Thursday, September 25, 2014
As a new father, I have spent less time thinking about beer these past six weeks (sadly) and more time thinking about infants' toys and books. But thanks to a new offering from Fort Collins' Bailiwick Press, there is one instance at least where I don't have to choose between the two.
"Goodnight Brew" is a parody of the children's classic "Goodnight Moon," but it's the kind of parody that even childless adults will enjoy. Rather than scoping out a quiet child's room as the moon comes up, it takes the reader into a brewery at closing time, where a walrus brewer and his animal coworkers make beer, dance and then clean up.
That may not sound like a riveting plot, but the joy in the illustrated book comes from the way it plays off the sweet, simplistic imagery of "Goodnight Moon," sometimes in ways you're not expecting.
The introduction of, say, the hops wildebeest and a bunch of otters who are in charge of the water (and fixing the tanks) is a nice touch. As is the ability to work beer ingredients and styles into child-like rhyming patterns. (In the great brew room/ there was a kettle that shone/ and a gramophone/ and a pitcher of a chocolate stout with two feathers of foam.)
As a bonus, author Ann Briated and illustrator Allie Ogg then offer a step-by-step guide to brewing and some basic information about styles at the end - in adorable illustrated fashion.
"Goodnight Brew" adds a light-hearted and enjoyable touch to the typical beer-book library lined with brewing handbooks and state-by-state touring guides. And as we all get ready for the Great American Beer Festival to roll into town next week, it may be the appropriate amount of reading material to supplement our drinking activities.