Beer Fiction – Black Cat

Why do cats sit for hours and stare at the thresholds of one room into another? Perhaps it’s due to an old promise.

[Author’s Note – if Oliver Gray didn’t invent Beer Fiction he certainly embraced and championed it. Struck by the torrents of same-old-same-old beer reviews out there, Oliver would often offer a different perspective –  he would open a beer and write a story based off of it. Sometimes the story was just a play off of the title, but a lot of times he tried to capture his experience of the beer (did he like it, hate it) within his words, and as a writer he always seemed to succeed. Check out his story from his experiences with a certain Dogfish Head beer that I was fortunate enough for him to have written for a guest post on my blog.

I’ve tried on occasion, but haven’t done anything along these lines in awhile, but this one spoke to me pretty strongly and since it is the Halloween season, I thought it seemed very appropriate.]

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The man walked out of the kitchen and through the dining room. The cat, always alert, was already aware of his approach from the vibrations softly reverberating out through the wooden floor beneath him.

As the man crossed the threshold between the dining room and the hallway he spoke out loud to the cat before turning down the hall. The cat, requiring nothing from the man at the moment did what most cats do –  heeded him no mind but instead remained focused on the passageway the man had just transverse.

The hallway was now quiet and dark except for a small streak of light and the sounds of running water, and the cat thought that soon he would be able to rest for the night after all the dwellers of the house retired to their beds.

But just as the cat began to close his eyes he caught sight of something. It was the faintest of movements that would have been imperceptible to most anything else, a dark shape that had begun to appear in the threshold between the dining room and the hallway where the man had just walked through.

The cat froze and stilled its breath as the mist swayed from side to side as if curiously surveying its surrounds. Its movements were both convulsive and fluid all at once as some of parts of the mist slowly drifted from its main body like dew fog creeping through the grass on a chilled morning, while others swirled and eddied much like the smoke from the man’s pipe.

The mist hung motionless for a few seconds and then, as if startled to find it was not alone, began contracting in on itself as its motions became almost like vibrations of a guitar string.

Finally, as if satisfied by the situation, the mist continued to flow from the opening between the two rooms until it was fully formed in the hallway. The cat watched patiently as the mist coalesced in front of it, some areas appearing nearly transparent through its vapor, while other parts were as dark as the blackest night the cat could remember.

The mist hung motionless for a few seconds and then, as if startled to find it was not alone, began contracting in on itself as its motions became almost like vibrations of a guitar string.

“Welcome traveler! Have you journeyed far this evening?” the cat greeted the mist in a language long since forgotten by all but those who had promised to keep watch.

The mist responded quickly to the cat’s introduction by pulling back several inches, its undulations now less rhythmic as they became more erratic and frenzied.

“Be calm, be calm,” the cat continued, attempting to sound as reassuring as possible. “I only wish to talk.”

The mist continued its frantic convulsions for a bit and then seemed to relax, allowing itself to expand and drift slightly towards the cat’s position.

“Ah, but I see you are young gentle traveler and no doubt weary from your trip. Therefore, I will be a generous host and bid you rest a bit. But once rested, I’m afraid that I must ask you to continue on your travels elsewhere or better still return to your own home.”

The mist floated motionless for a few seconds and then started to slowly drift down the hallway only to stop when the cat quickly sprang to its feet.

“I have shown you more graciousness than is normal for my kind or my post, young one. Surely you would not be so insulting as to return that graciousness by disrespecting my wishes?”

The mist halted its movement quickly, its undulations suddenly becoming more steadied and forceful.

“Stay? No young traveler. That I cannot let you do. You will take my offer to return home, which sadly I most now say is no longer a request.”

Just as the cat finished his sentence the mist began to swirl, violently folding in on itself, all hints of transparency gone while at the same time slowly growing in size until it was slightly larger than the cat itself.

