Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You-Know-Who in the Details

From an article titled "Satan Ale Pulled From the Pig's Shelves:

"'The names of these beers have nothing to do with any religious statement or message, but they simply refer to the old brewing traditions, and the hard work near the fire of the cooking vessels,' stated a Brewery De Block representative via e-mail. 'As a matter of fact, the Belgian football players are called the Red Devils, and a lot of beers from Belgium and other countries have brand names like Biere du Demon, Delirium Tremens, Luciver, Duvel, etc. I have never met anybody here who said that they were upset about these old traditions.'"

The last beer I had before I began Beer Fast 2010 was Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Company. I'll go ahead and mention that it was a hell of a good beer--malty, heavy without being syrupy, and just a little bit chocolatey. I enjoyed that beer while celebrating Mother's Day at Sweet Grass, a new favorite restaurant in Cooper-Young.

Had I bought this beer for home consumption, however, I would have not added the empty bottle to my growing much as I enjoyed that stout, I would have felt, well, uneasy having such a questionable character leer down at me (and my wife) from the top of my kitchen cabinets.

I ran into a similar dilemma a few weeks ago, when I decided to recycle instead of display the empty bottle that had contained Avery's White Rascal, another beer I very much liked but about whose diabolical label I was less than enthusiastic about keeping around. Even in my limited beer-drinking experience, I've come across many beers whose names and/or labels give at least a wink and nod to the Evil One: HopDevil, Duvel, several Unibroue varieties...and that's just off the top of my head. Moreover, these cervezas celebrating the Unsavory One are generally the big, strong, and very tasty beers that I usually prefer.

I have not yet reached the point at which, for me, drinking such beers in and of itself precipitates a moral crisis (though drinking too many of these high-gravity brews in a single setting might).

Nor is this a comprehensive reflection on the origins of beer names and the history of the beer-Beelzebub connection.

Hell, maybe it's 99% marketing.

But I do feel better about ditching those bottles afterward.


Running log:

Sunday: 6 miles on the treadmill
Monday: 7 miles on the treadmill
Tuesday: 3.1 miles on the treadmill
Today: 6.25 miles on the road

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