When I was asked if I wanted to help brew a beer with my fellow blog cohorts for Bacchus’ upcoming ‘Brumalia Festival’, I thought ‘hells ya!’. The last time I was involved with a Bacchus beer, it was for the Beer Bloggers series back at the end of 2013, and I was sadly (not really sadly, I was living it up) overseas for both the brewing and launch. This time around, however, I was ready and able to join in on the fun.
When the festival was first mentioned, it was touted as an ancient Roman festival to celebrate the God, Bacchus. My first thoughts were that Ross Kendrick’s hubris had gotten the best of him and he was making things up. I mean, he’s a damn good brewer, but a god? So, I dug a bit deeper, and took a look at what Brumalia and the Roman god Bacchus was all about.
After some time spent on the pinnacle of knowledge, Wikipedia, and based on what I read, here’s some things I really hope are incorporated into the festivities this June 20 and 21st at the Capalaba brewery.
- Goat Sacfrice
According to good old Wiki:
Vine-growers would sacrifice goats in honor of Bacchus—for the goat is an enemy of the vine; and they would skin them, fill the skin-bags with air and jump on them.
I wonder what PETA would say about this. Somehow, I don’t feel that liquor and gaming would take too kindly to ritual slaughter of farm animals either. I believe there is a clause in a bars license stating that since spilled blood represents a health and safety issue (it’s really quite slippery), it’s a no-no. Don’t quote me on that one.
We could, however, sacrifice something else. Maybe something a little less alive? Since the goat is the enemy of the vine, lets find the natural foe of good beer. I can think of two. The first is the hatred and animosity of some people that we have in the beer scene. You know who I’m talking about; the ones who have something snarky to say about everything and everyone. Now, I’m not suggesting we ACTUALLY sacrifice them, but we could slaughter their cynicism by coming together in a show of unity and solidarity. With 25 brewers (plus 1 non-brewer blogging group) teaming up with Bacchus, it would appear that sacrifice is already underway.
The other enemy of beer is sunlight. It can make hops go off and make your delicious beer taste foul, so maybe they could sacrifice the sun (fitting as it’s one of the shortest days of the year) by blocking out all the light from outside. This darkened atmosphere sets the mood for the next thing.
- Drunken Roman Sex Parties
Again, Wikipedia to the rescue:
In Livy’s account, the new Bacchic mysteries were originally restricted to women and held only three times a year; but were corrupted by the Etruscan-Greek version, and thereafter drunken men and women of all ages and social classes cavorted in a sexual free-for-all five times a month.
Well, that escalated quickly. This had less to do with Brumalia and more to do with the cults of Bacchus, circa 200 BC. Ross, you sly dog, you. Regardless, with all the windows shut up and the lights dimmed, after trying 26 deliciously dark beers, I could see this happening without any sort of coaxing. It’s cold, you’re drunk, you cuddle up for warmth; things happen.
- Ross Riding in on a Chariot Pulled by Exotic Beasts
His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and bearded satyrs with erect penises. Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers,
Maybe nix the lions and tigers, but he could enter followed by his bearded staff playing pan flutes. Maybe keep them clothed though. Either way, a chariot needs to be there.
If I were a betting man, I’d say that most of my suggestions will not be taken on board, and really, they probably don’t need to be. If you’ve been down to Capalaba for any Bacchus event, you know you’re going to be in for a great time, anyway.
Although the above mentioned is all part of my own sick imagined event, here’s what we DO know about the festival. It’s going to be held on the 20th and 21st of June and will show host to 26 unique dark beverages brewed up in collaboration with Bacchus, including:
Akasha Brewing Company
Bacchus Brewing Co
Beer Bloggers Qld (collaboration beer)
Black Hops Brewing
Beard & Brau
Burleigh Brewing Co
Dainton Family Brewery
Doctors Orders Brewing
Ekim Brewing Co
Four Hearts Brewing Company
Fortitude Brewing/Noisy Minor
White Lies Brewing
I also know there will be an amazing dark saison, hopped with Equinox hops made by the REALLY cool Brisbane beer bloggers. Myself, Darren #1 of 250 Beers, Darren #2 of Craftbeerscapade, Roger from RPMbeer, Judd from Brewed Crude and Bitter, and David from Beer Food Brisbane were privy to a brew day at Bacchus a few weeks back and brought it all together on a recipe devised by Bacchus based on our idea. I’d like to thank Bacchus for letting us come down and drink their beer while we all sat around and watched Darren #2 do most of the work. We were so lazy, we didn’t even come up with a name! This is how you come in:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your clever beer name ideas by midnight on June 6th for a chance to win a one-of-a-king Bacchus Brumalia t-shirt! To help you along with your ideas think along the vein of “bloggers, Brisbane, Brumalia, Equinox, Dark Saison” or anything else you can think of that’s fitting to the beer we made. Winners will be announced early next week!
Make sure to check out the Brumalia event page on Facebook to keep up to date on the festival! It’s also Bacchus Brewing’s 4th birthday, so they can be forgiven for the self-elevation to ‘god’ status…