Worthy Brewing

Dark Muse

By in Dark Muse 0

Unbottle Your Genius

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 18:55:00

Barrel Aged Dark Muse
11.3% ABV
60 IBUAll jammed up in the head? Stuck? Stymied? Clogged? Try Barrel Aged Dark Muse Russian Imperial Stout.

In 2014, Worthy filled a dozen Wild Turkey wooden barrels with our deep, rich and silky Dark Muse Russian Imperial Stout. Over two years later, after the benevolent forces of time, bourbon, and oak had a chance to work their magic, there’s only one word to describe this dark creation: Wow.

Those dark, rich and chocolatey notes just got darker and richer. The residual bourbon delivers an oh boy neck-snapping Pow. The oak secretes a soothing warmth. And the toffee, vanilla and molasses notes combine to generate a sweet licorice sensation.

This is the stuff that illuminates the dark places. It doesn’t just open the locked doors — to channel the poet Walt Whitman — it tears the doors from their jambs.

“This is our biggest creation,” beamed Dustin Kellner, Worthy’s Brewmaster, speaking of his brewchild. “The passage of time and the lingering bourbon amped up the ABV to 11.3%, and yet the beer retains that silky smooth drinkability.”

Does it, as at least one certified Bull Goose Looney contends, help “unbottle your genius?”

“I don’t know much about that,” laughed Dustin. “Our owner’s [the BGL] always going off about Aristotle’s weird theory that creativity springs from melancholia, an ‘ill humor’ that supposedly resulted from too much ‘black bile’ –which doesn’t sound very appetizing to me, but I’m a brewer not a philsopher. I guess Aristotle thought a bunch of ‘bile’ was the bedrock of creativity. Sounds awful to me.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily compare our barrel aged Dark Muse to a pipe cleaner, if that’s where Roger’s going, but after a sip I can sort of feel the wheels inside my head move a little easier. Seems to knock off a bit of the rust.”

Naturally, this is a very small batch. We hand-dipped each 22 ounce bottle in gold wax. May not add taste, but it gives off that holiday pinache. Of the total 60 cases, Worthy is offering 30 cases to retailers in Oregon, 15 in Washington, and another 15 here at the pub.

The blend is 60-40, barrel aged to freshly brewed Dark Muse. This rare, gold, hand-dipped wax dipped lubricant sells for $16 a bottle. It’s aged, and it will continue to age well. Ideal as a holiday gift. Perfect for your beer cellar. Helpful, according to the BGL, in opening the mind’s eye.

For maximum liberation potential, we recommend letting the aged stout breathe a bit in your goblet at room temperature, which will help bring out the warm bourbon booziness. Drink up. Dream on.

December 13, 2016

By in Dark Muse, Seattle 0

The Dark Muse Goes to Seattle

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:55:00

It’s the dead of Winter and we needed photo ops of damp, gloomy fog wrapping around our Dark Muse.  Our hypothesis was that the two go together – our Muse and melancholy. So we went to Seattle, where this time of year you should be able to count on being pushed by the dense, dreary fog into a dark-wooded old pub down on the waterfront to warm up and get unstuck with your favorite bottle.

But Seattle’s in the Super Bowl. Instead of darkness at noon we found sunshine, blue skies, and about ten million “12” signs, which symbolizes the “12th Man,” which is the town’s way of saying “we’re on the team, too.”  The town was lousy with good tidings, civic pride and optimism.  No medieval fog.  No brooding disenchantment. Our mission wasn’t going to be easy.

First stop, the fish mongers at the Public Market.  Nothing downbeat here. The monkfish had potential, but instead made me laugh. The slimy octopus tentacles were ghastly, but not exactly grim. They did make me think of Jules Verne’s somewhat dark “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” but on a much smaller scale.

The street musicians outside jammed merrily, fueled by an invisible energy source, obliviously tucked in their own incongruous world.   Nothing bluesy here. The guitarist politely asked me to leave, which was righteous. Artists should be touchy. The pianist kept his eyes shut the whole time, and didn’t notice the fiver I dropped in his bucket. Stopped into a used book store. Being anarchists, they seemed to dig the dark vibes. Or was it nihilists? So far, instead of creeping social constipation, all I was getting was exuberant liberation.  Click-bang, what a hang.

