Read & Drink: 5 beers paired with 5 classic books

Great books and great beer – what a combination!

What would Sal Paradise be drinking if On The Road was set today? What’s the perfect tipple to head down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland? As much as we love classic books, we also love good beer. That’s why we asked our friends at Traders in Marple — a fantastic craft beer pub just down the road from our offices — to pair a selection of tasty craft beers with some classic books and the results are fantastic.

We tried a few of these combinations out for ourselves and they’re absolutely spot on. From the fruity notes of Weird Beard brewery’s Little Things That Kill working perfectly, both in flavour and by name, with William Goulding’s Lord of the Flies, to tasting the darker flavours brewed up (although not in a cauldron) by Wylam that added to the experience of The Witches, they work so well and we can’t thank Trader’s enough for indulging us in this little experiment.

First tested out during the 2017 Marple Book Fair, it was great to see so many people getting involved on the night; trying out drinks they may never have tried, engaging others in conversations about literature, and reminiscing about their time spent with their favourite books.

We know a few of you will want to try this at home, so check out the guide below and settle in with one of these five brilliant books and a delicious beer.

‘On The Road’ by Jack Kerouac | Shindigger West Coast Pale Ale (4.7% ABV)

Bright and fresh tasting, Shindigger’s West Coast Pale Ale complements the amazing Californian landscape as described by Kerouac in On The Road. Citrus notes meet sweet caramel and it’s busy hops reflect the ever spontaneous nature of this seminal American novel.

‘The Witches’ by Roald Dahl | Wylam Haxan (6.2% ABV)

A dark and aromatic beer, Wylam Haxan pairs perfectly with the darker tones of Roald Dahl’s classic. A children’s book it may be, but The Witches still manages to spook us even now. With its blend of sharp, burnt flavours it wouldn’t surprise us if you told us this was brewed in a cast iron cauldron either.

‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Goulding | Weird Beard Little Things That Kill (3.9% ABV)

The name Little Things That Kill perfectly sums up Lord of the Flies and this beer captures the tropical fruit flavours you might find on an island like these boys find themselves marooned on. Thankfully, once opened this wonderfully hoppy, golden ale doesn’t descend into anything evil and there is no chance of the downfall of society either.

‘Alice In Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll | Madhatter Tzatziki Sour (4.5% ABV)

A beer that doesn’t taste like a beer is possibly the perfect pairing with Lewis Carroll’s psychedelic classic. Nothing is as it seems in Wonderland and the same can be said with the Taziki Sour, it’s cucumber, mint, and yoghurt flavours and it’s refreshingly sour aftertaste. This is definitely one for The Mad Hatter, courtesy of Liverpool’s Mad Hatter Brewing Company.

‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ | Kernal Pale Ale Citra Galaxy (5.2% ABV)

Everything about Kernal feels both perfectly British and incredibly modern – just like The Hitchhiker’s Guide. Kernal’s classicly understated presentation belies the range of flavours found in all of their beers and their Galaxy Citra Pale is quite the journey through flavour. Definitely, something to keep with you at all times, right next to your towel.

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