Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beer Book Club

I just returned from Coopersmiths where we discussed the book The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose. (I'll do my weekly short fiction post tomorrow, I think.)

Beer of choice: Not Brown Ale. Some of the local brewers are also holding a special craft brewers' week and worked together on something they called "Collaboration Kriek." Sounds worth trying in theory... But after tasting a sample, we agreed the results weren't worth it. They basically just threw together three kinds of beer. Presumably they tried to match the three so they would complement each other... Almost 50% of it was New Belgium's La Folie beer, which is a very sour, vinegar-y beer. I don't mind it alone in the right circumstances--a beer to sip, I guess, when you want to appear refined. I'm in the minority of our group even in that opinion. The combination brought out the same disgust of those who don't like La Folie anyway, and wasn't really in its favor.

We had a good discussion of the book. It's about George McGovern and the B-24 crews of WWII. There were some parts that dwelt in far too much detail on the mechanical specs of the planes, but in all it was a good book. I've never counted myself among those who are fascinated with the minutiae of WWII--I certainly knew some people who were obsessed with that in college (and didn't really want to be like them...). So it didn't grab me like some books we've read in this group have. What stood out, though, was the incredible discomfort of the planes, the tremendous attrition rate, and the youth of the soldiers. That and the mention that during McGovern's later run for president (long before I was born, and not really a focus of the book), some far-right groups accused McGovern of having been a coward in the war, which made me pissed off at those groups even forty years later.

Our next book is Why We Hate Us by Dick Meyer.

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