Monday, August 10, 2009

A Little Background on Boulevard's New Beer

The next Smokestack Series scheduled to hit the shelves will be a Doppelbock bearing the name Seeyoulator. I haven't tasted it yet, but I thought I might share a little background on the name and the history of doppelbocks.

Doppelbocks are a thick, rich beer brewed as "liquid bread" by German monks to sustain themselves through Lenten days of fasting, when the ban on solid food was made merciful by the flowing of an extra-strong, chewy lager. A doppelbock has a rich mouthfeel, enhanced with generous amounts of protein and unfermentable malt sugars.

Originally brewed by the vegetarian Paulaner monks in the mid-1600s, Salvator Doppelbock was viewed as such a wonderful indulgence that some of the more worry-prone monks thought it wise to gain papal approval for drinking this liquid bread during Lent. So, they sent a barrel of it to the Vatican, for the Pope to sample. Sanitation and refrigeration in the 17th century were non-existent, and, when the Pope finally tasted the soured, nasty beer, he deemed it an appropriate drink for those doing penance during Lent, and, thus, the monks of Paulaner were given specific Papal approval to brew and drink Salvator during a season when everyone else was suffering.

The monks always called their beer Salvator, though the reason for the name is the subject of some debate.
The name Salvator is another unsolvable mystery. Some say that the monks referred to their sustaining and gladdening brew as Saintly Father Beer or Sankt-Vater-Beir from which Salvator derived. Another theory states that it comes from a passage in the Paulaner’s benediction, “ad sanctum Salvatorem.”

When other breweries began imitating this luscious liquid, they adopted a convention of ending the name of their versions with the -ator suffix. Perhaps such a strong beer leads to quarrels, for there is dispute about whether this convention was intended to pay homage to the original, or whether it was an attempt to cash in on its fame and good reputation.

Soon we will get to try Boulevard's version of the style. When you pop the cork on the first bottle, raise a toast to the good vegetarian monks of Paulaner, and say the name "Seeyoulator" with the reverence befitting a centuries-old tradition.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are finally walking your stride. I think your could do this sitting down.

8/10/2009 7:05 PM  
Blogger A Librarian said...

I think this event calls for a Happy Hour or beer tasting.

8/18/2009 5:59 PM  

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