The cat backed up one step not in fear, but to better position himself to drop into a crouch, his ears dropping back against his head which caused his eyes to pull back into slits. “That would be unwise of you little one. For although I too am little, the blood of the first cat flows through me. My claws are shape, and my spirit is bolstered by all the cats that have come before me and I have NOT forgotten my duty.”

The mist froze motionless almost as if startled by the cat’s words. After a few tense seconds the mist’s swirling began anew, but this time almost in reverse as it began to recede back into itself. Once back to its original size the mist pulsed from side to side slightly as if unsure of what to do next.

The cat turned its head slightly in puzzlement at the mist’s motions. “Duty? You ask of my duty? Do they not tell you the stories anymore where you come from? Do they let their young ones travel in ignorance?”

And the cat told the traveler a story, a story as old as time, once known by many, now only remembered by few. A story that starts when the world was ruled by animals and the most feared among them were the great cats.

The mist just hung there, slightly hovering inches off the floor as if it did not have an answer for the cat.

“Ah, such as it is here I’m afraid,” the cat raised its long body back up in a stretch before sitting itself down on the floor. “Then I guess it is up to me, young one.”

And the cat told the traveler a story, a story as old as time, once known by many, now only remembered by few. A story that starts when the world was ruled by animals and the most feared among them were the great cats.

That is until one day another animal, who would later be called man, rose up from the rest with their ability to fashion tools and harness fire. While many of the animals thought that one day they would rule supreme, it was man, who proved the most resourceful and before long began to hold dominion over the world.

But as man grew more powerful and spread throughout the lands they encounted great dangers. Not just the normal dangers brought from everyday living, but other dangers, dangers that traveled in the dark, both unseen and unstoppable.

Where these dangers came from man did not and still does not know, however as oblivious as they were to these danger’s origins, over time they become keenly aware of their existence and the taxing toll they brought.

One day, as the story goes, a priest was visited in a dream by Bastet the Goddess of protection whose worshipers said would often appear to men in a variety of cat like forms, and offered the priest a deal. If mankind would place cats above all other animals, second only to man, the Goddess promised that her and her kind would protect man from many of the dangers that plagued them, include the ones beyond their human perceptions.

The priest waited not until morning, but went directly unto Pharaoh that night and relayed the Goddess’ message. And the Pharaoh, having spent much of his reign watching his people fall to numerous aliments and diseases both known and unknown, accepted the Goddess’ offer and began to elevate cats in his kingdom to a status formally reserved only for the Gods.

“And that was the beginning,” the cat continued a sly smile coming across its up till now serious face. “Soon the number of cats grew in the kingdom. Cats were welcomed in all houses, be it the lowest of workers to the mightiest of Pharaohs. Great images were erected in our honor. We became known as the guardians of the thresholds as our figures adorned the doorways of the most common of buildings and statues in our like guarded the grandest of temple entrances.

“From alabaster to bronze to gold, no material was too valuable or too precious not to be used to fashion into our likeness. To kill one of us, even by accident was to bring death upon a person. We protected man from the dangers they feared, both those they could see and those that they could not, and we prospered.”

The mist, having moved not a wisp as the cat recounted its story, slowly began to pulse ever so slightly.

“No,” the cat said sadly as it bowed its head. “Just as it seems your kind has forgotten to pass on the stories to you, so has it been with man. Although they still adorn our likeness on many of the things they make, the reverence of why they should be doing so has been lost. Our pact has been forgotten by them, our story faded over time.”

“Even by the time of the great death our status among mankind had dwindled. Oh, there were many that still treated us kindly, but others treated us as callously as they treated the vermin that was spreading the sickness within their cities. We were cast out to the streets to fend for ourselves. Children threw rocks at us for sport. Our lives and the lives of our kittens had become insignificant, almost disposable to the race who had once worshiped us. But still we continued to honor Bastet’s promise, to guard the houses of man from the pestilence that would attempt to enter their houses at night.”

