Bent Paddle Brewing

Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse. In Siddhartha water plays a pivotal role for the protagonist just as it does in this Venture Pils, making them an enlightened pairing! Where will you Venture after reading this book? This classic novel, written in 1922, is about the spiritual journey of a man living in the time of Buddha. In 2015, Siddhartha was suspended from the Highland Park (TX) Independent School District’s approved book list by the school superintendent. The decision sparked a backlash and drew national attention. The superintendent then reinstated the book. The reason it was banned: the main character fathers a child out of wedlock and has sexual encounters with prostitutes.

The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie. Thank goodness the Bent Hop IPA isn’t as divisive as The Satanic Verses! One of the most banned books worldwide, this book has been burned publicly far and wide, people have lost their lives over it, and the author had to go into protective hiding for years after it was published in 1988. Recently in the news, because of the attempted assassination of the author on August 12th, 2022, this book begs to be recommended. There are a number of global ties between the book and the IPA style of beer which make them a great combo. The Book – The author is an Indian-born British-American who currently lives in America, where IPAs and free speech are especially popular. Rushdie asserts that the novel is not “an anti-religious novel. It is, however, an attempt to write about migration, its stresses, and transformations” (Wikipedia). The Beer-Bent Hop is an India Pale Ale (IPA) that is aptly named after the country to which Britain exported large quantities of this style of beer, during colonial times. The high content of hops acted as a preservative in barrels, giving it the unique taste it is known for – Bent Hop being an award-winning one! Ultimately, IPA’s are a global beer – like the author and ideas that surround the conflict over this book. What better place than the melting pot of America for us to bring this delicious beer and freedom of speech together? Both are sure to make a lasting impression.

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. A highly celebrated beer pairs well with a highly celebrated book! This book, established as one of the preeminent pieces of Vietnam War literature, has received critical acclaim. It has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and received multiple awards such as France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, as well as being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award. Due to its fiercely authentic depiction of what life was like for an American fighting in the Vietnam War, this book has been banned in some settings for its vulgar language, sexual content, and violence that was considered “unacceptable for an educational setting.”

Bless me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya. Both the Black Ale and Bless Me, Ultima are masterful at blending. The Black Ale blends qualities of a Stout and a Porter, and in Bless Me, Ultima the main character finds refuge in the blending of Catholic and Indigenous spiritual practices. This classic in American literature was first published in 1971 and is one of the best-selling and most acclaimed Chicano novels of all time, and has regularly faced campaigns to remove it from library shelves and public school curricula. After selling over 300,000 copies in print runs by small presses, a major publisher finally reissued the novel in 1994 and it remains in print to this day. An increase in availability and popularity has led to more challenges to its placement on library shelves. Those advocating for restricting the book claim that it “demeans organized religion, advocates occult beliefs, contains offensive language, depicts violence, and is sexually explicit.” In 2010, some Arizona state lawmakers attempted to restrict the book from public school curricula for other reasons, claiming the novel might teach students to “resent or hate other races or classes of people.” Even in New Mexico, the geographic setting for Bless Me, Ultima, the novel has encountered calls for its removal. In 1981, the Bloomfield School Board, near Farmington, burned copies of the book after the board president disapproved of the Spanish profanity found in the story.

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison. Not just coffee and not just beer – this beer refuses to be pigeonholed just like Ralph Ellison and the unnamed narrator of the book, making them a perfect pairing. “In his speech accepting the 1953 National Book Award, Ellison said that he considered the novel’s chief significance to be its “experimental attitude.” Before Invisible Man, many (if not most) novels dealing with African Americans were written solely for social protest, most notably, Native Son and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. By contrast, the narrator in Invisible Man says, “I am not complaining, nor am I protesting either,” signaling the break from the normal protest novel that Ellison held about his work.” (Wikipedia). Invisible Man is told, in confession form, by an unnamed narrator whose bright future is erased by racism. It is one of the top 100 novels of the 20th century that have been challenged or banned; the reasons being: “lack of innocence”, language, and sexual content.

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich. You will want a light beer to help wash down the injustice in this heavy story. The Round House follows the story of Joe Coutts, a 13-year-old boy who is frustrated with the poor investigation into his mother’s gruesome attack and sets out to find his mother’s rapist with the help of his best friends. Like most of Erdrich’s other works, The Round House is set on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. This National Book Award winner has been challenged at high schools with college-level English courses due to claims that the content is obscene and sexually explicit, and does not meet “community standards.”

