There’s nothing better than cozying up with a good read (and the right sip to pair it with). In the Hudson Valley, there are a ton of places to grab a craft beverage, but only a few spots where you can discover gripping novels at the same time. Two local bookstore-bar owners provided their preferred pairings.
Rough Draft Bar & Books, Kingston
Beer Tree Salute Your Shorts Double IPA and The Nineties
For all the folks out there of a certain age: This hazy, tropical DIPA from Broome County, whose name recalls a beloved Nickelodeon series, is the perfect companion to Chuck Klosterman’s new pop-culture analysis of the decade that shaped so much of our lives.
Suarez Round the Bend Porter and Devil House
If you love reading about spooky things lurking right around the bend, pour yourself a glass of this dark and delicious brew from local favorite Suarez Family Brewing and dive into John Darnielle’s new novel about a true crime writer who moves into an infamous murder house and attempts to tell the story of what happened there.
Wild Arc Sweetheart and Olga Dies Dreaming
This “wine” from Pine Bush’s Wild Arc Farm is actually a blend of apples and grapes; it’s sparkling, bright, and refreshing any time of year. We’re pairing it with Olga Dies Dreaming by debut author Xochitl Gonzalez, which follows a wedding planner for wealthy NYC elites as she navigates her own love life alongside decades-old family drama in the wake of a devastating hurricane in her native Puerto Rico. We think Olga would enjoy a glass of Sweetheart as much as we do.
Espresso and Tonic and A Brief History of Seven Killings
We don’t serve hard booze here, so instead we’d like to recommend a refreshing combo of espresso and tonic (also known at Rough Draft as the Tonicles of Narnia). This bright, bracing, bittersweet “cocktail” is a perfect match for Marlon James’ thrilling but heart wrenching epic set primarily in 1970s and ’80s Jamaica. For a boozy version, add a shot of rum and garnish with lime.
—Amanda and Anthony Stromoski, owners
The Spotty Dog Books & Ale, Hudson
C.H. Evans Brewing Kick Ass Brown Ale and Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Before the Coffee Gets Cold is an international best seller by Toshikazu Kawaguchi in which a mysterious coffee house in Japan offers patrons a chance to travel back in time, but only for as long as it takes for their serving of coffee to grow cold. Pair this atmospheric novel with (what else?) a beer with coffee notes, like Kick Ass Brown from CH Evans Brewing at the Albany Pump Station. It features smooth, malty notes of coffee and chocolate with a nice kick of bitter American hops.
California Red and Sideways
No, Sideways is not just a movie. It’s based on a book of the same name by Rex Pickett. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the award-winning movie or book from the early aughts, this quintessential wine novel follows two single men taking California wine country by storm on a last bachelor trip before one of them gets married. What to drink? The California wine of your choice, of course, but no “f**king merlot!”
Classic Negroni and Taste: My Life Through Food
Although my store doesn’t do cocktails, if you followed Stanley Tucci’s exploits on the web during the pandemic, you know he makes an excellent Negroni. Pair it with Tucci’s new memoir Taste: My Life Through Food.
—Kelley Drahushuk, owner and manager