Keeping My Head Above Water

Nightmare Brewing Company
Triple India Pale Ale brewed with Moshio Salt
Triple Dry hopped with Pacific Sunrise, Talus and HBC 630 hops
11.3% ABV
North Haven, CT
Founder and Phantom Brewer: Billy Powell

Deep hazy orange-golden with a white head that fades. Before even pouring, I can smell pineapple! After it’s in the glass that pineapple is still persistent, and then mango, and tangerine. It’s crisp and fresh and super nose friendly. Sipping that mango and pineapple along with papaya, lychee, and melon…it’s a delicious tropical fruit bowl with a shake of salt (I always put salt on fruit. Makes the flavor pop more). There’s also a little grass hanging out in the back This would be so good with pulled pork or actually pour it over the pork before you start slow cooking it. Yum!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: GROSS! If you could only see how scrunched up my face is.

I’m a saltaholic, but I did not know the history of Moshio salt that ranges back 2,500 years. The labor intensive production had kind of been lost until a 1984 dig on Kami-kamagari isle unearthed a treasure trove of pottery, shakers, and clues to how the salt was derived from the seaweed/seawater process. There’s a modern adaptation now, but it’s still a whole lot of work. Now, to address Mizuharitsuke’s label. That’s a whole other can of worms or seawater. It’s a really truly gruesome form of crucifixion (from Japan) where you’re tied to a cross during low tide and then here comes the waves and then high tide. If lucky you pass on day one, if not…well you might be there a while to think about your transgressions. I think I’ll stay on good behavior while sipping my IPA and keeping my head above water.

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Brotherly Love

Nightmare Brewing Company
Imperial Stout with Honey Roasted Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Ecuadorian Cacao & Indian Vanilla
15.5 ABV
Brewed & Canned by Nightmare Brewing
North Haven, CT
Founder and Phantom Brewer: Billy Powell

Deep dark of night thick black coffee with a small brown head that runs away as fast as possible. Chocolate charges out of the can and up your nose during the pour along with coffee, creamy peanut butter, smoky burnt brownie edges, and a wiggle of vanilla. Oh man, first sip and second and then third and damn that’s good! Seriously! It’s like someone smashed chocolate peanut butter cups with brownies coated in espresso and then the vanilla hits you. Also a lick of the honey roasted peanuts. I’m in trouble now that this is 15.5%. Big trouble!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: NOOOOOOOOOO! I’d rather the Reaper come find me.

My last Nightmare was their “Colombian Necktie” back when they were still in search of new artists and Billy’s sketches were still being used. From this can alone, the open call really worked. Alexandros Pyromallis’s seriously intricate art rocks! Billy and his sister must have a very loving and mischievous camaraderie, for him to have her depicted doing what she loves (broadcasting on B95.5 FM  Albany from Poughkeepsie to Vermont.) and getting impaled by Death’s arm with a blood splattered garden gnome hanging out nearby. Just beautifully twisted. That being said, he did also create Matricide and Patricide brews for his parents. I guess you’ll know you’re truly and dearly loved by Billy if he dedicates beer and art to your potential demise.

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A Phantom Dance of Life and Death

Nightmare Brewing Company
Colombian Necktie
Gose Ale
Soured on Mangoes, with Lulo, Soursop, and Colombian Lime Zest
7.2% ABV
Brewed & Canned by Dorchester Brewing Co. for Nightmare Brewing
Boston, MA
Founder and Phantom Brewer: Billy Powell

Very deep orange/deep gold with a small head, dancing bubbles, and some light sediment has settled the bottom. Scents of exotic mangoes, pineapple, and limes. This is a beautiful tropical drink! Transports me to a warm island, and would be wonderful with fish grilled on the beach under the stars. Glassful of mangoes, lime, strawberries, pineapples, rhubarb, kiwis and the bubbles make it so elegant. What a crazy description for a Gose named, “Colombian Necktie”. Although, after doing a little poking around, I did find this beer is influenced by Champús that has ties to funeral rituals in South America, which would explain the “necktie”. It was/is a form of tortuous death used to send a message and sometimes would be done post mortem, and appears to have started in Colombia during their La Violencia, civil war (1948–1958). Well…death may be the inspiration, but this goes is full of life.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: brings out the lime

2019 was a smashing year for Nightmare Brewing (Farmingdale, NY). They were named Best New Brewer in NY, Best New Brewer in US, and 2nd Best New Brewer Worldwide, and they keep cranking out the hits. All inspired by horrific history, mythology, torture, and of course death. What else would you expect though from Death Metal brews…cute puppies and unicorns? Oh, definitely not, just check out their labels (collaborations with metal artists) that leap off the shelf at you. This can has a concept sketch by Billy Powell after a break with his original artist this past summer, and is the last label that he calls, “sketched like a toddler”, because he’s found wonderful new artists after a post on IG. Bravo for the move, Mr. Powell!

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