet chocolate. Enjoy it for dessert while you sneak off for some peace, quiet, and poetry.

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

The much anticipated third release in the Stormlight Archive, Oathbringer delivers what fans of Sanderson's epic fantasy have been hoping for all year. Dalinar Kholin's efforts to unite the nations of Roshar against the Voidbringers set the stage for a serious page turner about building bridges and fighting for good. It's the perfect escape. Fantasy.

Pairing: Stormy Waters Smoked Lagersaison, Half Hours on Earth

Brewed with 100% smoked malts and fermented with both lager and saison yeast, Stormy Waters balances smooth campfire smoke with fruity notes and gently spicy hops. It'll set the right tone for your vacation from reality.

Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

With one for each of the twelve days of Christmas, this short story collection invites readers to spend the holidays with Dave and Morley. As funny as it is heartwarming, this book is the Vinyl Cafe at its best. The five never-before-published tales are an appreciated bonus.

Pairing: Through the Quad, Block Three Brewing

Coming in at 10% ABV, this slow sipper is perfect for sharing with friends while reading stories by the fire. A Belgian dark strong ale, it offers up notes of dates, cherries and raisins along with a smooth dark chocolate finish.


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