Cave Penguin Lager went on sale this week at the Hungry Bistro. It’s an American-style dark lager, made with luscious malts from England, Germany, and Belgium. It’s malty and got great body, with a subtle touch of smooth roastiness and caramel flavor. At 5.6% ABV, it’s more of a sipper than a session beer – unless you’re used to beer of this strength, of course. It goes equally well with flavorful food or good conversation.
After seeing Werner Herzog’s documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams a few years ago, I was enchanted with the 32,000-year-old cave paintings in a cave in France. I found it interesting that there were representations of hippos, lions, rhinos, and bison, which are no longer extant in Europe and mused over how the paleolithic artists might render unlikely animals that were never to be found in that region, such as platypuses, whales, or penguins. I made a few pencil sketches and a series of cave wall watercolors and put them away.
I needed a name for this brew and I was looking through my art drawer and found the cave penguin materials. I made a few new hasty sketches and composited them on my computer and there you have it: Cave Penguin Lager. It’s hard to come up with original names for brews nowadays – you’d be surprised how many are taken.
Lagers are beers made with bottom-fermenting yeast and are fermented at lower temperatures than ale yeasts. In this case, I used a flexible San Francisco lager that can ferment at ale temperatures, too. At some point, however, the beer needs to be lagered, or kept in the cold for some time, so that the yeast falls out of suspension and the beer clears. In olden times, caves were used for this purpose. And if you’ve seen Fight Club, there’s a scene in which the protagonist visualizes going into a cave, where he meets his “power animal” – a penguin. Actually, I didn’t remember that until just this moment, but that just goes to show how your subconscious mind is always influencing you.
In conclusion, this is no corporate lager. it’s flavorful, delicious, and satisfying. If you’re one of those people who rejects lager, I urge you to try it, or any of my upcoming Sacre Brew lagers. They ain’t no corporate swill; they’re real lagers.