Rogue brewery is a beer company that really likes to do a lot of gimmicky beers. In the past they've partnered up with Voodoo Donuts to create a maple bacon beer and they constantly have strange experimental beers like "Let's use the yeast strain we found in our head brewers beard!".
Well, it looks like they just taken it one step further into the realm of stupidity as they're planning to make a special beer in honor of Powell's Book Store's anniversary. The special ingredient? Moby Dick
Powell’s Books and Rogue Ales and Spirits, two unique Oregon businesses, have collaborated to create a beer that’s dedicated to everyone with a thirst for books and artisan craft beer – White Whale Ale.I have to wonder, is even putting printing ink into a beer all that safe?
White Whale Ale is infused with the sea-faring spirit of Moby Dick. Michael and Emily Powell took pages from a copy of the book and, along with Rogue brewmaster, John Maier, placed them into the brew kettle. Moby Dick is especially meaningful to Michael Powell, who was inspired to become a bookseller when he found a first edition of the novel in a box of books he’s purchased.
At least Voodoo donut was at least a shot at what they were trying to emulate. I don't get the point of putting several pages of Moby Dick into a beer. It'll add nothing to the taste that you could at least say "Hey, this taste just like Moby Dick!" so it's pretty much pointless. How about, you know, going for something like Melville's opus as it's probably the single most densely symbolic work of American literature. They're just too lazy to use an actual ingredient or tailor the recipe of a beer from literature or do some research for the period it took place.
Nope! Let's just chuck some pages of a book in there. How fucking lazy. Rogue has safely taken the crown from Dogfish Head as the brewery with the dumbest gimmick beers. Though for once you will know why people describe a rogue beer as papery and cardboardy flavored.
It would be one thing if it had been done with an actual 1st edition of Moby Dick. And that's a huge MAYBE, Mainly because after some time, the chemicals used in books could break down and create a vanilla-like aroma to form. It's why old books smell so good. But chances are these pages were from the last half-century and this is going to taste like eating a ream of paper. Though let's be honest, it would have tasted bad anyway.
When it's all said and done, this is just incredibly stupid and pointless and just paints craft beer drinkers in a light that we actually tolerate this stupidity. Though, I guess I should be pleased that they aren't using a real whale's dick to brew it.