In need of instant inspiration, I stopped into a Hard Rock to shamelessly pose next to a few rockers who left us much too early. Jimi always struck me as mildly impervious to hang ups . “Cllick-bang, what a hang,” he’d say unworriedly, as in:  get over it, sh** happens, move on, convert it.  And we all know The Voodoo Chile didn’t do himself in.  It was the dimwitted girl and the careless medics. They let him gag to death. Cobain? Now he seemed tortured. The real deal.  Hmmm. Please don’t get any ideas here.  The Muse is for romantics.  Truly. BTW, the Dark Muse art was inspired by an album cover another recently departed, my hero Lou Reed. You don’t say?

Where was I? Yes. Searching. Stopped by the Needle, just because. Created by architects in the late 1950s, who probably unjammed with uninspiring suds like Hamm’s, Rainer and Blitz. With all the great beers out today, we should be erecting observation towers exponentially loftier and much more mind-boggling.  Then I got lost, ended up down at the tracks.  Found my way to The Labor Temple, where I said a prayer to all my friends and clients afflicted with asbestos poisoning, and before you could say “Peace, Land and Bread,” I stumbled across a gigantic statue of Vladimir Lenin, perched ominiously in the Fremont district.

It was getting late so stopped at a Church to collect my thoughts. Lots of happy folks in t-shirts out enjoying a scandalously sunny day in Winter. Not alot of fodder to feed the flames of grief, despair, longing or anguish, even if as a properly neurotic environmentalist you should be regarding a heat wave in winter as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

It was dark out and I ambled up to a Renaissancian hotel with gilded cornices and a bronze lion door knocker. There’s got to be bottled up intellectuals and artists in there. Met a charming chap at the foyer, explained my unrequited mission and he sympathetically offered that his Muse in fact was on the cusp of getting all bollixed up. Music to my ears. Finally, a semi-despondent Seattle-ite, who dressed well to boot. So we uncapped our bottle and took a tour of his “lovely lady,” which he whispered conspiratorially was “haunted.”  I love a dapper English bloke who has worked long enough at a historical landmark that he prides himself as being “an exhibit.”  My dour looking docent of course turned out to be a hoot.

Went to bed later with a smile on my face. No, I didn’t validate my hypothesis  that the Dark Muse is best served with melancholy, or madness. It turns out the Muse is best served in a glass, preferably with friends, or strangers who could easily become friends, at a warm and inviting place. Props do help. Mahogany woods, an old rotary dial up phone, an inlaid checkerboard, a crackling fireplace and distressed leather wingback chairs it turns out can facilitate a connection with another time, which means that when you reconnect back to the present, it might just help you better appreciate where you are. Or something.


The Dark Muse – Unbottle Your Genius

Mon, 13 Jan 2014 18:55:00

Aristotle noted back in the day that all great philosophers, artists, and poets were infected with “melancholia,” a disease thought at the time to arise from too much of an ill humor known as “black bile.” Because of it’s association with genius, Aristotle pondered whether an abundance of black bile was a good thing or a bad thing.

Thus began a long tradition of idealizing melancholy as a wellspring for inspired creativity.  From Van Gogh to Sylvia Plath, the melancholic was romanticized as the tormented genius who sits all alone, in the dark, in deep thought, nurturing her sorrow in the noble pursuit of perfect and beautiful clarity.

We’re not sure what “black bile” is, but it doesn’t sound that good. And we’re not sure that “sweet melancholy” is all its cracked up to be. But at Worthy we do appreciate the role that mood plays when you select and enjoy a malted beverage. Whether you’re feeling rosy red or moody blue, our goal is to provide the right beer for you.

Eat, Drink, Ponder

Whatever your disposition, we do believe that each of us is blessed with an inner muse, and it’s a worthy thing to try to draw her out from time to time.  The need for a bit of illumination is especially dear during the winter months, when the skies go dark at noon, and the winds send the snowflakes sideways, and no matter how many logs you throw on the fire, it never seems to get warm enough.

Introducing Worthy’s Dark Muse, our hearty, creamy and voluptuous Imperial Stout.  This is a beer for the thinker. The ponderer. It’s made to be sipped, cradled and inhaled, slowly, methodically, and deliberately. It’s meant to satisfy that yearning for answers, for cutting through the clutter, for breaking things down, and for connecting the dots.

