Thirsty Thursday: TT Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale
by Ross E. Lockhart
TT Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale from Nectar Ales
Today is Thursday, April 19, which means that tomorrow is April 20, the 111th day of the year (since this is a Leap Year), and the birthdate of three of the 20th century’s most demented, deadly despots: Crispin Glover, Carmen Electra, and Joey Lawrence. For some reason, perhaps the 1992 death of comedian Benny Hill, April 20 has become a cause célèbre for a certain, chemically-altered percentage of the population, an excuse (like they need an excuse) to burn copious amounts of plant matter, listen to strange musics, and howl at the moon like a bunch of wolves.
Last year, I shared a few thoughts on the 4:20 phenomenon, and how it might be rooted in the works of author (and Original Bizarro) H. P. Lovecraft. And while I have better things to do with my time than sit around discussing the merits of one Grateful Dead bootleg over another (and I have been trapped in that conversation a few times), I am a big fan of the WWII-era Department of Agriculture Hemp for Victory propaganda, and can’t help wondering if, indeed, legal cannabis cultivation might be the key to reversing both climate shift and economic turmoil, a subject that—strangely enough—came up earlier this week, when Summoning author Carol Wolf stopped by the Night Shade offices to hang out, nosh hummus, chat, and sign books.
I know zeitgeist when I see it, so in the spirit of 4:20 and 4/20 alike, tonight I’m enjoying a Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale, a Gold Medal-winning brew from Nectar Ales.
Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale pours a deep, opaque red-brown, with a thin, eggshell-tan head that fades away quickly. Thin, spotty lacing trickles down, leaving a clean glass. Roasted malts on the nose, earthy with a touch of cocoa. Earthy malts, nutty grains, and just a touch of sweetness on the tongue. Spices emerge as it warms. Banana bread. Nutmeg? Mid-palate bitterness; could that be the hemp or merely hops? Thin mouthfeel, with moderate carbonation. Astringent against the back of the throat and uvula. Dry finish, with a sweet, nutty roasted hemp seed aftertaste. Nice, but why do I have the munchies?
Literary pairings for those of us who enjoy howling at the moon like a bunch of wolves:
Summoning by Carol Wolf. The World Snake is coming, devourer of Thrace and Atlantis… and the only one standing in its way is Amber, a sixteen-year-old runaway, recently arrived in Los Angeles. Amber is more than just a girl with a stolen ID and an attitude; she is a daughter of the wolf-kind, a shapeshifter able to change forms at will. One night, as Amber prowls the Hollywood Hills in wolf form, she stumbles onto an occult ceremony, interrupting the ritual. As a result, Amber finds herself the unwilling mistress of a handsome demonic servant, Richard. Appearing as a fair youth of eighteen years, Richard is a demon accidentally summoned, then captured, by Dr. John Dee, court magician to Queen Elizabeth I. Richard has been trying for four centuries to free himself from a succession of masters and mistresses, but finds himself bound to Amber, the only one who can protect him from his greatest fear, the herald of the World Snake, the Eater of Souls. But all hell is about to break loose, and Amber and Richard are going to need some allies to stop the Eater of Souls and avert the World Snake, and the battle has only begun. From Carol Wolf comes the urban fantasy debut Summoning, a novel of a wolf girl, a demon boy, and a city on the edge of disaster.
Party Wolves in my Skull by Michael Allen Rose. Norman Spooter awakens one morning to find that his eyeballs have fallen in love with each other. They proceed to tear themselves out of his head, steal his car keys, and take off for parts unknown. So he does what any of us would probably do in that situation… he goes back to bed, hoping it’ll all resolve itself. Unfortunately, in the middle of the night, a pack of WOLVES moves in. The worst thing is, they’re party wolves…
Cripple Wolf by Jeff Burk. Welcome to Fetish Flights, the only airline where BDSM flight attendants service your every need. Aboard a red-eye flight from Tokyo, Japan to Portland, Oregon, a disabled Vietnam vet is harboring a secret. Every full moon he turns into a ravenous killing machine. When he transforms mid-flight and slaughters most of the passengers and crew, a Japanese punk band, a limbless superhero, a Muslim terrorist, and two stoner pilots must fight to stay alive until they reach land. In the spirit of Snakes on a Plane and Tokyo Gore Police, Cripple Wolf is a hilarious, perverted, and hyper-violent ride for fans of video games, comic books and trash culture.
Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland by Carlton Mellick III. They call themselves the Warriors, their enemies call them the Bitches. They are a gang of man-eating, motorcycle-riding, war-hungry werewolf women, and they are the rulers of the wasteland.
Ross E. Lockhart is the managing editor of Night Shade Books. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, he holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and San Francisco State University (MA). In 2011, he edited the acclaimed anthology The Book of Cthulhu. He lives in an old church in Petaluma, CA, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and the conspicuous absence of dog. Visit him online at www.haresrocklots.com.