And with that, the mist fluctuated violently as if suddenly agitated by the cat’s words, only to finally stop when the cat stood up. “Why? Because Bastet made the pact with the humans. She forged the agreement with her words and bound it with the spirits of all the cats who had come before or have yet to come, and therefore only her words can break it and despite all that has happened, all that we have been reduced to, she has yet to do so. Regardless of what we have become, you will find no cat that will break her promise.”

“So with that said, I have been more than patient with you, young traveler. I have let you stay here longer than I should or than any other of my kind would, so I say for the final time, you will return from where you came.”

The mist did nothing. Not a wisp-like tendril nor a fluctuation from within its dark shape until slowly, quite deliberately it began to recede back to the opening between the two rooms. As the mist began to cross the threshold from whence it first appeared, it began to fade from the cat’s keen eyesight until only a small amount was left.

“Do me a favor young one in return for the courtesy I have shown you tonight. Tell your kind my story. Remind them of the pact my kind has made. Impress upon them that for reasons, that sadly may not even be of their own doing, they are not welcome here. And assure them young traveler, that although mankind may have forgotten our charge, we cats have not.”

The cat straightened up with a sense of pride, “We still guard the thresholds.” With the cat’s final words, the mist totally disappeared into the darkness, back to a place the cat knew not where.

Quite content with itself the cat took a few minutes to do a quick grooming before once again settling down on the hardwood floor. By now the sound of the running water had stopped and the hallway had gone quiet.

Finally, the man came out of the small room and walked into the room where he slept, pausing only momentarily to glance back down the hall and speak out loud in the cat’s direction. The cat turned its head in the man’s direction, not because of the words the man spoke, but to watch as the man walked through the doorway into his bedroom.

And the cat watched, remembering Bastet’s promise. But this time the threshold remained still, so the cat lowered its head and closed its eyes. The dwellers of the house would sleep through the night, so he too could rest for a while.

And just as the cat began to dose off and the last traces of reality slipped from his mind to be replaced by the siren like song of Morpheus, a voice sounded in the distance. It was weak, as if it had traveled untold distances to finally reach him. A voice that he didn’t recognize, but seemed as familiar to him as if it were his own.

“You have kept my promise well, my child. You have earned your rest.”

black-cat-3608
Guarding the Threshold…Like every cat does.

EVP Session, Historic Firehouse, Salem Mass.

I thought I’d do some not-exactly-beer-related posts in observance of the Halloween season just to have some outside of the norm fun.

While traveling, when Tracey and I are not seeking out the local beers and the various establishments that sell them, we’re searching for the local historic, and supposedly haunted places, to rest our weary heads for, hopefully, a not so restful night’s sleep.

My fascination with the paranormal is quite simply an extension of other aspects of my personality – my love for horror movies, occult, Halloween, and generally anything from TV shows like the Adams Family to things that might really be going bump in the night.

Do ghosts exist? I don’t know and I suppose to a large degree that’s what fascinates me about the topic. Certainly there’s a lot of supposed ‘evidence’ out there but I won’t deny that much of it is suspect at best, fraudulent at worst.

human-stories

But every now and then you come across something that seriously defies scientific or rational explanation, and it’s those times that really catch my curiosity.

Pseudo-science you say? Perhaps. But I spend all my working time in the real scientific would, and sometimes it’s just fun to let all of that hard, locked into the laws of Newton, Archimedes, Fermi, Kepler, Schrodinger, Hubble, and Cooper/Hofstadter stuff fade into the background for a bit and imagine ‘what if?’.

I suppose it can all be summed up by one of my favorite quotes by Thomas Hardy, “Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.”

So with that in mind, I present some recordings I captured a few years ago during an EVP recording session while Tracey and I were spending a long weekend in Salem, Massachusetts (a more beer-centric view can be found here).

Along with graveyard tours, historical presentations and museum exhibitions, we got the chance to investigate with Paranormal Salem in the old Historical Firehouse that’s well known for its paranormal activity.

For those new to the game, EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon the premise of which is that under the right conditions and with the proper equipment voices of spirits can be captured as recordings

What those ‘right conditions’ and ‘proper equipment’ are varies from investigator to investigator, but many believe that all you need is a recorder and a haunted spot.

