Thursday, January 22, 2009

Make Mine a Guinness

by Felicia Donovan

In my last Black Widow tale, Katie Mahoney switches from her beloved scotch which she clearly had an occasional problem with, to a variety of beers. "Less alcohol, more water. My version of a health food kick," she is overheard saying.

Several readers commented about Katie's sudden abandonment of the mighty grain. Trouble was, I don't drink the hard stuff so finding new varieties meant lots of research. You know what they say...write what you know. Well, it just so happens...

My characters, for the most part, are a responsible lot. They don't drink and drive. They suffer the next morning to an appropriate degree. I think it gives them an added dimension and the fact that Katie is on her own personal brew tour means I just may have to do a lot more research.

Women and beer? You betcha! In the course of doing said required research, I was a bit surprised (and pleasantly so) to know that I wasn't the only brewmistress out there. In fact, I homebrewed for many years. My refrigerator was filled with so many plastic bags of green stuff (hops) that I would have surely been arrested if the wrong person looked in.

I know my ale from my stout from my porter from my dopplebock. I detest lambrics. I know how to pour Trappist Ale so the yeast stays in the bottle. I'll take a craft brew over a mass brew any day. I know which stores carry the best variety and within 25 miles, there's no less than 3 breweries. It doesn't get much better than that!

So what about you? Any other sisters out there who like a "pulled" one? Know your Boddington from your Bass and how to properly pour a half-and-half?


Keith Raffel said...

Let's schedule a pub crawl!

Felicia Donovan said...

Anytime, Keith! They'll be pulling and drawing to our hearts' content.

G.M. Malliet said...

I'm up for the pub crawl. We have to get all the Inkers together, maybe in Indy.

Jess Lourey said...

Oh, I envy your knowledge, and your access. I found out I was wheat intolerant a couple years ago, which left only Bud Lite, made mostly of rice. This past year, I've found a great gluten-free beer--Bard's Tale. Hopefully, more will be coming.

Count me in for the Indy pub crawl!

Cricket McRae said...

Pub crawl sounds great! I tend toward stouts and porters, though the New Belgium brewery is here in town, and they brew up some very tasty beers with a lighter side.

And now I know who to get info from if I ever write a home crafting mystery about brewing!

Felicia Donovan said...

Sounds like we're all headed to the pub! Cricket, anytime though it's been a while since I homebrewed. The craft has been refined quite a bit since, though I miss the smell of the wort cooking in the kitchen.

Oh no, Jess, but I'm very interested in the gluten-free beer as someone I know has the same thing.

G.M. and Keith - we'll have to plan the pub crawl for sure.

Cricket, does the Belgium Brewery make traditional Belgian beers? There are some wonderful brews. One of my favorites is Trappist Ale which is brewed by the Trappist Monks. It is an unfiltered beer, meaning there is a little yeast left at the bottom of the bottle.