When spring and summer hit in Calgary, a favorite thing to do is grab an ice-cold Dandy (beer or tasty Craft Soda) and dive into a great book. Although the subject bounces around I often find myself gravitating to similar genres; I love to learn about people’s experiences, and whether it’s fiction or not, a good character-centered read is always a treat. Swamplandia, Art of Fielding, Cracking India, Jonny Appleseed, and The Dishwasher all feature central characters who invite me into their world; while I am sitting alone reading on the patio it’s like I’m sharing the table with a new friend. Also, old habits die hard, and as a former teacher patio season means summer, and the chance to do my own learning, so unique non-fiction is a must! Valley of the Giants, Up, Up, and Away, and COD (any Mark Kurlansky food writing really) are all exquisite stories that have pulled me in and taught me so much. Finally, I couldn’t complete my list without a sweet piece of easy escapism and Louis L’Amour is always top of my list: cowboys, adventures, horses…perfect.
Ben Leon is the co-founder and CEO of Dandy Brewing Company. Born in PEI and raised in Montreal, where he graduated with a degree in English Lit and Anthropologie from Concordia University, he moved to Calgary in 2008 and now calls the west home. After touring across North American and Europe in a punk rock band and working in too many kitchens he shifted gears to teach High School humanities for a stretch, and in 2014 started Dandy. He lives in Calgary with his wife, two children, and a poodle named Bird. Follow Dandy Brewing Company on Instagram @dandybrewing