BC Beer Baron #280 – Category 12 Zombie Repellant Ale

What do you get when you combine a brewery run by a mad scientist, a dislike of pumpkin-flavoured everything and the Halloween season? This clever release from Category 12 Brewing, which gives drinkers a different fall seasonal option.

The Zombie Repellant Ale is the world’s first ZRA (go ahead, prove me wrong), although it’s more in line with being classified as a Belgian Red Ale. At 6.9% ABV and 49 IBUs, the beverage is highlighted by notes of licorice and sweet orange.

category-12-zombie-repellant-ale

Category 12 also boasts that this release is the first anti-pumpkin brew, referring to fans of pumpkin-spiced treats (particularly beers) as zombies that need to be snapped out of their gourd-loving trance. The brewery warns: “Be vigilant, be prepared.”

If you are concerned about yourself or loved ones, as the pumpkin season continues, you can track down this product in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. I know I’ll be keeping a couple on hand… just in case.

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Indonesia – End of the Line

Tribal Talk

Made up of 18,000 islands, Indonesia is home to many unique people. Perhaps not as visible as people living under the six recognized religions in the country, of which citizens have to pick one and can only marry outside of their religion if one person converts, are the many tribes that inhabit some of those islands. Let’s take a look at some of those fascinating folks!

Korowai

With all the zombie fiction that exists today, it’s not surprising that some have gone on to take it all a little too seriously… but what if those people had no access to any media and up until about 1970, believed they were the only people that existed. Living high above the forest floor in treehouses (which are also used to mark the passage of time), for fear of “walking corpses” at night below, the Korowai are cannibalistic, while also being hunter-gatherers. Numbering 3,000 people, the tribe is expected to vanish with the next generation as more and more young members leave for Dutch missionary settlements.

Cannibal Cold Shoulder

Asmat

Fellow cannibals (not of the Fine Young variety!), the Asmat had a feared reputation as headhunters and just being scary folks. Any explorers landing nearby would be met with loud noises and explosions of white powder, causing them to flee. The group (with a population of 70,000) is famous for their woodcarving, which is collected worldwide, even bringing Michael Rockefeller (yes, of that Rockefeller family) to Indonesia. When Rockefeller disappeared, the Asmat were launched into the public eye and given their way of life, you can only assume what happened to Rockefeller’s never-discovered body.

Iban

Called Sea Dayaks (I think they were trying to be derogatory) by British Colonists, this tribe was constantly at war with other factions and were known for headhunting, both acts necessary for life on an overcrowded island. The skulls collected by Iban warriors were regarded as their most-prized possessions. The people also took a lot of stock in jars and brass instruments, which they believed depicted wealth. Today, the Iban have largely evolved. Although some still live in traditional longhouses, these homes have been equipped with modern technology and utilities.

Yali

At average heights of under five feet, the Yali are officially recognized as pygmies. If you want to visit the Yali, you better be prepared for an arduous journey through treacherous trails that wind through the Jayawijaya Mountains. Once you get there, things may not get much better, as the tribe also has a history of cannibalism, going so far as to grind their victims bones to dust, ensuring they would never return. That said, the tribe’s women get to live in their own houses, while the men reside in communal homes. Each family has their own vegetable garden, so they do have that going for them.

Tribe Clown

Dani

Yet another group of ferocious warriors, who had to constantly fight to hold their land, thought to be the most fertile on the island. Unlike others, the Dani were not cannibals, but they are unique for turning their most honourable chiefs and warriors into smoked mummies, which they gladly put on display for visitors to the tribe. Also, after an enemy was killed, the Dani would engage in a two-day dance-a-thon, showing off weapons and other possessions taken from their victim(s). Sweet potatoes are used as currency, for trade and dowries by the Dani, so make sure to pick up some packs of yam fries before heading to Indonesia.

Mentawai

The Mentawai are easily recognizable thanks to their heavily tattooed bodies and sharpened teeth, which they do because they believe it makes you beautiful and elegant. I’m not sure vampires would agree, but they can’t even see themselves in mirrors anyway! The tattoos are used to record age, social status, and profession. Children receive their first tattoo at 11 or 12 years old on their upper arms. Then, at the age of 18, tattoos are added to the thighs. Finally, the rest of the body, head to toe is tattooed. The tattoos are important for Mentawai afterlife, helping tribal members recognize family based on the designs.