To do any of that, you’re probably going to need the proper lubricant. Something that lights a fire.  Something — channeling Walt Whitman here — that unscrews the locks from the doors, or better yet, something that unscrews the doors themselves from their jambs.

That torch, or prod, or hammer, or burnt offering, or “black bile” activator is the Dark Muse.

Let’s break it down.

Dark as Deep Space

She pours pitch black – mine shaft black, bottom of the ocean black. Thick as a milkshake. Capped with a foamy, two finger, tan mocha head.  Her lacing webs the goblet with a mesmerizing doily pattern that, if you look hard enough, may provide clues as to whereabouts of the nearest exploding black hole.

You don’t need an affliction to enjoy our Dark Muse. But nine out of ten poets, artists and philosophers say when they need a “black bile” activator they reach for The Muse.

Heavy Wort. Imagine a bed of grain so thick that it snapped a stablizing arm on our lauter tun. The Dark Muse did not brew gently into the night.

Is your Muse chained down? For Heaven’s sake liberate her! Crack open a 22 ounce bottle of Dark Muse.

One look at this big black beauty and you fancy the notion that whatever sucks in your life is about to get sucked and sorted out.

Olfactory Frenzy

Against the mental backdrop of a dark night, a deep whiff registers as a thunderous explosion of sweet roasted malt and pungent coffee, like the grande finale of your favorite fireworks show.  The bulb’s no longer as dim. Beguiling tendrils of dark candied fruit, fudge brownie, maple syrup and oatmeal fill in the crevices of the brain like a creeping London fog.

Even for a melancholiac, the gears are starting to shift, and something good’s about to happen.

Opposition is True Friendship*

The malt sweetness almosts freezes time and space.  Almost, but the need to cling to all that roasted goodness gives way without much resistance to a pleasant hop bitterness that’s been emboldened by the electric zing of unsweetened cacao and espresso.  Another swish and dark fruits abound, buttressed by toasted almonds, and brought home with an entrancing bourbon booziness.

Suddenly, opposites begin to attract, dark becomes light, sorrows become joys, braces relax and bright flowers spring forth from the fetid, standing pools of the mind.

The Muse Awakened

The Muse arose not with a stick in its eye, but with a mature joy in its heart.  Blake once wrote that “all deities reside in the human breast.” He meant that in each of us lurks the creative power to imagine and build another, better world.  Tapping that creative force has always been the challenge.

Dark Muse is like that proverbial mother who gently awakes you from a deep and salubrious slumber, initiating that slow and delightful transition from death’s counterfeit to crystalline awareness.  The beer slowly dances on the tongue, languidly, as your consciousness gradually sharpens and expands.  She holds you tight with her full-bodied favors.  You feel the pull of her carbonation and the push of her bluesy, boozy alcohol. The stuff once heavy begins to float.

Dark Muse is an imperial stout that pairs well an inclination to shake up the status quo. The Muse probably won’t alight when all is well. She needs an invitation, which inevitably arises when there’s a disturbance in your melon.  Look, we can’t always be skippy. Sometimes you hit a low. Might as well capitalize – the brain’s lousy with perfectly good seeds – all you need is the elixer to make ‘em grow.

Sludge Hammer

Speaking of unjamming oneself, Dark Muse herself was a bit of a jammer. Chad pumped in so much grain the Muse actually snapped the stainless steel plow stabilizing arm on our lauter tun.  You don’t have to know what a “plow stabilizing arm” is, just picture a bowl of oatmeal so thick that it bends your spoon when you try to stir it.

Dark Muse demanded more sugar, but she gave less nectar.  We normally can count on about 30 barrels a batch. After twice the normal amount of brew time, and about twice the malt bill of our Lights Out stout, the Dark Muse yielded a precious 17 barrels. The brewer’s equivalent to converting carbon into diamonds.

Dark Muse is easily our most potent libation. At 10.1% ABV, she has plenty of candle power.  And yet, for a vintage port surrogate with that eye fluttering bourbon barrel flavor, The Muse is as pleasantly sippable as the rest of our beers are happily drinkable. Extreme Balance, as always, continues to be our code.

Look for our limited edition Dark Muse in a bottle shop near you. We’ll be saving a few kegs for our restaurant.  So if you’re feeling stuck, or just want to sort things out, let our Dark Muse unbottle your inner genius.


* William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793).