Books & Brews: My Beer Year / Three Notch’d Brewing Company’s Biggie S’mores

Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a book I love with a pint to sip while reading it. If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today, I hope your day is full of all your favorites, as well!


I’ve mentioned before that I’m mostly a fiction reader, but that when I do pick up non-fiction it typically has close ties to food (aka, the delicious memoir)– so you can imagine my excitement when I heard about Lucy Burningham’s new book My Beer Year. Because you know if anything gets me more excited than food, it’s beer. The premise behind the book is that Burningham, a journalist who has written extensively about craft beer, decides to study to take the test to become a Certified Cicerone. If you’re familiar with the concept of a sommelier in the world of wine– someone who is able to identify styles by taste and know the history of a particular type of wine while also suggesting a food pairing– then think of a Cicerone as this to the world of beer. In My Beer Year, Burningham  shares the details of her journey to the exam, from visiting hop farms, to attending the Great American Beer Festival and traveling to Belgium to cleaning beer lines at a local brew pub.

Here’s what I loved about the book: Continue reading


Last night my husband was talking brewing with the gentleman next to him at the bar.  After they had been talking for a few minutes the gentleman’s wife asked me, “what do you do while he brews?”  I replied that I write.  We struck up a great conversation about reading/writing/general creative-ness.  This morning, going through some pictures, I ran across the one above and had to smile, because it so accurately sums up the previous evening’s conversation.

I love beer.  I love checking in on the boiling pot of sweet-smelling wort.  I get excited when the resting beer starts to emit tiny bubbles signaling the beginning of fermentation.  And of course, I love all the sampling.  Above all, I love my husband and am proud of each and every beer he makes.  I have no desire to brew beer.

Similarly, my husband gets as excited about views and likes and comments on my blog as I do.  He understands completely when I need to stop in the middle of dinner to jot an idea down in my little writer’s notebook before it escapes me.  He’s helped me with query letters and proofread countless blog posts.  And yet, he has no desire to be a writer.

I love our independent hobbies, because in them we get to celebrate and learn from each other’s uniqueness.  I know more about the brewing process than I ever imagined I would.  Similarly, my husband knows more about the writing and publishing than I’m sure he ever imagined he would.  We are each enriched by the time we spend doing our “own things.”

Obviously shared hobbies are immensely important too, but I think even those are enriched by individual interests.  For example, travelling is one of our shared hobbies.  Our most recent trips were to England where we visited Stratford-upon-Avon and the pub where J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis’ writers group met (quite writer-ly) and to Denver, CO for the Great American Beer Festival (quite brewer-ly).

So today we’re celebrating the holiday with a quiet morning of writing and an evening spent raising a pint of craft beer.  Happy Independence Day!

*I’ll also leave you with this, in light of my previous music-inspired post: