My name’s Guybrush Threepwood and I’m a mighty pirate. I’m also moderately enthusiastic about Grog – or “Craft Beer” as folks like to call it these days.
I first met award-winning homebrewer Andy Parker on Mêlée Island a few years back, way before he went pro and launched his business, Elusive Brewing, proper. We met on a crossroads at dusk where we drew blades. Boy, he could hurl insults like the best of them.
“You fight like a dairy farmer,” I yelled. “How appropriate, you fight like a cow,” was his witty riposte. Why, if it weren’t for my knowledge of the Sword Master’s insults he would have almost certainly nearly defeated me.
A few months later I was stranded on the legendary Monkey Island where once again I came across Andy, along with a hermit who went by the name of Herman Toothrot. As I recall, Andy and Herman were attempting to brew up a viciously effective batch of Grog but unfortunately they were out of both kerosene and battery acid – both key components in a good Grog recipe.
Utilising his brewing know-what, Andy instead used the only ingredients he had to hand: malted barley, wheat, yeast, North American Centennial hops and rum-soaked raisins. He named the finished beer in honour of Herman, who became a close friend of his while stranded on that godforsaken island. At the time I remember Andy remarking that the beer had mildly psychotropic properties – I’m not sure it did but then I’m convinced everyone saw that three-headed monkey.
Sadly, with there not being enough room on my ship, Herman and I left Andy on Monkey Island and I assumed he would have been taken by either the native cannibals, or perhaps the Dread Pirate, LeChuck. Thankfully, I later discovered that he survived and I was relieved to learn that he’s now brewing professionally in the town of Finchampstead, near Reading.
I was heartened to see that he’s re-brewed Herman Toothrot’s Ale in collaboration with fellow Berkshire brewery, Wild Weather Ales. In fact I’d go as far as to say it's tasting even better, with lots of spice from the Centennial hops matching the boozy sweetness from the rum-soaked fruit.
It could do with a touch more kerosene to meet my personal taste, but as a fearsome, grog-swilling pirate, my palate is more difficult to satisfy than most.
Music Pairing: The Lemonheads – My Drug Buddy
If you find yourself a little puzzled by this months instalment of NMH then, unlike Andy and myself you never spent hours and hours playing the Monkey Island video games as a kid. (It’s not too late, you can play it here.)
Since Elusive Brewing launched last year, Andy’s beers have done nothing but impress, picking up a string of well-deserved awards along the way. If you’re not convinced yet then you’re probably only a bottle of Herman Toothrot away from joining the enlightened.
This isn’t the first time Elusive has collaborated on a beer with Wild Weather. The first in the series was also named after a character from Monkey Island, Lemonhead the cannibal… Which tenuously links me to this week’s song, the blissfully chilled out My Drug Buddy from the Lemonheads. Enjoy!
Find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Get the glorious Elusive Brewing Herman Toothrot and more from the Elusive range in store or head online to get it delivered to your door.