Posts Tagged With: Whiskeytown Beer

Books & Beer, in spite of ourselves

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.33.37 AM“Comin’ Right at Ya” moves into the personal-appearance phase of the PR campaign this week with Thursday’s Books & Beer in greater Pittsboro, NC, where Eddie Huffman and yours truly will hold forth about various book-related matters. I was one of the editors who worked on Eddie’s “John Prine: In Spite of Himself” and “Comin’ Right at Ya” is my third book, so we’ll have plenty to talk about.

Better enticement: This will happen outdoors at The Roost, where the oven-fired pizza is very fine and the beer (dare I hope for Starpoint Brewery’s Whiskeytown beer?) is even finer. Buy a book — and there will also be copies of  “Losering” as well as my long-ago novel “Off The Record” available — and it even comes with a free beer.

Thursday evening’s weather is supposed to be perfect, and for an added bonus we’ll have the excellent singer/songwriter Elliott Humphries there to do a few songs including selections from the John Prine songbook, the occasional Ryan Adams obscurity and maybe even an Asleep at the Wheel tune or two if I can talk him into it. I did a Books & Beer back in June with Tom Maxwell, and it was a great time. So come on out if you can.

Down the road a bit, I’ll also be at the Texas Book Festival on Oct. 18 (with co-writer/subject/star Ray Benson), and at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh on Oct. 21. I hope to see you at one of these if I’m in your neighborhood.

AFTERMATH: Books & Beer went great. Not sure if anybody else enjoyed it, but we did!

RoostReading

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Take your beer to Whiskeytown

WhiskeybeerJust in time for the holidays, here’s another super-cool Whiskeytown token that might be even rarer than the old Strangers Almanac whiskey bottlesWhiskeytown Beer, the entire 120-bottle run of which might already be sold out by the time you read this. It’s the work of Chapel Hill’s Starpoint Brewing, brewed by Tim Harper and Chris Baker. And if the name Tim Harper rings a bell, it should.

Long before he ever started brewing beer, Tim was an old studio hand in North Carolina for a couple of decades. Whiskeytown figures prominently on his resume. Tim engineered and Chris Stamey produced the 1996 “Baseball Park Sessions”  that got Whiskeytown its deal with Outpost Records, and those two also oversaw the remix of Whiskeytown’s Faithless Street album that was reissued in 1998.

The road to Whiskeytown Beer started a few months back when Baker come up with a beer recipe involving whiskey, wood, chocolate and coffee, and enlisted Harper to brew it at at his brewery. First came the beer, then came the name.

“Nobody could come up with one,” said Tim. “I’d already started naming beers for bands I’ve worked with over the years, like a ’74-’75 Oktoberfest for the Connells. Sooner or later, I’ll do a Let’s Active beer. Stamey-Holsapple, I don’t know how I’ll work that out. But anyway, ‘Whiskeytown’ came to me in a flash one night for this one because of the whiskey barrels. We used Jack Daniels barrels to brew it.”

Before printing up the label, Tim got approval from multiple sources in Whiskeytown’s orbit, including the photographer who took the picture of Ryan (also seen on Whiskeytown’s Wikipedia entry), Caitlin Cary, Skillet Gilmore, lawyer Josh Grier — and yes, Ryan himself.

“What Ryan said was, ‘Tim, that sounds awesome,'” Tim said with a laugh. “And we found the photographer, got his approval, too. Caitlin and Skillet and Josh, even though Josh informed me that Whiskeytown did not have a trademark for food and beverage. So I didn’t even have to ask him, but I thought it’d be rude if I didn’t. Anyway, I asked everybody and they all said yes.”

Once he was done brewing, Tim bottled 10 cases to sell and put the rest into draft kegs. Those 120 bottles are going fast, but fear not: More is on the way.

“I’m working on a new batch,” Tim says. “It should be available in a couple of months, late February or early March.”

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