The audio samples below were captured on my handheld digital record during the EVP session which was held in the basement of the old firehouse. The session consisted of various people led by a representative from Paranormal Salem. All errant sounds were tagged – in other words a statement about the sound was spoken out load so as to not contaminate the recordings.

The sound file from my recorder was dropped into Audacity and split into the smaller samples that you hear below. The sound file was not altered or enhanced in anyway and all sounds and voices are exactly as taken off the recorder. Some fidelity was lost converting them to their current format, but other than that they are totally as recorded at the firehouse.

For each file a question mark will pop up at the point of the interesting sound or voice. I’ve hidden what I think it is saying (if I have a guess) between the two sets of ** so that you can have a chance to guess for yourself before seeing what we think it is. Just select the space between them to see what we think it says.

As with all these types of recordings, you might get better results if you’re listening through headphones.

We’ll start with the least interesting and work up.

The first one isn’t much, just an odd sound you can hear after the girl gets done asking her question:

After Tracey asks if the ghost known as the Boy in the Corner likes to play jokes, she appears to get an answer: What we think it says : **YES**

Another woman in the group asks for one of the ghosts to announce its favorite color. While I think I know what it seems to be saying, I find the choice rather interesting: What we think it says **White**

According to stories, the Boy in the Corner is often heard crying, when asked why that is, the answer seemed pretty clear: What we think it says **Daddy**

I have to admit, the first time I heard that last one I got chills.

Looking at it from an investigation standpoint, I’d say this was a pretty good collection of EVPs with that last one being very good. Unfortunately, nothing showed up in an photos we took.

We had a great time investigating with Paranormal Salem, not only at the Firehouse, but Tracey got to have a very good divining rod session out in the old graveyard and witches’ memorial. If you’re ever up in Salem and are interested in the paranormal you can investigate with them as well. You can find information on their group and investigative tours here.

In a few weeks we’ll be back in Gettysburg staying at the  infamous Sarah Black room at the Farnsworth Inn. Hopefully we can scare up something there. If we do, maybe I share it the next time Halloween comes around.

Until then –  Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh!

Pesky Apparitions That Annoy a Beer Loving Home Haunter

As I said in my last post, for me October = Halloween.  It’s been that way since I was a kid running around the neighborhood trying to load up on as much candy as I could possibly drag back to my house.  Only taking a break from my task half way through my route to hit Mrs Bill’s house to get a carb/sugar boost from the caramel covered apples she’d make (a sad statement on society today that this is no longer acceptable practice).

Whatever this odd neuron in my head was that made Halloween my favorite holiday (or observance if you want to get picky) also spilled into my normal life.  I love horror movies and books.  Enjoy going to haunted attractions just to see “how they’re done stuff”.  And now sit for hours watching SYFY channel’s Faceoff with my daughter because watching makeup artists turn people into monsters is just way cool.  TV?  Yeah, well I’ll admit that shows like Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Archer do slip into the mix; but really my viewing schedule revolves more heavily around the likes of The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Ghost Hunters.

So it’s no surprise that when I bought my house, the first thing I thought of was, “I wonder how many Trick-or-Treaters we get?”  Ok, the first thing I thought was, “Really?  She want’s me to pull up all these carpets in the living room, dinning room and hallway and resurface the hardwood floors?”  But work with me here.

And consequently the home haunt has been growing as every year we try to add something different to the every expanding collection that now takes up a closet I built in the basement that runs the whole width of one room.  It’s fun, the kids like it and every year it allows me to let my creative side loose and do things you normally don’t get in our 9 to 5 pre-apocalyptic world.  And of course it stands to reason that while all this is happening, I like drinking some good Halloween themed beers, and I have a few favorites.  But during these times the house is also full of pesky poltergeists that can just annoy the crap out of you when all you want to do is paint some tombstones and drink some good beer.

