Now that the madness of March has passed, (Although we do have the NCAA Basketball until Monday) its nice to finally see a little bit of sunshine in our lives, after the long, hard, dark and cold winter nights. Spring is a time of change and its about bloody time.
Seeing as this weekend greets another Easter Sunday. Whatever your background our your beliefs, this is a very special holiday. I think this weeks choice of beer is, not only an excellent choice, but also coincides with Easter and “Lenten and fasting season”.
Thomas Hooker “Liberator” Doppelbock
Thomas Hooker Brewery based in Hartford Connecticut, chose their Title based on the great colonial leader of the 1600’s and founder of “Hartford” Connecticut, Rev. T Hooker.
His home was on a plot of land which is actually still part of Harvard College to this day!
He created the “Fundamental Orders” of Connecticut. This was one of the worlds first written Constitutions and an influence on the structure of the current United States Constitution which was written a good century and a half later!
Thomas Hooker was born in England but eventually ended up in Hartford Connecticut by way of boat obviously, his subsequent fleeing was caused by persecution by the English authorities at the time, and the “New England” settlement there was attributed to him and his congregation.
If anyone deserves a Brewery named after him… It’s this guy!!
Thomas Hooker’s offering of a Doppelbock is very impressive. “Doppelbock Lager” is a style of beer which originated in Bavaria Germany during the middle ages. Originally brewed by monks to provide them with liquid forms of nutrition during times of fasting e.g: Lent, when little or no solid food was permitted. This was nicknamed “Liquid Bread” because of it’s rich and filling properties.
The first “Lenten” beer was brewed by “Paulaner” monks who arrived in Munich by way of Italy in 1627. “Lent” or fasting for your beliefs then, was believed to cleanse both your body and soul.
Legend has it, due to the complexity of the Doppelbock and the rich taste, the monks questioned themselves and wondered if indeed, they were actually cleansing their soul properly. They felt a certain level of guilt, after all, they were supposed to be starving!
So in their infinite wisdom, they decided to ship off a barrel to Pope Urban VIII in Rome, for his holy approval.
While in transit, the barrel of beer was thrown around the ship in rough seas and was scorched with the midday sun, which eventually turned the beer somewhat sour!
Pope Urban VIII tried the brew and he of course deemed it as “Vile”. His conclusion was, something that tasted this badly could only be good for your soul and in no way could it be deemed as a luxury, nor could you feel guilty about it. The Pope therefore gave the monks his blessing.
Little did he know what he was doing at the time but thankfully for the monks and of course ourselves we can still enjoy it centuries later.
I can imagine the garden full of drunken monks sipping buckets of the stuff after the green light from Rome.
Thomas Hooker Liberator is brewed with an extensive blend of malts to achieve the thick and creamy brew. It is subtly hopped with German and Czech noble hops and cool fermented with a Bavarian lager yeast. The end product is a hazy brown complexion with a taste explosion. At 8% it is to be respected and sipped at a slow pace and just as I write this, I am sipping a pint and I can confirm, this is indeed true!
Thankfully Doppelbocks are not brewed today like the overly rich and heavy beer they were in the middle ages, otherwise I wouldn’t have the food pairing section this week.
Ron Blacks “Porkie” sandwich is excellent for a Doppelbock.
Our Pulled Pork, Rich in rubbed spices, smoked “In-House” and topped with our very own Signature BBQ Sauce. Served on a Sour dough bun with a choice of our “Hand Cut” fries or a Beer Hall salad.
Everything in our pulled pork fits together perfectly with the complex series of malts “Liberator” has to offer.
You can check out our tasty menu and our extensive beer list at ronblacks.com
When I think of Doppelbock and it’s history, I think of monks! The most famous monk in my youth was “Friar Tuck” in the movie Robin Hood Prince of thieves.
English actor Mark Addy Johnson played the character in the recent Robin Hood movie in 2010 alongside Russell Crowe.
I can remember he was always locking himself in his little house brewing up a little batch of beer and obviously tasting it all by himself. He loved the “Sauce” and judging by the belly on him, he put away a lot.
Robin Hood’s right hand man was a drunken monk! Go figure!!
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE
STAY CRAFTY AND DRINK RESPONSIBLY