10 July 2008

Homebrewing: At Wit's End

I think there is something inherent in being a classically-trained musician that lends itself to a penchant for puns. I have known quite a number of conductors, theorists, composers, and church musicians over the years who all had something of a soft spot (if not an obsession) with the games of wordplay. And those of you who know me even a little realize that I am not immune to this disease (or is it a gift...?). In fact, one reason for my choice of Brewery nomenclature was the vast array of punning potential. (Just wait till I get my lagering fridge -- you know that Johann Sebastian Bock is on the way!!)

When one is handed the gift of a beer style most often called Wit, it seems indeed that the paronomasial gods are smiling. I finally decided on subtlety for this one -- Wit (also Witte), after all, is simply Flemish for "White." Hence, the little-known Robert White, of Lamentations of Jeremiah (should-be-) fame. Once I discovered, however, a 17th-century Flemish painter named Edouard Witte (a near-contemporary of White, and best-known for his perspective canvases of brightly-lit church interiors), I knew what was going on my label.

The beer itself? Well, I once again made the mistake of sampling the brew too early, before giving it ample time to set itself up in the bottle (the result: a hugely powerful and overwhelming nose of musty cellar, and something soapy. The same thing happened with my IPA, and the only thing it took to remove it was time). My plan is to do a genuine sample-tasting this evening. Hopefully the neonascent aromas will have dissipated themselves by this point (nearly 3 weeks since bottling).

Next up: a mostly-organic Nut Brown Ale.


AAK said...


The Nut-brown Lass, by Henry Purcell

A Health, a health to the Nut-brown Lass
with the Hazle Hyes,
She that has good Eyes has also good Thighs,
let it pays, let it pays.
As much to the livelier Gray,
They're as good by night as day,
She that has good Eyes has also good Thighs,
Drink away, drink away.
I'll pledge, Sir, I'll pledge,
What ho some wine, here some wine to mine,
And to thine, to thine, to thine,
And to mine the Colours are Divine.
But Oh, the black eyes,
the black give me as much again,
And let it be Sack.
She that has good Eyes has also good Thighs,
And a better knack.

Mark aka "Perm" said...

I was kinda thinking of
William Byrd's Browning Ale

Browning, an olde English folksong as set by Byrd

The leaves bee green
The nuttes be browne
They hange so high
They will not come downe.

I must say yours has a bit more life to it.

AAK said...

Both are rich in innuendo, though.