Sunday, January 4, 2009

Days of the Beer, January 4

The beer for today is Delirium Tremens.

On January 4, 1903, Topsy, an elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna park was electrocuted. Topsy was deemed to be a threat to people, because she had killed three men.

Thomas Edison had suggested electrocution to kill the elephant, as it had been used for killing people since 1890. To ensure it worked, Topsy was fed carrots laced with 460 grams of potassium cyanide, before the 6,600 volts were sent through her body. She was dead in seconds.

The event was filmed by Thomas Edison.

As to the beer:

Delirium Tremens is made by Brouwerij Huyghe in Melle, Belgium. The beer comes in at 8.5% ABV, and is considered a Belgian Strong Ale.

The particular character and the unique taste of "Delirium Tremens" result from the use of three different kinds of yeast. Its very original packing, which resembles cologne ceramics, and the colourful label contribute to its success.
In 1997, Stuart A. Kallen nominated Delirium Tremens as "best beer in the world". A gold medal during the "world beer championships" in Chicago (1998) confirmed that worldwide recognition.
Delirium tremens, itself is an acute episode of delirium that is caused by withdrawal or abstinence from tranquilizers. When caused by alcohol, it happens in people with a history of constant, long-term alcohol consumption. Five percent of alcohol withdrawl cases turn into delirium tremens. DT can be fatal. If untreated, mortaltiy can be up to 35%, if treated the rate drops to around 5-15%.

The symptoms are confusion, disorientation, agitation and hallucinations. Additionally, there can be severe, uncontr4ollable tremors of the extremeties.

So, for Tipsy the electrocuted elephant, have a Delirium Tremens, but don't stop drinking, because that could kill you as well.

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