This is it, ladies and gentlemen. Until now, all my talk of beer and literature has been just that: talk. Finally, however, the opportunity has arisen to put my barley where my mouth is. Er…not that I haven’t been doing that all along. You know what I mean.
On Friday, February 27th, Jedediah Berry will be at Amherst Books to celebrate the release of The Manual of Dectection, a beautifully complicated novel about a clandestine detective agency and a meticulous clerk thrust unwillingly into a detective’s role. He does not, as would I, resort to drink under pressure… though there’s a fair amount of whiskey swallowed throughout.
I’m brewing beer for the occasion because home distilling happens to be illegal.
That’s right! This is your chance to taste the beer you’ve heard me rambling about. I brewed a variation on the Maple Pale Ale I made last spring, a mild English stout the homebrew store guys call “Queen Mum’s Breakfast”, and a medieval-style herb beer recipe I’m calling The Legendary Black Beer of Aaaargh! Which is not for the faint of heart. And perhaps I will bring a few other, rarer offerings for those who show up early.
I’ve never brewed this much beer at one time before. Every available dark corner in my house is now stuffed to the gills with beer. And I’m a bit impatient to make room–I have a metheglyn I want to make (mead with herbs) and as soon as spring really rolls around I’m going harvest some fresh juniper sprigs and try juniper beer.
I’ll get into why the sudden fascination with herbs in beer in a week or three, when I talk about the Legendary Black Beer of Python and the influence of late-medieval politics on what beer is today.