Book Dabbler: The World is on Fire

Last June I drove to Osceola, Wisconsin, to paddle the St. Croix with a college buddy. I filled a cooler with beer and beef jerky—ready for a day of sunburn and sweat—but a thunderstorm forced me off the road before I left the Cities. I managed to avoid the flash floods and tree limbs in … [ Read more]

Chasing the Beer Scene in Austin

Jack White, the former White Stripes front man, recently played a stellar concert at the Austin Music Hall in Texas. As soon as the house lights went down and the speakers switched on, the crowd found itself surrounded by a non-medicinal smoke cloud threatening to burn up every lung in the house. When you find … [ Read more]

Book Dabbler: The Diabolical Chaos of The Infernal

The most exceptional breweries aren’t afraid to take risks. Whether it’s new barrel-aging techniques or infusing their flagship beers with interesting flavors, they keep finding novel ways to excite craft beer lovers. Take Surly, for example. I recently downed a half pint of their Fiery Hell at the new Surly Beer Hall. According to the … [ Read more]

The Relatable Comedy of The Keillor Reader

How does Garrison Keillor remain relevant in a changing world? I grew up with parents who listened to “A Prairie Home Companion” on the radio and occasionally attended the live show. I remember asking my dad what he liked about it, back when I was too young and distracted by Sonic the Hedgehog to understand … [ Read more]

Book Dabbler: Returning to an adventure classic, Into Thin Air

Seventeen years after the release of Jon Krakauer’s best-seller, the tragic tale is still as gripping as ever After a recent snowfall, I watched the kids across the street climb on the snow piled at the end of their driveway. The wind chill was biting at something like -20°F, and though the kids looked to … [ Read more]

Books & Beers: ‘Inappropriate Behavior: Stories’

Inappropriate Behavior is a free fall into the depths of debt, violence, and dishonesty with no rock bottom in sight. In one of the short stories from Murray Farish’s debut collection Inappropriate Behavior: Stories, a woman named Ms. Willet wants to get away from her wreck of a husband, Buck, and keep her occasional lover, … [ Read more]

Books & Bars: Jeff Kamin’s band of beer lovers and bibliophiles

Spare time is a luxury, isn’t it? You have to work from 8am to 5pm, swing by the grocery store on the way home, walk the dog, cook up some Hamburger Helper, spend some quality time with your one-and-only, help your old man with his iPhone, again, shovel the driveway or mow the lawn—depending on … [ Read more]