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Favorite Austin brewery opens new chapter with first-ever book fair

Favorite Austin brewery opens new chapter with first-ever book fair

Meanwhile Brewing exterior
The inaugural book fair invites 13 vendors and supports the Inside Books Project. Photo courtesy of Meanwhile Brewing

Beer with friends is fun, but beer with books is even better. For those ready to combine the two, Meanwhile Brewing is hosting its inaugural book fair “Lagers & Literature” on August 28, benefiting the Inside Books Project. The event will bring together 13 local book or book-adjacent sellers for an afternoon of impulse buys and long-sought finds.

The visiting organizations bring everything from books to toys, crafts, and opportunities to sign up for library cards. This event is one of those rare all-ages happenings that is legitimately well-suited to every age, and there will be plenty of bites from local food trucks to keep everyone going in the heat.

Some of the visiting vendors include:

  • Austin Public Library: This city institution is packing up a “one-of-a-kind zine collection display,” highlighting one of the Central branch’s more unique on-site offerings. They will also run a library card station for signing up and renewing.
  • Blue Jay Vintage: Without a storefront, Bluejay Vintage mostly works on social media and as a pop-up seller. It’s bringing hand-selected science fiction, horror, and fantasy books to broaden horizons or just offer a little browsing nostalgia.
  • Capital City Scribes: Yes, it turns out scribes still exist, in part thanks to this nonprofit keeping calligraphy alive in Austin. Someone on-site will customize bookmarks for purchase, making excellent gifts for book lovers at home.
  • Flatbed Press: The fine art printing center brings works from across its range, including etching, lithography, relief, and monotype prints. Visitors can also use this opportunity to sign up for classes, which are usually weekends or four weeks long.
  • The Harry Ransom Center: An archive at University of Texas, this organization is bringing giveaways (not something you see every day from a museum), and an “interactive exhibition display” featuring work by photographer Laura Wilson.
  • Typewriter Rodeo: This collective will probably be under high demand as they type out custom poems for free. For more poems and less waiting, Typewriter Rodeo has an eponymous book, and also does weekly poems for KUT’s “Texas Standard” program.

The more beer everyone buys, the better. A portion of bar sales goes to the Inside Books Project, which sets up incarcerated people with books by request or recommendation, and sometimes promotes writers with experience in the system. It sends more than 35,000 books every year, and notes that the most-needed books include dictionaries and thesauruses, heritage and LGBTQ+ topics, language and skill books, and games like Dungeons and Dragons. And if visitors simply can’t drink enough to donate all they’d like, they can donate books and cash, and even volunteer.

This day of fun and learning takes place at Meanwhile Brewing on August 28 from 12 pm to 4 pm. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.