Hermes

Style

Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Story

The bubbly nature of this ale is inspired by the Olympian god Hermes. The mouthfeel is as light as his winged boots and pays homage to the inventor of the art of fighting. Gladiators had much appreciation for Hermes for it was he that gave them the skill to win battles and, if fate should have it, lead their dead souls to the underworld.

Story provided by http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Hermes.html

HERMES was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travelers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, language and writing, athletic contests and gymnasiums, astronomy and astrology. He was the herald and personal

messenger of Zeus, King of the Gods, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld.

Hermes was depicted as either a handsome and athletic, beardless youth or as an older, bearded man, with winged boots and a herald's wand.

STOCK PHOTO OF HERMES STATUE
STOCK PHOTO OF HERMES STATUE

HERMES MYTHS

As a new-born infant Hermes snuck out of his crib, stole the cattle of the god Apollo, and crafted the first lyre from a tortoise-shell. Zeus was so amused by the young god's antics that he granted him a place as one of the twelve supreme gods of Olympus.

Hermes transformed the tell-tale, herdsman Battos into a stone as punishment for reporting his theft of Apollo's cattle.

He was sent by Zeus to slay the hundred-eyed giant Argos Panoptes who had been commanded by Hera to guard Zeus' paramour Io.

He assisted the hero Perseus in his quest to slay the Gorgon Medusa, providing guidance and gifts from the gods.

Hermes seduced the beautiful princess Khione (Chione) on the same night as his half-brother Apollo.

He gave Odysseus a magical herb to protect the hero from the magic of the treacherous witch Kirke (Circe).

Many other myths are detailed over the following pages.

Being endowed with this shrewdness and sagacity, he was regarded as the author of a variety of inventions, and, besides the lyre and syrinx, he is said to have invented the alphabet, numbers, astronomy, music, the art of fighting, gymnastics, the cultivation of the olive tree, measures, weights, and many other things. (Plut. Sympos. ix. 3; Diod. l.c. and v. 75; Hygin. Fab. 277.) The powers which he possessed himself he conferred upon those mortals and heroes who enjoyed his favor, and all who had them were under his especial protection, or are called his sons. (Od. x. 277, &c., xv. 318, &c., xix. 397; Soph. Philoct. 133; Hes. Op. 67; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 18, 1053.)

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Close up of the sculpture of The Dying Gladiator, showing a naked wounded man with the neck torc, 1783 by Franciszek Pinck in the Royal Baths Park, Warsaw, Poland

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Discus thrower (discobolus) a part of the ancient Olympic Games. A Roman copy of the lost bronze Greek original. Isolated on black. (Credit Hermes with Athletic Contests)

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Roman Forum, the center of Ancient Rome

Aroma

Complex with significant fruity esters, moderate spiciness and low to moderate alcohol and hop aromas. Esters are reminiscent of lighter fruits such as pears, oranges or apples. Moderate spicy, peppery phenols. A lot to moderate yet distinctive perfumy, floral hop character is often present. Alcohols are soft, spicy, perfumy and low-to-moderate in intensity. No hot alcohol or solventy aromas. The malt character is light. No diacetyl.

Appearance

Yellow to medium gold in color. Good clarity. Effervescent. Massive, long-lasting, rocky, often beady, white head resulting in characteristic "Belgian lace" on the glass as it fades.

Flavor

Marriage of fruity, spicy and alcohol flavors supported by a soft malt character. Esters are reminiscent of pears, oranges or apples. Low to moderate phenols are peppery in character. A low to moderate spicy hop character is often present. Alcohols are soft, spicy, often a bit sweet and are low-to-moderate in intensity. Bitterness is typically medium to high from a combination of hop bitterness and yeast-produced phenolics. Substantial carbonation and bitterness leads to a dry finish with a low to moderately bitter aftertaste. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel

Light to medium body, although lighter than the substantial gravity would suggest (thanks to candi sugar and high carbonation). Smooth but noticeable alcohol warmth. No hot alcohol or solventy character. Always effervescent. Never astringent.

Overall Impression

A golden, complex, effervescent, strong Belgian-style ale.

History

Originally developed by the Moortgat brewery after WWII as a response to the growing popularity of Pilsner beers.

Comments

Strongly resembles a Tripel, but may be even paler, lighter-bodied and even crisper and drier. References to the devil are included in the names of many commercial examples of this style, referring to their potent alcoholic strength and as a tribute to the original example (Duvel). The best examples are complex and delicate. High carbonation helps to bring out the many flavors and to increase the perception of a dry finish.

ABV 7.5-10% SRM 4-6