Books and Beer

It’s no mystery that the folks at Just Beer at Buzzard’s Bay Brewing are a slightly quirky bunch, so it should be no surprise that their newest version of India Pale Ale is served up with a novel idea: A hard-boiled detective tale in twelve chapters, one on each of the 22-ounce bottles in a 12-bottle case.

The Case of the IPA, the name of the beer and the story, is a result of the melding of the minds of brewer Harry Smith, author Paul Goodchild and owner Bill Russell. The noir-style tale, reminiscent of “The Maltese Falcon” author Dashiell Hammett’s gritty detective novels and his serial magazine stories of the 1920s and ’30s starts off with the main character, “a two-bit shamus in a dirty, gritty, bluesy, and cool city of some renown” who is summoned to a wealthy businessman’s “swank starter mansion in the ‘burbs” and wraps up 264 ounces later. And Russell has one suggestion for readers: “Please don’t drink Chapter 12 first.”

Goodchild, who described himself as an artist who doesn’t count on royalties, said he came up with the idea of writing a story on Buzzard’s Bay beers about five years ago, but it didn’t fly until the Just Beer brand started making the 22-ouncer, just the right size for each chapter. “At first I thought about writing a science fiction serial because I love that genre, but I didn’t want people to think we were pandering to kids. This serial is decidedly adult — not XXX — but a hard-boiled detective, noiry serial; it’s perfectly oriented to the IPA. I’m a big fan of Dashiell Hammett,” said Goodchild. (Herald News)

Is it too late to pretend I invented this? This may be one of the most compelling reasons yet to focus on print publishing versus digital publishing. I mean, how often do folks offer up virtual cocktails on Twitter, etc? And how disapointing are they when you toss them down the hatch?!?! But this is the real deal. Analog literature for the mind and soul…

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