Looking for some book and beer recommendations? Every day between now and Christmas, I’ll be offering up one of my favorite books and a favorite brew. Whether for a holiday gift or for yourself, I’ll be giving you plenty of options.


9780062066367The book: The Whore of Akron by Scott Raab
Spendiness: $25.99 (hardcover)
Buy it for… anyone in search of a good rant

Last weekend, Patrick Brown wrote about The Whole of Akron for The Millions, and it served as a timely reminder of how much I loved this book. On it’s surface, the book looks like it’s just about Lebron - probably enough to turn away readers who aren’t fans of the Cavs, or even those that aren’t sports fans. The Whore of Akron, however, is about so much more than James. It’s about fandom, obsession and strangely touching about being a husband and father. It’s also the purest distillation of rage I’ve read. As I said on the Bookrageous podcast, the author cuts open a boiling, fetid vein and sprays it on the page. It would be easy for a rant to burn up in short order, but Raab sustains and manages to entertain for 300 pages.


13274The beer: Oxbow Brewing Saison Noel
Spendiness: $15.00 (half-gallon growler, $10 for refill)
Buy it for… sharing with the family on Christmas Eve

Another winner from the Newcastle farmhouse brewery. With a bit of smoke behind figs, fruit and earthy malt, you’re basically getting a Christmas Eve fireplace in a glass. In a good way. A beautiful fusion of an estery Belgian Dark Ale and a crisp saison.

What I’m saying is, you need to try this beer.

This wheat based farmhouse-style Christmas Ale is smooth and cloudy.  Deeply kilned Belgian malts and our rustic farmhouse yeast come together to provide a bone-dry, warming richness with notes of dark fruit, wet stone, leather, and tobacco.   In Season when ‘tis the Season.

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