"Raygun Gothic," they call it - all pneumatic curves and sleek fins blasting through air and space. This was the look of a future that meant rocket vacations to the moon, a fission reactor in every home, and wristwatch television walkie-talkies. Like Cicely, Alaska, I've always wanted to live there.
Humanity has accomplished some of this - I'm sure at least one of you reading this right now has an iWatch on your wrist - but the dream, the one Huge Gernsback had while writing inside his isolator and thinking about "Vacation City" suspended 20,000 feet in the clouds, is out of reach. Maybe not quite so far as I think, though, thanks to Beavertown Brewing of London, and late of America.
People invented the jet engine, split the atom, and realized the sky was no longer the limit. Also: onesies, onesies everywhere.
Raymond Loewy designed a thousand bits of culture, like the Shell oil logo, Studebakers, this train, his own BMW 507, and a pencil sharpener that looks like a disintegration gun. He was an early day Ray Kurzweil of objects and lifestyle. The forward-thinking importers of beer at B.United International, and the aficionados of Forbidden Planet at Beavertown have now come together to bring their atompunk style of beer to the U.S., via Oxford, Connecticut.
Gamma Ray American Pale Ale is a slightly cloudy straw color with a medium head. It's not as aromatic as most American efforts, and has a very mild bitterness of only 45 IBU. It is, however, a fine, fine beer for leaning back, crossing your feet over a railing, and dreaming of teardrop shaped cars, and chrome zeppelins. It was obviously made as an APA for English palettes more easily bruised by the lash of the hop bine, but it also makes for a great hot weather beer during our less temperate American summers. Plus, skeletons shooting rayguns, y'all.
Beavertown is the brainchild of Logan Plant, who was introduced to the joys of American beers after a gig one night at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn where he was singing with his band, Sons of Albion. He returned home, immediately started homebrewing, and never looked back. [Side item: he is, no shit, the son of Robert Plant. I just found that out halfway through researching and writing this column.]
Bloody 'ell is a crystal clear, 7.2% IPA which somehow manages to look just like Bud in a glass. It is also the most American feeling beer I've had from Beavertown. It is made not just with Amarillo, Citra, Magnum and Simcoe hops, but also a nice, spacey dose of blood orange. The familiar northeastern IPAs (Gandhi-Bot, Heady Topper, Space Cakes) tend to be very flowery with their hops, but Bloody 'ell presents much more earthy flavors from the Simcoes and Magnums, and ends with a very pleasing orange oil smack to the aftertaste. All this builds up quite a bit as you drink it down and, trust me, you will want to do plenty of that.
Beavertown's beers are still literally brand new to the U.S. market, but those of you who can't wait to find them at retail should contact Jie Yu right here in order to find them.
Best of luck, and see you out there.