First we have skeletons, the pretentious douches of the home haunt world.   Although in their native element they would be relatively inexpensive “4th class non-medical grade skeletons”, these boney bastards (known as buckies in the home haunt world) immediately take on an air of cocky, self-importance when they walk into a home haunt.  They seem happy to do nothing; sitting around in chairs and on workbench tops until the big night, only then gracing the world with their presence.  Their only task during this “down time” between their exile in the closet and the “big night” seems to be stealing beer from the fridge and drinking it, which is both useless and wasteful from a skeleton’s perspective as all you have at the end of the night are a bunch of Buckies sitting around in pools of wasted beer, which is a sadder thought than a drunk sitting in his own urine.  I mean, at least he got some benefit from it!  But as they don’t care about things like ownership, beer rules or manners they simply ignore these facts and will drain a beer fridge dry if not kept a careful watch on.

Skeleton

In comparison, pumpkins are usually about as unassuming as the scrubby next to the kitchen sink.  If you have no use for it for long enough; you might forget that it’s actually there.  Quiet and reserved, pumpkins don’t seem to get flustered by much, even as you’re taking a sharp kitchen knife to the top of one of their comrades.  But it is at this point that the Jekyll/Hyde nature of pumpkins comes out for, like Gremlins, they should come with a set of rules: don’t burn kerosene soaked toilet paper in them, and don’t give them evil faces.  For indeed, pumpkins quickly assume the personality of whatever face you give them changing them from quiet, cooperative gourds into obnoxious bullies that can be possibly quite difficult to handle.  One of the push buttons of a carved pumpkin is the almost relentless protectiveness that they adopt about their brethren in other forms.  So if you don’t want a patch of wicked Will-o’-the-wisps in your work room; never offer a carved pumpkin a slice of pumpkin pie, and be careful that they don’t notice that the beer you’re sipping on is a pumpkin ale.

killer pumpkin

Ghosts on the other hand are truly passive.  They’re usually residual in nature; continuously doing the same thing again and again (like the one that appears on our deck every year on Halloween night) without noticing or reacting to whoever might be around.  Sometimes you find an intelligent one however; one that seems to be desperately trying to reach out and get your attention.  This could manifest as simple noises, appearing in mirrors or photos, to just making the dog bark.  But some like to let you know that they’re about by moving objects when you’re not looking.  And nothing is more annoying than having your beer disappear from the work bench, only to find it hours later (sometimes empty) on top of the refrigerator upstairs in the kitchen.  If asked politely, ghosts will often return the beer or at least move it a little closer towards you but you can bet that a good portion of it will be gone.  I suspect they use the beer as energy to manifest themselves enough to move the bottle; which is why you always find it more empty than the last time you saw it.  Anyway, that’s what I’m going with.  This one isn’t the one that haunts my deck, but looks amazingly similar.

From a beer lover’s perspective, Zombies are an issue only by their destructive nature.  They don’t give a crap about the beer you’re holding or in fact beer at all which in many ways makes them more annoying than the other entities above.  As proof of this, I point to this season’s premiere episode of The Walking Dead.  While in a convenience store looking for supplies, the group is descended (literally) upon by a hoard of zombies, all of which shamefully ignore the Terripan Brewery and Sweetwater cases that are stacked at an end cap just ripe for the taking.

Dude!  Forget about eating the guy.  Grab the BEER!
Dude! Forget about eating the guy. Grab the BEER! (Beer Street Journal/AMC)

No, instead they ignore this potential party in the making to eat a couple of members of the group and pointlessly destroy cases of beer and shelves full of wine.  Dicks.  But as unwelcome as they are at frat parties, weddings or airplanes, they are invaluable at the home haunt, but must be contained with great care.  Because as I pointed out, although they might not want to drink your beer, they have no remorse in destroying it while they’re trying to eat you.

