Breweries "Visited"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Attack of the Abominable Snow Hippo

Beer #18:  River Horse Brewing Co.'s Belgian Freeze

Today I'm going to tell you about my favorite animal.  No, it's not the dachshund in his natural habit:  

It's the hippopotamus -- the COOLEST MAMMAL EVER!  Why do I enjoy the hippopotamus -- or the river horse in translation -- so much?  One:  Who could argue with that face?  Especially when he's hanging in the river?

Two:  The hippo, despite its quite unwieldy size, can outpace a human for short distances.  So if you piss one off in the wild, you better hope that you have more stamina.

Three:  It was believed that they were so bad ass that they sweated blood.  Thankfully science has proven that they do not in fact sweat blood, but rather a natural oil that acts as germ protection as well as sun screen.  Heck I'd sign up for this feature if I could!  I spend a fortune on sunscreen.

Four:  Egyptians both feared and honored hippos.  Fear due to the hippo's tendency to hang out in the Nile River.  Honor as the hippo represented the goddess who protected women during childbirth.  Sadly I learned that hippos no longer roam the Nile River while I was visiting Egypt.  But hippo figures abound such as this one:

(courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
I would have preferred to use a photo from The Egyptian Museum in Cairo; however, Arab Spring must have taken down the website because I couldn't get the link to work.  This one is made of blue faience.  Faience is a glazed non-clay ceramic material or silica, composed of crushed quartz or sand, with small amounts of lime, and either natron or plant ash. Its main ingredient was quartz, obtained from sand, or crushed pebbles to which was added an alkali, a bit of lime and ground copper as colorant. When fired, the glaze turns brilliant blue.  Seeing it in person is amazing.  Something that is 2,000 - 3,000 years old should not be so brilliantly blue.  

So in honor of the hippopotamus, the river horse, my favorite mammal, I'm drinking a River Horse Belgian Freeze.  Hailing from Lambertville, New Jersey, this is one river horse that people won't fear.  Unless you get freaked out by crazy beer logos:
(courtesy of the River Horse Brewing Co. website)

The abominable snow hippo turned out to be satisfying on this cold night.  It's malty (go figure, it is me drinking after all!) and has hints of caramel.  I don't notice its spice as much as other Belgian-style ales.  Toward the end of the bottle, I kept getting a hint of something slightly sour...not bad sour, just odd.  I don't know what to make of that.  Sadly I only have one bottle and I can't compare quality between bottles.  Did I get a funky bottle?  Did the spicy brown mustard with dinner mess up my taste buds?  It's a mystery.

Until tomorrow and #19...

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