There once was and there was not a man who came from the damp earth and walked with a smooth bitterness in his step. His eyes were darker than most and when he leaned in to kiss his young love, the smell of his beard reminded her of ripened apricots fallen to ground in late summer and the dense raisin cake her grandmother always brought to the winter solstice table.
They walked together, mostly in the forest, where the other villagers could not see them, nor whisper unkindly about him. When their spirits were high they chased one another, each hiding behind one tree and then the next, darting in and out of the sunlight and eventually falling, together, breathless onto the bed of pine needles on the forest floor. When the moon only rose halfway into the sky, too round and full to heave itself any higher above the earth, she peeked out from behind the tree to find his eyes lit by an unworldly thirst. She ran in earnest then, pushing her legs forward in panic as her heart pounded and the dank earth seemed to rise up and grab at her feet with every step.
When the trembling stopped and her hair greyed, she sat safely wrapped in a blanket by the window, sipping the spiced cocoa her mother reserved for special comforts, as alone each night as the night before. He left town before dawn and every dawn since, leaving her to the hisses of ‘wolfman…’ that floated on the wind around the valley. She yearned for her sunlit love and asked the night, what magic is it in the full moon that changes us so?
Although tall, dark and handsome, this beer drinks like a golden East Coast IPA and rewards drinking year round. Piney with the bitterness and earthiness of pure cacao, it’s balanced with subtle sweetness, suggesting raisins and overripe apricots. Not to be confused with its dark and creamy wintery cousins, fragrant rye gives this beer a light and silky feel in the mouth. Those who like the peppery spice of shiraz will be rewarded by reaching for this beer next time red meat is on the menu.