Books, Beans & Brews: Holiday Pairings for Every Taste

Plus a special pairing deal!

By Samantha Jacquest

Samantha Jacquest is the owner of Blue House Books, Kenosha's full-service independent bookstore in Downtown Kenosha. Sam loves sharing her love of books with the community and bringing in popular and local authors for events. When not at her shop, Sam enjoys traveling and spending time Downtown with her friends, family, and rescue dog Flash.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which may give you the urge to cuddle up with a cute and cozy read on a cold winter night! Although the last couple years, we at Blue House Books have noticed a fun trend getting more and more popular every year: holiday horror!

This isn’t the first year spooky season has creeped into our holiday cheer, but it definitely is at its highest peak that we have noticed! While we still have a fantastic selection of cozy holiday stories (think Hallmark movie in book form), we also have a few creepy winter tales that are sure to keep you reading late into the long nights ahead! Read on for an array of great holiday book recommendations paired with local brews available in Downtown Kenosha!

For the romance reader

If you want to stick with the classic cheesy holiday love story, Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews is a great choice for you! This holiday novella has everything you expect in a stereotypical romcom: a snowy small town, a trip to the big city, an unexpected romance, and of course, a Christmas tree farm! Pair this adorable book with the drink of the week from The Buzz in Downtown Kenosha: eggnog latte, or what I like to call Christmas-in-a-cup! Get this cup of holiday cheer hot or iced, available through this weekend only!

If you like a little more spice in your romance and your drink, you need to read A Holly Jolly Ever After by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone paired with Fahrenheit 451 beer from Rustic Road! This is Book 2 in The Christmas Notch series behind A Merry Little Meet Cute, but both books can also be read as standalones. A Holly Jolly Ever After is about movies, both home and professionally made, if you catch my drift. Two actors attempt to fake their way through scenes of passion to create a holiday hit, but they soon learn they’ll need to resort to method acting, all in the name of authenticity and professionalism, of course. You’ll want that harsh bite of jalapeno in your locally-brewed Fahrenheit 451 when reading this hot holiday novel!

For the serious reader

If romcoms aren’t your thing but you still enjoy a good season story, you’ll want to check out Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. In a small Irish town weeks before Christmas, a man must confront his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church. This is a beautiful, heart wrenching story of hope and empathy, perfect for this time of year especially when paired with an Irish beer from Public Craft Brewing Company, the Bone Dry Stout, a stout made completely dairy free on their nitro tap.

For the spooky reader

If you or someone you know haven’t left spooky season behind, these are the books and drink pairings for you! In The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson, what starts as a seemingly delightful holiday story in the British countryside quickly turns dark and sinister when a village girl is murdered and our main love interest is the prime suspect. The mystery won’t be solved until decades later across the pond. For a creepy holiday mystery, you’ll need all the energy you can get to help keep you alert! We recommend the Cranberry Lightning Bolt Quencher from BLAK Coffee with cranberry syrup, club soda, and a blast of energy.

If you’re into hot-topic crime fiction, Christmas Presents by Lisa Unger will be a great read for you! A bookstore owner who survived a childhood horror story and a true crime writer and podcaster both begin to look into a murder and missing persons case that everyone thought was long solved, until more people go missing under the same circumstances. What terrifying discoveries will be made during a winter storm as Christmas approaches? For a tale so dark, you’ll want to grab a Dark Roast coffee from Anna’s on the Lake!

I hope you’re ready to enjoy some of these fantastic recommendations! At the time of submitting this article this week, all these titles were in store, so hopefully we still have them waiting for you! And to encourage your last-minute holiday shopping for yourself or others, if you purchase any of the featured drinks in this article, you will receive 10% off the title we paired it with!

Happy reading and happy holidays!