This beer started with the name. I remember enjoying the Illuminatus! trilogy in my teenage science-fiction-devouring years, though only a few of the most salient details of the books stick in my mind today. The central premise—”What if just one conspiracy theory, but every conspiracy theory, is actually true?”—is weirdly where we seem to be today.
So what would a beer brewed for our secret masters be like? It would be strong, so probably a stout. It would keep its true nature hidden—so a lighter color. A white stout, then—not too dark, but getting its stout flavor from fermentation over coffee beans and cacao nibs.
But how to be purposefully confusing? Then I learned about Omega’s Bananza yeast—a variant of a Hefeweizen strain that’s been CRISPR-edited to generate only banana esters. That was the missing piece of the puzzle: both confusing and delicious. Who doesn’t like a chocolate banana?
This is a fun beer, but probably needs to be imbibed when young; as it’s aged it’s taken on some green pepper character. Still rich and mysterious, just not as playful.
As soon as I knew what the beer was, I was visited by the image of a Cthulu-headed supersoldier in body armor descending from a UN black helicopter with a beer in his hand. Laura helped bring this vision to reality and encode a bunch of Illuminatus imagery into it. I thought the primary symbol was blindingly obvious and I’m surprised how many people simply fail to find it. Some people just can’t see the fnords.
Uncle Jim is an alter ego of Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls. He appears to be both a beat poet and CIA agent who’s gone so deep cover he’s become Mr. Kurtz. Probably a shaman, too. I’m pretty sure the only thing he drinks is bourbon.