Saga, by Brian K Vaughn – graphic novel series. A Space Opera worthy of a beer named Cosmic Lounge! Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the world. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. One of the Top 10 Banned and Challenged books in 2014 on the following claims: anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ characters, and unsuited for the age group.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. A beer that Daisy and Jay would probably both enjoy. Fitzgerald, having been born and raised in MN, will have understood the wilderness but clearly had a penchant for Tuxedoes too! The book examines the culture and intricacies of the 1920s in America while telling the tale of the wild and tragic love between Daisy Buchannan and Jay Gatsby. One of the more well-known official challenging’s of The Great Gatsby happened in 1987 at the Baptist College of Charleston South Carolina due to the book’s sexual references and profane language.

Carmen Schempp, Library Technician – Business Office

Carmen has worked at DPL for 9 years and her favorite part about the job is connecting with patrons – including sharing and receiving book, movie, and music recommendations!  Originally from South Dakota, she has made Duluth her home and has lived here for 20 years.  When not at work she enjoys going on adventures with her dog Nola, hiking and paddling with friends, traveling to see family, volunteering with the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, and riding her motorcycle. You can also find her at Bayfront Blues Fest every year soaking up the sun and dancing her heart out.

Duluth Cider

Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran. This exquisitely detailed and lushly illustrated (by Colleen Doran) fractured fairytale, reworked by a master storyteller (Neil Gaiman), has landed on several banned book lists. Graphically gory (like most fairy tales), it rather is the nudity and sexuality depicted that worries the worriers. Like the apple and honey in Gitch Cider, this graphic novel is a delicious tapestry, honoring both the old and the new.

Maus by Art Spiegelman. Greenstone’s Gold medal, won in the 2020 U.S. Open Cider Championship may remind one of 1992’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Maus by Art Spiegelman — so far, the 1st (and only) graphic novel to win this (golden) literary prize. Memoir, biography, historical fiction — this brutally true story of the Holocaust (with Jewish characters depicted as mice and Nazis depicted as cats), has been banned for its (historically accurate) violence and the nudity of a Jewish woman (Yes, really. A naked mouse…). Both Maus and Greenstone CIder achieve excellence through precision clarity, both bitter and sweet.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Tart strawberries kissed by fresh and fragile Wisconsin basil describes Trailside cider, but also could describe the love story between these two misfit teens… Outspoken, bullied, odd-ball, (red-headed) new girl, Eleanor is reluctantly paired with gentle, quiet, half-Korean, Park on the school bus. Sitting together every day, they slowly become friends until finally, they discover a refreshingly authentic (though awkward), first love. Smart, richly developed character and tart sweetness describe both this Bildungsroman story and Trailside Cider.

Go the F**k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach. Summer seasonal ciders, like small children, are preciously temporary. Every parent knows that childhood is fleeting and every moment should be savored… and yet. Who has not had a sleepless night, desperate for their child to just Go the F**k To Sleep, already? Does it mean parents don’t love the terrible tyrant denying them the sweetness of sleep? Of course not! But parenthood can be hard, and parents need moments of hysterical, irreverent laughter. This ADULT picture book, meant to make ADULTS laugh (and not for children at all), was banned for being inappropriate for children. Luckily, no one has tried to ban Pineapple Sour Cider for being a deliciously sweet-tart ADULT beverage… Parents need all the laughter and deliciousness they can get!

I’ve been a Youth Librarian for 12 years!  Before that I built parade floats, danced with Spanish-speaking bears, and painted three-story Victorian Ladies in North Denver.  My father has his own room in Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station and my children are all musicians.  I’m new to Duluth – called, as many are, to the ancient black rocks, wildflowers, and deep waters in this amazing place.  Winter is coming and I can’t wait…

Sober Sallys

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. A family of independent boys. This book was one of the first young adult novels. It was well received because it felt real and relatable to teens, to the dismay of parents. This youthful twist on a classic cocktail pairs well with an iconic classic novel. A dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. The Outsiders was a controversial book at the time of its publication; it is still currently challenged and debated. It was ranked #38 on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999. This book has been banned from some schools and libraries because of the portrayal of gang violence, underage smoking and drinking, strong language/slang, and family dysfunction. However, in many U.S. schools, the book is part of the English curriculum at the middle- or high-school level.

Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan. Reappearing because of the #metoo movement, the themes of this book are still relevant today. This sweet and spicy cocktail is sure to delight while enjoying this suspenseful depiction of teenage girls in their high school’s most exclusive club–led by a twisted mind. Due to its thematic concerns with rape, abortion, domestic violence, feminism, and antifeminism, the novel was banned from libraries in several states upon its 1997 republication, namely from Jackson County School libraries in West Virginia 1997, as well as school libraries in Virginia, Indiana, and New Mexico from 2000 to 2005.

