No Sleep Till

Sometimes things don’t make sense, or at least don’t add up, but they still have to happen.


What do the following have in common: Sixth Glass Quadrupel, Catherine Zeta Jones, Ninety-Nine card game, the Wa-Wa’s, Helen’s Sausage House, Tilcon, methane gas, “Cover It with Gas and Set It on Fire”, Theobroma, Surrender Monkey, 420, meatloaf, and “Deathtrap”? I don’t know either, but there is a common thread.

Yesterday I got to try two new Dogfish Head beers, Theobroma and Surrender Monkey. Theobroma is another “ancient” brew along the lines of Midas Touch and Chateau Jiahu. And Surrender Monkey is a Scottish-style session ale brewed with traditional gruit spices.

Here’s some information on the Theobroma from Dogfish Head; “This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions. The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1200 BC. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head’s Theobroma (translated into ‘food of the gods’) is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds). Theobroma is 10% abv and will be available in Champagne bottles for an August 2008 release.” Personally, I thought this beer was interesting. I did not pick up on any chocolate notes which was a little disappointing, but otherwise it was pretty effervescent, smelt slightly sweet and Belgian-esque, tasted different yet developed into a harmonious blend. Sorry, I didn’t take any notes while tasting it and that is all I have as a memory. Not something I would want to drink regularly, but I will definitely pick up a couple bottles when it comes out in August.

And here’s some information on Surrender Monkey from Dogfish Head; “Surrender Monkey is a Scottish-style Ale brewed by our brewer Brian Connery. The beer is brewed with four traditional Gruit spices; yarrow, mugwort, meadowsweet and camomile. The spices are steeped separately and the tea is then added to the beer pre-fermentation. Surrender Monkey is malty with a flowery nose displaying hints of honey and green apple. Brian fermented the beer with our proprietary Dogfish yeast. He chose this style to give a shout-out to his own Scottish heritage and named the beer in honor of Groundskeeper Willie of “The Simpsons” It is scheduled to go on tap Friday, February 15, 2008 – 4.1% abv.” So of course I didn’t get an obscure Simpson’s reference like that, so this is what Wiki has to say on the reference; “The phrase was first popularized in the Simpsons episode “‘Round Springfield” (first aired on April 30, 1995). Groundskeeper Willie, the school janitor, an unkempt immigrant from Scotland, is teaching French due to budget cuts, dressed in a striped jumper and a beret. He greets the class with ‘Bonjourrrrr, yah cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys!'” There is more on the actual phrase on Wiki if you care to read. This beer was real mellow and real aromatic. It reminded me of beer iced-herbal-tea, not in a weird way. At the sessionable strength that it is it could easily be drand glass after glass, but with the unique flavor profile I think I would be done after two. This seems like an interesting beer to brew, but  I bet it was pseudo-brewed in response to the hop shortage. Either way another interesting one from DFH.

4 Responses to “No Sleep Till”

  1. Garrett Says:

    Groundskeeper Willie: “Ach Wendel. Tis a mighty puddle of puke…”
    Wendel: “I’m sorry.”
    Groundskeeper Willie: “That’s all right lad. You reminded me of why I got into this work in the first place.”

    There has never been a more quotable scotsman than Groundskeeper Willie…

  2. Brian Frey Says:

    I just missed you guys by a little bit. I don’t think you recognized me when I hollared “Shouldn’t you be cleaning kegs!” in the parking lot.

    I had a Theobroma, and a Burton myself. I definately got some chocolate/cocco notes from the Thebroma which surprised me, given it’s light color. I’m wondering what yeast was used, it tasted pretty similar to the Chateau Jiahu (sp?). I’m guessing it’s pretty generic yeast since they didn’t have anything fancy back in the day.

    Now I’ve been trying hard to like Burton. I had bought a 4-pack a couple years ago and could not drink them. It was like beer flavored wood, with no hops. I dunno if mine was just aged or something, but Marcel said that with age, the wood comes way forward. I then had it at a beer dinner last year, and it was like a different beer. So I had it Saturday, and it was great! Slight wood notes, and the hops from the 90 really shined through. This is a beer that I will only drink fresh from now on.

    Ohh, and Helen’s kicks ass!!!

  3. Brian Says:

    Oh damn, that was you, my bad. I thought you had me confused with someone else. I will have to admit, I had basically been up for 30 hours at that point, so I was kind of out of it.

    I agree, I thought the Theobroma had a slight Chateau flavor to it.

    Yeah, I really like the Burton, I wish it was regularly available. I once got to try the non-blended version, I think they were calling it ‘Woody’, and that was definitely beer flavored wood.

    Yeah, Helen’s kicks my ass every time I go there, but it’s so had to say no.

  4. EMitch Says:

    umm, i saw that pic of me and roby outside helen’s and i got instant heartburn. that’s freakin awesome.

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