Learning about the ancient method of torture called Scaphism, Billy Powell, the owner of the Long Island Nightmare Brewing Company, felt that he simply had to brew beer inspired by this creepy practice. It is believed that ancient Persians used scaphism for the first time. They tied the prey between two boats, then forcibly drank it with milk and honey and smeared this mixture on her body to attract insects that alive ate the victim, which led to a slow painful death. Powell embodied this concept in beer by adding milk sugar and honey to it and keeping it on the kernels of cocoa beans and Tahitian vanilla. The result was an imperial stout with a strength of 17%. The number 17 indicates the number of days that, according to the annals, the first victim lived, who was executed by this method.
Nightmare’s Scaphism brand conveys the frankly sinister spirit of this venture, as well as its owner’s boundless love of horror films and death metal. All this inspires him to create one of the most progressive sorts of craft beer in New York. Each can is adorned with an ominous black and white drawing by Defame, an illustrator from St. Louis. Powell notes with a grin that he chose him because he “just like him sees the beautiful in the terrible.” Continue reading
Marika Josephson, co-owner and Scratch Brewing brewer in Ava, is well versed in the production of beer with ingredients that can grow literally in the backyard of the brewery. The maple and birch groves that are owned by this Illinois farmer’s brewery often go into business. When you hear “maple,” the obvious second word is “syrup,” but Scratch brewers have found that using juice makes beer even more interesting.
“We started indulging with the addition of juice when we were still homebrewers, and did not expect it to taste like syrup because it was very liquid; the juice is really watery, but sweet, with a mineral character, says Josephson. “We found that after fermentation, he dried the beer, gave it a mineral character and even esters characteristic of cherry beer.” Continue reading