This September, Dogfish Head -one of my all-time favorite American craft breweries- is releasing a rather unique and delicious sounding ale. Naturally, the name of the ale -Theobroma- is as off-centered as the ingredients used to brew it.
The scientific name Theobroma translates to “food of the gods.” It is the genus name for 22 different species, one of which is cacao. Theobroma cacao, or the cocoa plant, is a small evergreen tree. Its seeds are used to make cocoa and chocolate.
The Mayan believed that the kakaw (cacao) was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other delectable foods to be used by the Mayans. According to Mayan mythology, the Plumed Serpent gave cacao to the Mayans after humans were created from maize by the divine grandmother goddess Xmucane.
The first Europeans to encounter cacao were Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1502. The first real European knowledge about chocolate came in the form of a beverage, which was first introduced to the Spanish at their meeting with Montezuma in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1519.
And now in 2008, Dogfish Head Brewery has bravely constructed its own godly recipe combining the “nectar of the gods” with the “food of the gods.” Fortunately, one does not need to be a god to enjoy this heavenly off-centered ale. Unfortunately, it is a limited release – which means you may need the power of the gods to find it. Either that or you may have to engage in some sort of Mayan ritual and animal sacrifice to appease the gods into sharing it with you. You can guarantee I will be doing back flips over hot flaming coals if it means I get to taste this ale!!!
Here is Dogfish Head’s description of Theobroma from its website:
Availability: Limited Release – 750ml bottles
Release Date: September 2008
This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions. The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1200 BC. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head’s Theobroma (translated into ‘food of the gods’) is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs (from our friends at Askinosie Chocolate), honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).
Theobroma is 10% abv and will be available in Champagne bottles for a September 2008 release.
Special kegs from our test batches may be available earlier in the year at Dogfish events around the country… keep yer eyes peeled!
Label art for Theobroma was designed by our friend Marq Spusta.
Source: Dogfish Head Brewery
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