Sample
  • The Lager Queen of Minnesota

  • A Novel
  • By: J. Ryan Stradal
  • Narrated by: Judith Ivey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,261 ratings)

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota  By  cover art

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

By: J. Ryan Stradal
Narrated by: Judith Ivey
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Publisher's summary

A National Best Seller!

“The perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day.” (Washington Post)

“[A] charmer of a tale... Warm, witty and - like any good craft beer - complex, the saga delivers a subtly feminist and wholly life-affirming message.” (People)

A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the best-selling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can't help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself.

With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: "Drink lots. It's Blotz." Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen's is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home...if it's not too late.

Meanwhile, Edith's granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up - will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family?

Here we meet a cast of lovable, funny, quintessentially American characters eager to make their mark in a world that's often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.

©2019 J. Ryan Stradal (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“Stradal’s writing is sharp and funny while still managing to treat each character with warmth and respect...this is an ultimately hopeful and heartwarming story.... Readers will love watching these truly original characters overcome their challenges and take care of each other. An absolutely delightful read, perfect for a summer day with a good beer and a piece of pie.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“This charmer of a tale is a loving ode to the Midwest, the power of persistence and, perhaps above all, beer.... Warm, witty and - like any good craft beer - complex, the saga delivers a subtly feminist and wholly life-affirming message.” (People Magazine)

"Delightfully intoxicating...will make you smile with its droll humor, and its poignant moments will stop you to reread and confirm that they are really that good. In beer-geek slang, Stradal’s novel is ‘crushable’ - easygoing, well-balanced, super-drinkable with tons of flavor...and will make you go back for more.” (USA Today)

The Lager Queen of Minnesota is pure reading joy: warm, funny, informative, and full of heart. It is impossible not to root for Stradal's characters, who are so vivid, and relatable that you will miss them every time you set the book down; indeed, if you set it down at all.” (Jonathan Evison, New York Times best-selling author of Lawn Boy)