Plot Twist: Book Club Brews Donation to MHPL

Reigniting their love of reading and now paying it forward
Posted on 15 February 2024 by Chris Brown.

Almost 10 years ago a group of friends was searching for a way to reconnect with each other amid growing awareness about men’s mental health. 

A new book club resulted in stronger friendships, a rekindled love of reading for more than a dozen locals and now a donation to the Medicine Hat Public Library.

“I thought it was going to be like wings and beer once a week, and then was like, 'OK wait. I actually have to read the books?’ And then it turned into a bunch of people who love to consume pop culture and reading books,” explains Pages & Pints Book Club member Jeff Kettles.

He says it gives the members something to look forward to throughout the day, week and month leading up to the meetings.

The club’s Jason Fuerst says he was a regular reader as a kid but got away from it in adulthood. He adds when he did read it was the same type of books over and over again.

“I needed some different inputs,” he says. “There was four of us to start, and I think it was just passing along what we knew as kids: reading, reading, reading everything.”

Club members most recently read “The Blacktongue Thief” by Christopher Buehlman.

As the members’ love of reading was being reignited, they wanted to do the same for adults or help get them into reading in the first place. Kettles says everyone quickly got behind the idea of a donation to the library. 

With the help of club member Mike Patriquin, who is also general manager at Hell’s Basement Brewery, the group brewed a beer and sold it last summer. Proceeds from Plot Twist, a pilot cold IPA, resulted in a $1,000 donation to the public library earlier this month. Plot Twist is still available on tap at Hell’s Basement.

Kettles recalls when the club was founded members were worried about being able to read a book in a month. They’ve since turned themselves in real page turners.  

“Now we’ll pick our book for the month, everybody’s got that read in the first week or week and a half and our little chat fires up. ‘Hey man, I’m reading this book,’ ‘I’m reading this book’ and everybody’s like chewing through books.”

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