If you like tales and ales, don’t miss the local books and beer event at Little Thistle Brewing Company Sunday afternoon.
Seven local authors -- J. Lynn Else, Meg Hafdahl, K. Bird Lincoln, Kelly Florence, Gina Dewink, Christopher D. Schmitz, and Tony Wirt -- will convene for a book signing. They’ll bring books that range from horror to self-help, and from pop science to time travel romance.
The event came about when several authors who visit local breweries for beer and conversation missed book events like Twin City Books & Beer, and other conventions they usually attend.
“Because of the pandemic, all of our book tours and events were canceled, so a few of us came together and discussed an outdoor event where we can safely sign and sell books,” author Hafdahl said.
“We realized that we were perfectly capable of organizing a socially distant Rochester Books & Beer event because of all the hidden gem local authors in Southeast Minnesota we know,” urban fantasy writer Lincoln added. She credited Mike Kalmbach and the Rochester MN Writer’s Group for keeping those authors connected.
Among the books Hafdahl will be bringing to the event are two she’s co-authored with Kelly Florence, called “The Science of Monsters” and “The Science of Women in Horror.” She says she’s excited about the event because “not only are you supporting local authors and local beer, but it's a great way to enjoy the last days of summer and maybe find your next favorite book.”
Lincoln, on the other hand, will bring several books to the signing including her multicultural urban fantasy trilogy the Portland Hafu series. It focuses on a young heroine who eats dreams, and rolls Japanese folklore into its Pacific Northwest setting.
Lincoln said in-person events are important for authors.
“We all do better professionally and personally when we venture out under the harsh sun and check in with each other about our latest releases, how Amazon is treating us lately, who their treasured editor is, and if we have any new tattoos,” she said.
Authors aren’t all “ink-stained, hobbit-like creatures, writing away furiously in (our) little dens,” Lincoln said -- many are extroverted and thrive on human contact.
Little Thistle has a good outdoor space for socially distanced vendor tables, historical and fantasy writer J. Lynn Else said.
“Breweries are great places to gather socially with friends," she said. “We can ... (be) close enough to mingle with people who, by the way, aren’t the same people you’ve been stuck in a house with for months.”
Else says Little Thistle’s Brave Woman, a Scottish Ale, is the perfect beer to pair with her books. The beer is named after head brewer Steve Finnie’s great-great-grandmother who saved 15 fishermen in a storm.
“My stories feature daring females overcoming obstacles, be it with the use of magic in the present, futuristic alien technology, or political tenacity in an ancient world,” she explains.
The first 10 customers to purchase a book will get a dollar-off beer coupon, and the Cameo food stand will sell food.
Lincoln sums it up like this: “We'll all be masked, we have hand sanitizer at each author's table, and since the event is outside, I think our Books and Beer is one of the safest ways to enjoy a Sunday afternoon.”
If you like beer and books, tasty food, supporting local businesses and creatives, and staying safe, your Sunday plans just got a whole lot clearer.
If You Go
What: Rochester Local Author Books and Beer
When: 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6
Where: Little Thistle Brewing Company, 2031 14th St. NW, Rochester
Cost: Free (bring cash for books)