St. John's Wort Beery Musings And Amusing Beers

Creativity in Action – Doppelbock

One of the things that I try to encourage whenever possible is creativity in the creation of beer, and I feel like there’s no segment of the beer world more ripe for creative brewing than the Doppelbock. Truth be told, I’ve had several Doppelbocks and there is some leeway in terms of flavour, but the big thing seems to be coming up with a good name.

The difficulty here is that many of the good names are already taken by companies that have brewed beer in the past. Cameron’s has their Deviator Doppelbock, which we can only hope will be returning this year. Half Pints seems to be coming out with one called Isolator.

The suffix is the important thing. Because Paulaner named their original Doppelbock Salvator, you’ve got a run on people using the –ator suffix in order to create beer names.

So far, I’ve seen:  Incinerator, Renovator, Debilitator (try getting that through the LCBO), Discombobulator (another one the standards and practices folks might balk at), Perkulator (Coffee flavoured, naturally), Eradicator (big with Kids In The Hall fans), Dominator (big with Fifty Shades fans), and about three different breweries producing a Procrastinator.

I’ve come up with a few which don’t just sound cool; there’s some thought going on here.

ABACINATOR:

This is a specialized number because of the specialized brewing technique used. As we’re all aware, abacination is the practice of heating metal until it’s white hot and then using that metal to blind someone.

Clearly, the way to take advantage of this practice in practical brewing terms is to use a technique from Stein Beer. In Stein beers, they superheat a piece of granite and then drop it into the kettle, thus boiling the wort. In this case, you want to superheat a metal ball and drop it into the kettle. Not only is it slightly safer than granite, because it won’t explode when dropped, it will also likely hold its shape for repeated usage. Fun!

Because it’s superheated, you end up with a sugar coated piece of metal which can then go in the secondary fermenter, hopefully allowing for some natural carbonation.

Pros:You’ve always wanted to superheat a sphere of stainless steel, right? I mean, the great thing is that if you lower it gently into the wort, you can pretend it’s giving you a thumbs up a la Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sort of one of those single, manly tear moments.

Cons: There is the possibility for violent and painful death if you screw up. Also, the sphere can’t talk, so it won’t tell you that it knows now why you cry.

DELIVERATOR:

This is the kind of thing that you have to be a bit careful with announcing if you aren’t already in contact with Neal Stephenson. The first thing to do is approach him on twitter or through his agent and ask his permission to make a beer loosely based on the career of his protagonist in Snow Crash. This is not as unlikely as it sounds since the Cyberpunk masterwork is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The Deliverator is, of course, a samurai pizza deliveryman.

This creates something of a difficulty because you need to somehow engineer a Doppelbock that goes with pizza. This can be very hard because of the acidity in the tomato sauce. Probably, it would end up being something more like a supercharged Vienna Lager, using a lot of Pils and Munich malt, slightly paler in colour than classic examples of the style in order to allow some hopping to shine through.

Pros: You could probably get a lot of publicity making a beer called Deliverator if you managed to get the author on board. You’d also be able to ask him what the hell is up with Enoch Root anyway. Is he immortal? Is there a cogent explanation for that other than that it’s a convenient plot device?

Cons:You don’t really want to annoy Neal Stephenson. He’s a big, intimidating dude.

Don’t mess with Neal Stephenson.

ELIMINATOR:

Eliminator would be a sort of big brother in spirit to Texas’ own Shiner Bock. It’s a deeply Texan beer not only in heritage, but in terms of the labeling, which would clearly owe a great deal of credit to the 1983 ZZ Top album of the same name. Plus, given the content of the album, it’s clear that the beer would require a certain viscosity in order to display legs on the side of the glass.

I know it’s an odd gimmick, but it’s pretty iconic looking

If you wanted to get really esoteric, you could use Rogue brewery’s new technique for harvesting yeast in order to make the beer extra special. Rogue is now famous for having produced a beer with yeast harvested from their brewer’s beard. If ever there was a beard lustrous enough to support a small microclimate, it belongs to ZZ Top. You could harvest two separate strains from Billy and Dusty and do a side by side tasting.

Pros: You might even be able to get the Eliminator care to show up at a launch event if you asked really nicely.

Cons: You don’t wanna know where those beards have been. Also, brewers have already used this name, although my reasoning is cooler.

Just as a warning, you’ll want to avoid these ones:

Defenestrator – Beer so bad you just want to chuck it out the window

Van Terminator – Hits you like a flying dropkick

Baconator – You should probably be watching your cholesterol

 

These are the kind of thoughts that prevent me from being taken seriously by the marketing folks.

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