In comparison crows and ravens are perfectly harmless.  These birds have no real desire for beer, or in fact for anything you have except corn or seed.  But they do have the annoying penchant for gathering in murders and ominously watching you as you try to get things done.  They seem to have an eerie knack of staring at you accusingly like a Catholic High school Nun or your significant other after a night out with the boys.  This can be quite creepy, especially if you’ve ever watched “The Birds”, and can easily distract you from the task at hand.  They can also be stubborn and aggressive, especially when  you’re attempting to shoo one off your bottle of beer.

Crows

Lastly, Ghouls are a home haunter’s best friends.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the two that do “black light magic” in my living room window every year for 20 and 16 years now.  They’re helpful around the haunt, quick to set stuff up and are always coming up with new ways to scare people.  And although they aren’t human, they have no problem abiding by our laws in such that, since neither of them are over the ages of 21, neither of them seem overly compelled to steal the haunt’s beer.  In fact, often the only time they come in contact with one is when asked to bring one from the fridge.  Beyond that they are indispensable at keeping the other creatures in line, making sure that no matter what issues they have, they are where they need to be, doing what they need to be doing on the big night.

ghouls
A video of the ghouls doing their thing. Click on the photo to watch.

Ghouls and beer.  You can’t have enough on Halloween.

Happy Halloween everyone.  And to my Celtic friends, Blessed Samhain!

Brew Review – Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale

Ah, Halloween.  It means different things to different people.  For some, Samhain is the time when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead “slips” allowing one to cross into the other.  For those of the Celtic tradition, it’s the beginning of a New Year.  For others, it’s a time to let your your inner kid shine, turning the front yard into a cemetery and firing up the fog machines.  Some enjoy scanning the channels hoping to find some horror movie to watch; either one they haven’t seen before or an old favorite.  And of course there those that simply see Halloween as a chance to “bribe” the neighborhood kids into leaving their property alone for another year.  Then there are people like me who take a little bit from all those outlooks and wrap them up into one fun time of the year.

When I was married, the ex and I would throw the big Halloween party every year, The Danse Macabre.  Every year we’d invite our friends to come dressed along some particular theme, favorite TV star, sci-fi, favorite dead person (a popular one that we ended up sticking with).  Being a beer nerd, I always looked for “Halloween” related beers to serve.  Brews like Wytchwood’s Hobgoblin, Delirium Tremens and Moorhouse’s Black Cat, were regular guests at my party.  So you can imagine my joy when one day I stumbled upon Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, the next “beer that I drink a lot of” that I’d like to talk about.

THEM: If you look at the specs on the website you’ll find them a little different from the information I’m about to give you.  Apparently the beer has been “tweeked” over the years and no one has bothered to update them.  This information comes from Rogue’s brew master John Mair from an episode of  “The Jamil Show” on The Brewing Network.  The grain bill for this German maibock is a mixture 2-row (67%) , Maier Munich (23%) and Carastan (10%) ; and hopped to 40IBUs with Perle.  There is an addition of Sterling (replacing Saaz) in the whirlpool at the end of the boil.  The starting gravity targets at 1.065 (16 Plato) and is then fermented to 6.6% ABV with their Pacman yeast.

ME: Dead Guy Ale pours orange in color with a tinge of honey and a medium head that dissipates into an island of thin lace on the top.  There is no way to describe the nose except for malt and caramel.  No hops, no tropical fruit, no pine; just an aroma that reminds you of a freshly unwrapped candy bar on Halloween night.  The flavor is inline with the aroma; malt, caramel, hints of toffee with some possible honey dancing around in there.  The middle is creamy without a bite from the carbonation to interrupt the smooth confection like flavors.  The end follows the same formula, enough clean bitter to give the beer some balance, but not take it away from what has already been presented in the profile – malty goodness.

If you lean towards the malt side of the beer flavor profile, then this is a beer you definitely want to check out.  Depending on how roguish you feel Dead Guy comes in a variety of sizes from a 12oz bottle, 22oz bomber and a 64oz growler (the latter of which is commonly available in my neck of the woods).  Also of interest, bottles labeled around the Halloween time frame every year will glow in the dark, allowing you to find your beer no matter how dark your dungeon or crypt is.  Very considerate I’d say.

