Thursday, September 25, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 25

The beer for today is Orkney Skull Splitter.

On September 25, 1066, the Battle of Stamford Bridge took place in England. King Harold Godwinson of England, marched his men over four days to Stamford Bridge in four days. There they met King Harald Hardråde and his Norwegian (viking) army, who had just won a battle shortly before.

The Brits, caught the vikings by surprise, and they were unarmoured. Most of them were killed that day.

As a result of the battle, King Godwinson accepted a truce with the survivors, and they were allowed to leave after pledging to never attack England again. This marked the end of the Viking Age.

Skull Splitter beer is named for Thorfinn Turf-Einarsson, the Earl of Orkney. The Orkneys are an archipelago in northern Scotland. During Viking times, Orkney was annexed by Norway in 875. It went back to Scotland in 1472. Thorfinn was the Seventh Viking Earl. He ruled around 950. He was apparently appropriately named.

As to the beer:

Big, strong dark amber ale, satiny-smooth in the mouth, deceptively light, dangerously quaffable; brewed in the Viking tradition by the native Orcadians - still homebrewed with island ingredients!
It's about 8.5% ABV.

The beer is coming under attack from the "Portman Group" which is an alcohol watchdog group. Portman claims that Skull Splitter's name promotes violence and that at 8.5% ABV, it is too strong a beer.

So, go out and have a Skull Splitter before it's "Viking Age" is done.

(Skull Splitter is available at Crane Alley and at Bentleys, in Champaign-Urbana.)

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