You’ve probably seen The Cannibal on our “upcoming seasonals” list for a while now. This beer takes a while. It employs a beautiful but slow yeast. It’s consistently a 50-60 day beer for me. The speed of the yeast is unlike its namesake. What the beer does have in common with its namesake is that it’s strong and Belgian. The Cannibal is the first beer I ever named, I’d always just named by beers for their style. I named this one after one of my heroes, Eddy Merckx. Merckx is widely regarded as the best cyclist in history. Since he’s retired no one has been able to match his racing resume. 11 Grand Tour victories, 525 career victories and a 28 year world hour record recently beat by just 10 meters. Straight up baller.
The Cannibal is brewed in tribute to another standout in its field, Duvel. Duvel is the grandfather of this style, so much so that many beers brewed in this style are named after the Devil in tribute to the original (Duvel means devil in Flemish). With Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Devil, Beelzebuth, and Mephistopheles all on the market the industry was out of Devil names. But I figure my name for it is at least something mean and scary.
In addition to being the first beer I’d ever named, The Cannibal was an even bigger first for me. It was my first gold medal at the GABF, and months later my first silver at the world beer cup (with no gold awarded in the category). I think the silver meant more to me than the GABF gold as it was competing against actual Belgian made beers and judged by intertnational judges. It was also particularly satisfying because just days earlier I had sat through a lecture about brewing Belgian styles in which the Belgian speaker said American interpretations of Belgian beer were way off the mark and often undrinkable. By the way, Stewart’s Brewery of Delaware won the only other medal in that category. Take that Belgium!
Anyhow, The Cannibal went on tap yesterday. In plenty of time for the Tour De France Prologue on July 2nd. Try to take home a growler and enjoy a couple while catching a stage of the Tour. It’s truly a great sport.