It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris. The old adage; Boys are blue and girls are pink; combine the two and it makes a beautiful lavender much like this cocktail. But we all know that when it comes to changing bodies, growing up, sex, and sexual health it’s not that simple. According to the American Library Association, It’s Perfectly Normal has been one of the most frequently challenged books of the past two decades and in some cases removed because of its content. Many sources believe that the graphic novel portrays sexual content that is not age-appropriate, including illustrations of nudity and sex, homosexuality, abortion, and religious viewpoints.  The book was removed from school district library shelves in Clover Park, Washington, and in Charlestown, Pennsylvania, at the Chester County Public Library. Most of the parents who challenged the book disagreed with the concept of the book because they thought sexual education was not age-appropriate for their children. Many of them also believe that children should not encounter texts or illustrations of specific body parts, sexual identity, and sexual well-being yet, especially if their children are not supervised.

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. Enjoy this dark and stormy drink while traveling along with the main characters Meg, her brother, and her friend as they journey through time and space with the help of supernatural beings and battle the “Black Thing”. A Wrinkle in Time is on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 at number 23. The novel has been accused of being both anti-religious and anti-Christian for its inclusion of witches and crystal balls and for containing “New Age” spiritualist themes that do not reflect traditional Christian teachings. According to USA Today, the novel was challenged in a school district in the state of Alabama due to the “book’s listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to those who defend Earth against evil.

Kaylinn Stormo, Library Technician – Adult Services
Fun Facts: My best friend is my 18-year-old cat Meenu. I volunteer with the local Jigsaw Puzzle Competition. I am on the Library Kickball team. 

Ursa Minor Brewing

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. The subtle pine and melon/apricot flavors in this hazy IPA are reminiscent of the dusty agricultural areas of California where George Milton and Lenny Small have made their way farm to farm as migrant workers. I envision them enjoying this, cold after a long day on Curley’s farm around the campfire dreaming of starting a ranch of their own. Of Mice and Men, one of the most taught novels of the 20th Century continues to be challenged and has been banned for profanity, using the lord’s name in vain, blasphemy, racial slurs, and its presentation of women.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A refreshing American IPA with depth. The oaky, mildly bitter flavor is perfect for roughing it in the Canadian wilderness with protagonist Brian Robeson. At 13, he has to grow up quickly when a plane crash leaves him alone to survive in a beautiful, but brutal environment. Recipient of the 1988 Newbery and on School Library Journal’s Top 100 Children’s novels in 2012, Hatchet has often been challenged for being “too violent” for students.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Toasty, with slight pine and citrus, this cream ale is an ideal working cyborg’s beer. Cinder, a barely-cyborg mechanic, lives with her wicked guardian and two horrible step-sisters (sound familiar?). Immune to the disease running rampant in New Beijing, she comes to learn she is actually part of the royal line of Lunars. Then it really goes to space. Cinder was challenged in 2020 according to the American Library Association.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Fruity and floral with blueberry and cherry upfront in smell and taste, this is a beer to enjoy with a tale of passion such as that between Tita and Pedro. As emotions roll over her, Tita pours them (successfully and unsuccessfully) into the food she cooks. The fruity tartness in would pair well with any of the spicy recipes at the beginning of each chapter. Though the 1989 book is considered a contemporary classic and was an American Booksellers Book of the Year in 1994, it was removed as recently as 2012 from the high school curriculum for sexual scenes between Tita and Pedro.

 This One Summer, a graphic novel by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. Glamping’s tart, super lemony flavor shouts summertime! For Rosie and Windy, summer means Awago Beach, bicycles, and for the first time . . . boys! It’s also a summer of hard-learned lessons in the form of teen pregnancy and stressful family dynamics. This One Summer has made the American Library Association’s Top Ten Challenged books on more than one occasion and banned for LGBTQ+ characters, profanity, drugs, and sex.

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. Oktoberfest is deep and malty. It’s a dark lager with some tradition and thought behind it. It’s perfect for sipping while reading Warren’s All the King’s Men this fall. Extolling the dangers of populism and inspired by US Senator Huey Long, it’s narrated by a political reporter, Jack Burden, in the 1930s. It’s about a man who goes from being an unlikely gubernatorial candidate to becoming a charismatic and powerful politician. If you want to know about our current political climate, this book provides a little fictional foundation. Written in 1947, it has not been banned outright. However, a school district in Dallas, TX had it removed from its curriculum in 1974.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon. For a pale ale, it is tangy with a citrusy/floral hint to it. If the drinker stubbornly waits through the first sip, they will have a light caramel backnote. In other words, a yummy surprise awaits. Not unlike Christopher John Francis Boone, an English 15-year-old, who views the world through a tightly specific lens. When confronted with shocking information from an unexpected source, he surprises himself and his father by running away from all that is immediately familiar. Following complaints of profane language and promotion of atheism, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been challenged and banned in several schools. It has won five different book awards and has been adapted for both stage and film.