Time for another beer.

Halloween – A Craftbeer Lover’s Night of Trick-or-Treating.

Not a bad Trick-or-Treat haul. We have awesome neighbors!

Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you, “Halloween is Ed’s favorite holiday.”  Yeah I know, some people don’t see it as a holiday but there’s a lot of historical data to back me up.  It’s steeped in Celtic traditions as well as borrowing heavily from cultures all around the world.

Of course the great thing about Halloween when we were young was trick-or-treating.  Walking around the neighborhood in a scary outfit looking for the house that was giving out the best candy.  Fun wasn’t it.  Well just because we’re a little older now doesn’t mean we can’t relive the fun of trick-or-treats.  And of course there’s no reason why we can’t look for something a little more enticing than candy, right?   Let’s walk around the neighborhood.

The first part of our development that we’re going to go to is USA street. No discussion on Halloween beers would be without  Dead Guy ale.  This Maibock style beer is brewed with Harrington and Klages malts and hopped with Perle and Saaz.  Rogue uses their Pacman yeast to ferment.  Dead Guy is a fine malty glass of beer, even if you don’t like Halloween you should seek it out.  Luckily, the Rogue house we stop at first is giving it out.  Hey! Where did you get that  Halloween ale?  Oh, over there at the Gritty McDuff’s while I was looking through my bag.  Nice.  Maybe I’ll come back and hit them later.

Next door is Appalachian Brewing with their 666 ale.  I recently had this and really enjoyed it.  I’m happy to see it dropped into my bag.  Next door is the  DuClaw family.  You get Hellrazer and I get Mysterium – Charlie Brown gets a rock.  Will that kid never catch a break?  We find out later that they were also giving out Devil’s Milk.  Oh well, maybe next year.  Passing by a house that’s obviously giving out Bud we arrive at the Weyerbacher residence.  What would Halloween be without a little Insanity?  Pretty boring really.  The final house on the street is the New Holland house.  They’re giving out Ichabod.  We might have to go back later for seconds.  Maybe they won’t remember we were here earlier.

Some Halloween time favorites.

Next we go over to England lane where the first house is the Young’s  giving out Old Nick, a barlywine that I have to admit at the time of this writing I’m not sure they still make.  Consider it a ghost.  Moorhouse is the house on the left.  Their trio Black Cat, Blonde Witch and Pendle Witch’s Brew make a fine addition to our treat bag.  We walk across the street to the finely decorated  Wytchwood house.   And with names like Scarecrow, Hobgoblin, Wychcraft and King Goblin they really add to the Halloween spirit.

What?  Stop at the house giving out candy apples?  Sure why not.  I could use a snack.

Turning left we walk down the side street of  Belgium place.  The first house is giving out brouwerij riva s.a’s Lucifer, nice!  The lady in the next house gives us Duvel – which she tells us translates into Devil from several local dialects.  Two houses down are the Fantome’s where we each get a bottle of Black Ghost.  Our treat bag is getting heavy – we might have to go back home to drop off some stuff.

Belgium place tees into France Rue.  Where we get a bottle of Belzebuth from the Brasserie Grain d’Org house.  And down the road we get a Les Brasseurs de Gayant. from the La Biere du Demon family.  Nice folks!

Not sure why this guy died, but we suspect it was from lack of craft beer!

 

At this point we realize that our bags are full.  Not only have hit the best houses in the neighborhood, but in between we picked up some nice Pumpkin beers as well.  It’s getting late, better get home.  After all, the best part about  Halloween is going through your bag and drinking some of  your treats!  One last house as we turn back on to USA street are our neighbors the  Brooklyn’s .  Since they know us they pull out the special stuff :Monster Ale – different vintages!  Looks like the makings of a vertical!

Hope your treat bag was filled with your favorite beers, Halloween or otherwise.  Time for another beer.

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