This blog post is intended for readers 21 and older.
By Rob McFee
This Week's Pairing:
"Black Hammer" Volume One "Secret Origins" - Written by Jeff Lemire- Art by- Dean Ormston- Colors bye Dave Stewart- Published by Dark Horse Books 2017, Milwaukie, OR USA
Yards Brawler-English Mild Ale- 4.2% Alcohol By Volume (ABV)- Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, PA USA
Our pairing begins with the art of Dean Ormston and the colors of Dave Stewart, which marries seamlessly with the Yards Brawler label. Both borrow from the nostalgia of the golden age with their use of bold colors that run the spectrum of the grayscale and both have a modern grit that every indie fan can appreciate, but as they say "the devil is in the details" as it is with this pairing. It's the story within the lines of the artists where you'll find the essence of this combination.
At first glance "Black Hammer" appears to be a throwback horror comic and Brawler with its clever catch phrase " Pugilist Style Ale" seems to be claiming it's a craft beer for fighters. A closer inspection is required. In the first few pages of "Black Hammer" you'll realize that this is not a horror comic. It's a story about, heroes?
The label of Brawler features a fighter who is squaring off with what appears to be, a devil or a demon. Could it be his own? Do you get it? Is it coming into focus?
"Black Hammer" is a redemption story, that Brawler's bitter sweet flavor so eloquently captures. Journey with these unlikely heroes, teammates, and friends as they battle their personal demons both present and past in a quest to find the freedom and the hope they desperately need.
At first pour you are greeted by a dark red/copper color with a slight head that dissipates quickly, and leaves a light lace along the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet and malty but not overpowering with hints of caramel. The taste is mildly sweet with a pleasant aftertaste; the body is light with equal carbonation. This is a proper English mild ale.
Jeff Lemire pens a stellar first volume in "Black Hammer" Volume One "Secret Origins", allowing the reader to form their own opinions of each character, before giving you their back story. Some, okay, most of the character's origin stories will remind you of certain well known Marvel and DC characters, but any similarities end there. Each character is unique, regardless of their power set or how they became empowered. Jeff pulls no punches, when it comes to the emotions he draws from the reader, tragedy abounds and hope is fleeting in this first volume, but these heroes are brawlers and they will keep fighting.
If the Imbiber is looking for a great rainy evening read and a proper English mild ale to accompany it, the "Black Hammer" and Yards Brawler "Pugilist Style Ale" are the perfect pairing.
Until next week read and consume responsibly.
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