Steph Myers, Library Supervisor – Adult and Computer Services
In addition to being a library evangelist, Steph is both an avid runner and swimmer. She recently spent a week in Greece swimming 5K per day the Aegean Sea and is now training for the Bridging the Gap 10 mile here in Duluth.

Vikre Distillery

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson. Equal parts Hay & Sunshine Whiskey, Vikre Herbal Liqueur, Maraschino Liqueur, and lemon juice. The “No Boys Allowed!” is a drink that attempts to make whiskey more appealing to women by taking a popular gin-based drink (The Last Word) and swapping the gin for whiskey. It was given the name to make it playful and explicitly appealing to women, with the assumption that whiskey is a man’s drink. (It’s also sometimes also called a “Final Ward”.) It deals with issues of gender expectations, gender marketing, exclusion, preferences, and self-expression. Regardless of the name, it’s a great drink for anyone! All Boys Aren’t Blue is described by author George M. Johnson as a “memoir-manifesto,” a series of autobiographical, non-chronological essays which relate numerous issues faced by Johnson growing up in small-town New Jersey. The themes involve the intersection of Black and LGBTQIAP+ identities simultaneously.

Melissa by Alex Gino (Formerly titled George). Vikre Juniper Gin, Vikre Aperitivo Classico, cranberry juice, and lime juice in “The Lumbersexual” make for a slight variation of the classic Cosmopolitan. A clever name aimed to appeal to men, as the Cosmo is traditionally seen as a “woman’s cocktail”. Lumbersexual is a cheeky description of Northwoods lumberjack fashion (think plaid shirts, suspenders, facial hair, and work boots.). With a name synonymous with being an attempt to appear more masculine, this cocktail is sure to be enjoyed with a book themed around gender roles and how they define human interaction. Alex Gino’s George is an inspiring middle-grade read that calls on its young readers to be who they are, but some have found the content of the book offensive because the book’s young protagonist is transgender. The book appeared in the number five slot on ALA’s top ten challenged books for 2017, and it was also included on the 2016 list.

Heidi Harrison, Senior Library Technician – Youth Services
Heidi has worked in Youth Services at DPL for 10 years. She was a former manager with Target stores but does not regret moving to libraries. She loves the outdoors, kayaking, camping, concerts, and spending time with her friends and dog. She loves working with youth and especially teens!

Wild State Cider

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. This was Toni Morrison’s first novel, published in 1970. The book tells the story of Pecola Breedlove, an eleven-year-old African American girl who is convinced that she is ugly, and yearns to have lighter skin and blue eyes. This, she believes, could change her lot in life. Since its publication, the book has consistently landed on the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books. Reasons cited have included, “sexually explicit material,” “lots of graphic descriptions and lots of disturbing languages,” and “an underlying socialist-community agenda.” What are more American than apples and socialist community agenda? I think this

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin. A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature, author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preferences. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Beyond Magenta landed the 27th spot on the American Library Association’s list of most banned and challenged books between 2010 and 2019 because of its inclusion of offensive language, homosexuality, and sex education. Challengers suggested the book is anti-family and inappropriate for the age group.

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. A 2002 memoir by American writer Augusten Burroughs. The book tells the story of a boy’s bizarre childhood after his mother, an aspiring poet, sent him to live with her unorthodox psychiatrist. Running With Scissors has been challenged and banned for sexual situations, profanity, underage drinking and smoking extreme moral shortcomings, graphic pedophile situations, and a lack of negative consequences throughout the book. Famously now sober author of Dry, I like to think of younger Augusten and his best friend Natalie Finch drinking this on the roof while smoking cigarrettes and sharing increible tales of outrageousness.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. The House on Mango Street is the story of a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago. Capturing her thoughts and emotions in poems and stories, she is able to rise above hopelessness and create a quiet space for herself in the midst of her oppressive surroundings. Boldly establishing her unique and varied self – being unfiltered in her writing lead to many great self-discoveries.

Erin Naughton Garrison, Library Technician – Adult Services
Fun facts about me – I keep a daily sketch diary of things I see on the ground or events of the day. I have enough clothes in my basement for a store…I haven’t worn the same thing to work @ DPL yet. I  won a shoe kicking contest in second grade and the prize was $10 (which is almost $40 2022 money)!