Indonesia: End of the Line

End of the Line Martini

  • 1.5 oz Pisang Ambon
  • 1.5 oz Frangelico
  • Top with Whip Cream
  • Garnish with Crushed Nuts

As people around the world prepare to celebrate the coming of the New Year, another unique Indonesian custom should also be noted: Hindus living there celebrate a Day of Silence, which includes no work, travel, electricity, entertainment, talking, or eating. This causes the streets to empty, the airport to shutdown, and tourists to be restricted to their accomodations. Only emergency vehicles carrying passengers with life-threating issues and women in labor are allowed.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
What a perfectly titled cocktail to end the Around the World project, of which I have greatly enjoyed! And we went out with a bang, as this drink is very good, warming the body and soul. How can you go wrong with combining bananas (Pisang Ambon) and nuts (Frangelico)!? The Crushed Peanuts for garnish were a nice touch for a snack to go along with the martini.

Belgium – Moon Drops

Comic Creations

While Get Fuzzy is the Sip Advisor’s favourite comic and he doesn’t stray too far from that strip (although he loves him the occasional Garfield story), Belgium is known for a few animated legends that have recently been turned into feature film franchises. Let’s take a closer look at these works:

The Adventures of Tintin

First published in 1929, Tintin was created by the artist simply known as Hergé (real name Georges Remi) as part of a newspaper supplement. Tintin books have gone on to become big business, selling more than 350 million copies in over 80 different languages. The character is often described as a native son of Belgium, which is pretty good praise for someone whose best friends are a dog and an oft-drunk sea captain.

Have you ever wondered where the name Tintin came from? The character’s first name is actually Martin and Tintin is a common nickname for people named Martin in French-speaking countries. His dog Snowy is actually called Milou in the French comics, while the detective duo of Thompson and Thomson are named Dupont and Dupond.

Tintin Age

Tintin, a teenage journalist and detective, has travelled the world and even beyond it. He’s had adventures in the Congo, the Soviet Union, China, and even on the moon. If you wish to keep up with his globetrotting, you may be out of luck. Some of the regions he’s visited are completely made up, such as Khemed, Borduria, Syldavia, and Nuevo Rico.

The 2011 film release, involving movie moguls Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, sees Hergé actually appear in the opening scene as the street artist. A Tintin theatrical release had been in the works since the 1980’s, when Spielberg first crafted a script for the Belgian icon. There has also been a Tintin TV cartoon (the Sip Advisor’s first introduction to Tintin adventures), BBC radio show, two French live-action films, stage shows, and publicity stunts.

Belgium Balls

The Smurfs

Created in 1958 by artist Peyo (what’s with all these Belgian comic creators going by a singular name), also known as Pierre Culliford, the Smurfs are branded as Les Schtroumpfs, in French. Peyo came up with the word ‘schtroumpfs’ when he forgot the word for salt at a dinner party and made something up on the spot. Smurf is simply the Dutch translation of the word.

The Smurfs, thanks to their North American TV cartoon, become a pop culture hit in the 1980’s (Smurfmania had already hit the U.K. in the 70’s), spawning their own cereal (including a commercial starring a 13-year-old Jack Black), video games, songs, dance craze, theme park attractions, Ice Capades show, and, of course, lines of toys and other merchandise that kids just had to have.

bring-me-a-smurf

In the beginning, there was only 99 Smurf characters, but that number has risen over the years. Despite the growth in population, there are only three female Smurfs: Smurfette, Sassette, and Nanny Smurf… talk about a sausage party! Some Smurfs from the original comics never made the crossover to TV and film. These characters include Alchemist Smurf, Timid Smurf, Enamored Smurf, Finance Smurf, Lumberjack Smurf, and Navigator Smurf.

The Smurfs helped create modern zombies, thanks to a 1959 comic called ‘The Black Smurfs’ (‘The Purple Smurfs’ in North America). The story was about a Smurf being bitten by an insect, before going around and biting other Smurfs, turning them into aggressive, living-dead beings. This comic was released years before George A. Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and featured the birth of Grouchy Smurf, the patient zero who never regained his full Smurf senses following the outbreak.

Belgium: Moon Drops

Moon Drops Cocktail

Belgium has been dubbed ‘Home of the Comic Strip’ and these panels are considered to be an important part of Belgian life. Next time the Sip Advisor is visiting, he will certainly sit down with a Tintin or Smurfs anthology and give it a read. Some Belgian beer will help with the language barrier!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was simple, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The drops of Sherry floated on top of the drink, gave the brew a unique taste and made it look neat with that hazy red colour. Stella is a clean, crisp and easy to drink beer.