Top five fermented grogs fer the pirate in ye
Avast, me hearties! Amidst all this chatter about t’ Great American Grog Festival and t’ Oktoberfest in Munich, don’t forget that September 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
In honor o’ this momentous event, Cap’n GerARRd o’ Sea Voyages for Beer will list t’ top five pirate brews that you can toast t’ day with, in no perticular order.
Heavy Seas: Brewed by Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing Co. From the Jolly Roger logo to the names of the brews, this brand is all about livin’ the pirate’s life. It even has a line of Pyrate Fleet Beers: Loose Cannon American Ale, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, Small Craft Warning Uber Pils, Red Sky at Night Belgian Style Saison and its seasonal Winter Storm Ale. The brewery will also hold some events Sunday to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Ybor Gold Gaspar’s Porter – “The last of the buccaneers,” Jose Gaspar raided merchant ships off the west coast of Florida until the early 19th century when, rather than surrender in an ambush, he wrapped the anchor chain around his waist and leaped to his death. That’s what the folklore says, anyway; no one has ever proven he existed. But that doesn’t stop the city of Tampa from throwing an enormous Gasparilla Festival each year, and it didn’t stop the Ybor City Brewing Co. from creating this seasonal porter in his honor. Once made in Tampa, Gaspar’s Porter is now brewed by Florida Beer Co. in Melbourne, Florida.
Piraat – Though we’re not linguists here, it didn’t take us long to figure out that this translates to “Pirate.” Brewed by Van Steenberge Brewery, the only brewery still operating in Meetjesland, Belgium, its description seems kind of sissified for a pirate-themed brew: “This light, amber-coloured sea dog with its full white head fires bitter, spiced, malted and alcoholic fumes at your nose.This is followed by a perfect harmony of malted, sweet and bitter hopped aromas, after which you are immersed in a very long, slightly sweet finish with a hint of bitter to it.” But with an alcohol by volume of 10.5 percent, this blonde amber has enough kick to spark the gunpowder in any buccaneer’s cannon.
Dead Guy Ale: Dead men tell no tales, but if they could they might sing the praises of this German Maibock style brewed by Rogue Ales of Oregon. With its skeletal label and 6.5% ABV, it appeals to the roguish pirate and the Grateful Dead fan alike. And if that’s not enough to make you feel like you’ve taken a trip to Davey Jones’ Locker, try the Double Dead Guy Ale, with its blood-red bottle and an ABV kicked up to 9%. (Update: Road Trips for Beer larned Dead Guy be the OFFICIAL beer of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Put yer eyes on the commentin’ place belowdecks t’see more.)
Bucanero Fuerte – Many a seafaring scallywag made port in Havana after plying the Caribbean for plunder-laden merchant ships. We couldn’t dig up too much on this beer, which considering its Cuban origin is probably not available in the states, but its website calls it “one of the best hidden treasures of Cuban beer.” Until we make a Sea Voyage for Beer to someplace where it is available, we’ll take their word for it. Oh, and its name translates to “Strong Buccaneer.”
By the way, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was started in 1995 by John Baur and Mark Summers, a.k.a. Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy (that’s their mugs at the top of this page). The movement really took off after nationally syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry wrote about the unofficial holiday in 2002.
Have any of ye other scurvy dogs plundered any fermented grog that should be included on this fine list? Put ‘er down in the talkin’ section belowdecks.