Stone Brewing’s “Book & a Beer” Club

Finally, a book club that I can get enthusiastic about!  Stone Brewing, makers of a variety of fine beverages including Arrogant Bastard and several fine IPAs, has begun a "Book & a Beer Club," beginning with a discussion of Michael Pollen's Omnivore's Dilemma last night.  This first meeting was a proof-of-concept to see if they could get a decent turnout, and based on the 60-70 people that showed up I'm sure that they'll be following up with additional meetings (as far as I can tell, they still haven't put up a web page for the book club yet – I found out about it from an article in the paper last week.)   

The sample chapter on Pollen's website gives you a pretty good idea what the book is about.  The discussion in the bistro's gardens mostly concerned ways to opt out of the industrialized food system.   One resource that seems worth sharing is, which acts as a resource for finding local farmer's markets, CSAs,  restaurants serving locally grown produce, etc.

BTW, the restaurant attached to the brewery, the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Garden, is worth a visit even if you don't drink beer -the menu, which focuses on "Slow Food," is fabulous.  Even if you're not concerned with the philosophy behind the menu, the food is just damn tasty :-)

3 thoughts on “Stone Brewing’s “Book & a Beer” Club

  1. hey dude, sorry i couldn’t make it…. the wife & I will have to go for the beer and books…

  2. The Union-Tribune posted a follow-up story about the Stone Brewing Book club. The article includes a quote from Barry Logan that I remember very well:

    “I used to think when I was a teenager that the most important question was: Who was going to sleep with me? That came out of this Darwinian selfish gene thing. But now I understand – I’m a little older – the most important question, the one every 5-year-old asks, is: What’s to eat?”

    Barry does have a way with words. The other Barry quote in the UT article bothered me a bit at the time. “We understand now that petroleum has embedded in it the lives of dead Iraqis and dead Nigerians.” On a certain level I don’t necessarily disagree – there is a moral dimension to our consumer purchases, whether we’re talking about petroleum or diamonds or cheap clothing from China. I just thought that bringing the Iraq war into this particular discussion clouded some of the issues specifically raised in the book. In particular, Pollen critique includes a lot of points that would appeal to even the most conservative Republican, but I imagine that as soon as rhetoric about Iraq comes into the conversation they turn off their hearing aids.

    One of the things that I liked about the book is that Pollen isn’t anti-capitalist – much of his critique of our current food-production system would appeal to a strict free-market capitalist, and I wish we had discussed some of those issues in more detail. Not that I didn’t enjoy the discussion that did take place, it just seemed to focus on one element – individual dietary choices – and we never really got around to discussing some of the systematic issues that comprise so much of Pollen’s book. I did learn a few useful things about local and organic food resources, and we briefly touched on the farm bill, but Pollen’s book covers so much more.

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