A couple of days after I read Pretty Deadly #3, I woke up with the foreign yet insistent impulse to make something inspired by the comic. Something about the world of Pretty Deadly — richly imagined and painstakingly revealed — grabbed my subconscious imagination and refused to let go.
Alas, I do not draw, nor sew, nor have any proficiency in any of the other traditional fan arts. Mercifully, my subconscious realized these limitations and gifted me with the idea to utilize one of my few legitimate creative outlets: Brewing beer.
And so my Big Alice Black Fire Chili Stout was born.
As a character, Big Alice is seemingly full of qualities that I thought could translate well into a beer. She’s a big, bold, larger-than-life presence — a stand-out in a world full of them.
I knew it needed to be a stout, because the beer needed to be dark and big and strong. (Alice wouldn’t have it any other way). Coming in at 8.7% ABV, it’s a tad smaller than I might have liked, but it’s definitely still a beer that requires respect when drinking.
I chose an American-style stout, because I wanted it to be on the drier side of the stout spectrum. (Seems to me Alice wouldn’t hold with an overly sweet beer bearing her name).
For the hop profile, I wanted to use an American hop with predominantly earthy/spicy qualities. (Alice appears to be many things, but it’s pretty clear “earthy” is among them). I chose to use Willamette hops, which have the earthy quality I was looking for, but also an underlying floral presence which didn’t seem out entirely out of place of Alice’s character. I used a bit more hops than is typical for a stout of this kind, in an effort to add an element of surprise to the beer. (Alice is nothing if not full of surprises).
Finally, I knew I wanted it to have a kick worthy of the kick-ass nature of its namesake. Hence the chilis. I added habaneros to the wort towards the end of the boil to bring the heat, and then dry peppered with roasted poblanos to bring the flavor.
After bottling it, I decided to kill some time waiting for it to carb up by designing a label, which is something I try to do for most of my home brews. (Seriously, if you’re a home brewer and you’ve never made a label, try it just once. It’s such a kick to see your creation all gussied up). I think it looks pretty spiffy. (Hope the creators don’t mind me using the image from the book, but it didn’t really work without it).
It’s had two weeks in the bottle, and I’ve got to say that even as green as it still is, it’s pretty damn tasty and I’m pleased as hell at this first effort. It should be fan-freakin’-tastic after six to eight weeks in the bottle. All in all, it’s been a really fun process that I’ll likely try again in the future. (I have a Bones Bunny recipe rattling around in my head that I think may be my next effort…)
Never gets old.
Mickey Mouse gas mask for children during WW2.
Winter Friends from the upcoming Hawkeye #18. I love “Nine Lives! Nine Candles! L’Chain!”
Hawkeye #18 by Matt Fraction and David Aja
We Lannisters do have a certain pride.