Cover Image: The Lager Queen of Minnesota

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

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Member Reviews

An engaging story of family and beer. This novel connects two eras of Minnesota brewing history with the story of 3 generations of a family estranged from each other.  With these strong characters, Stradel tells the story of a family and the transition of the Minnesota brewing economy from the mass production independent brewery era to the present craft brewing era.
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Very entertaining read! Anybody from the Midwest will adore it. Those who enjoyed J. Ryan Stradal's previous book will really like this great follow-up.
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I really enjoyed this book. It’s a story of women making their ways in a typical man’s world of breweries. The characters were believable and I like learning a bit more of what goes into making beer. 
I wasn’t happy with the ending, but most readers will enjoy it. I just am not a fan of endings that are always happy. 
I will recommend this book for those people who love beer and who love a good story.
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A feel-good story about two stubborn yet courageous sisters in a small town in Minnesota who become estranged when they pursue different goals in life. Edith marries and raises a family while Helen, the younger of the two goes off to college to explore her love of making beer. The book spans many years and both characters experience hardship and good favor  along the way. Filled with endearing characters and an engaging writing style, this story is a bittersweet tale about family, forgiveness and perseverance.
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Wonderful quirky uplifting read. This is a great read with smart woman getting through life as best as they can. Good message. I think if readers like Fanny Flagg books they will love this. Characters that have real personalities and great observations.
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The Lager Queen of Minnesota is a multi generational story filled with strong women, and the love of creating beer. Two sisters part ways after their father leaves the farm to Helen so she can fulfill her dream of creating new beers. Edith and her husband are happy but struggle monetarily their whole life. While Helen does well, Edith must work all her life to eat, while raising  her granddaughter Diana.  At 19 Diana becomes a successful brewer, and her grandmother and friends become involved in the business as well. 
The storyline is great, with strong characters you love, and I was sorry the book had to end. The writing is reminiscent and just as good as that of author Lorna Landvik

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.
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There was a bit more about the logistics and chemistry of beer brewing but I did enjoy this book very much. I've been waiting for years for another book from Stradal and this didn't disappoint. I wasn't always clear on character motivation and would have liked to see a bit more character development but overall this was a good read about strong females.
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What a great story! I loved it! Even though this is a novel, this book could so easily be someone's (family) story. You'll find it difficult not to root for the underdogs in this story and will likely close the book with a big smile on your face.
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I wish this was a better review, because I adored Stradal's first book, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. (I still recommend it to readers at the library. I REALLY loved it.)

This book is just...a mess. There is a real kernel of greatness here, and I know that because I absolutely HAD to know how this story worked itself out. But the getting there was...messy. Really messy. I don't know how you fix this, but here were some of my issues with it:
-the timeline is wonky and weird and confusing
-the early Edith sections are as uninteresting as the early Helen section is interesting, which is to say, why the hell is the story SO GODDAMN focused on Edith for SOOOOO long? We could lose all the pie stuff and the book would better. 100% better.
-the beer stuff is....a lot, for a non-beer person (I am a non-beer person). I honestly skimmed through some of the heavy brewing stuff
-why why why why why skip over Colleen entirely?
-did I mention the timeline? This books goes from the 50's to now in an entirely unsatisfying way
-Errr, Stradal has a problem with the inner life of women. I'm not kidding. He does not convincingly write the women in this book, emotionally or intellectually. And this book is all women. Dammit. Now I'm angry, thinking about this.
-I mean, though, how could he spend any time at all on any one of these womens' feelings, what with the great chunks of time he had to get through?
-Ugh, I've almost convinced myself to give this a lower star rating. It's at 3 now. What will it be by the time I finish this review?
-I feel like maybe Stradal was like, you know what would be sooo funny? Grandmas making beer! That's a book idea right there.
-And it probably is, because I did enjoy those chapters best. Maybe it was just the getting there that was terrible, and the getting there was at least 3/4 of the book.
-Yep, now it's down to 2 stars.
-So ultimately, the major problem here is that none of these women ring true for me. None of them feel real. And that's okay in some books, but it's not okay in this book.
-Also the timeline. The timeline doesn't work.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
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