A deal has been struck to import Gudeløs into the US. This is good stuff; I’ve had one bottle of it, and was looking forward to tapping the source in Denmark, and now it looks like I may be able to get it more regularly.
Devil’s Brew and the Danish Atheist Society have entered into an unholy alliance, and the result is ‘Godless’ – an ale brewed entirely without superstition. [Godless] is an imperial stout with burnt and sweetish impressions, together with notes of licorice. To exercise social responsibility, Devil’s Brew donates one Danish Crown to the Danish Atheist Society for each bottle sold.
Wait…all beers are godless. There are no Christian beers, Muslim beers, Hindu beers, and to so label them is beer abuse.
Gavin McBride says
Where does the German Beer “Fucking Hell” fit into all this?
Emil Karlsson says
What would Jesus Brew (WWJB)?
James Sweet says
However, there is Jewish beer…
Glen Davidson says
But … Godless spirits?
Language takes another hit, if perhaps a deserved one.
I hope the vile booze controllers of Maryland choose to allow this beer to be sold. I’ll bet they’re pretty godsfull, however. Maybe on one of my annual visits to civilization (Seattle) I will be able to find it, if Maryland lives down to my expectations.
I look forward to the time that this is available in Australia. On the bright side, there appears to be a rush on imported beers right now – we must have reduced the tariff or something. With any luck, the Australian importers don’t speak Danish.
Don’t forget these guys:
Sgt. Obvious says
Not beer, but close enough.
Arrrgh. HTML fail.
Too much talk of beer and too many hours of work remaining.
Hey, if we’re touting beers, how about Legal Weed?
Notes of Licorice?
I’ll have a Tuborg, thanks….
I feel compelled to point out the pun in the subtitle: “Utroligt gode øl” means “Unbelievably (get it?) good beer”.
@3 “What would Jesus Brew (WWJB)?”
Jesus was a wine drinker.
“Wait…all beers are godless. There are no Christian beers, Muslim beers, Hindu beers, and to so label them is beer abuse.”
Prof PZed. You are flat wrong at this. Many Christian monastical orders have long histories of brewing. There are many many Catholic beers.
Trappist monks might disagree with you.
Ing: They are beers of Catholic brewers. When there beer is old enough to choose for itself it may or may not choose to become a Catholic.
A. Nuran says
Twaddle. Monasteries have been brewing Christian beers for centuries. Some Hindu sects have sacred alcoholic drinks. There is even a Jewish brewery aptly named Shmaltz which makes He’brew – the Chosen Beer.
Well the reason there are no Muslim beers is because alcohol is forbidden in Islam (which kind of explains why Muslims are always on edge, but that’s a different story).
I brewed my own Imperial Stout. Turned out very nice, notes of coffee and a bit chocolate flavour too. Got to love a good stout, unfortunately Aussies seem to be too into lagers and really light weak beers.
I don’t know exactly what superstitions Trappist monks hold in the context of brewing, but their “careers” (if you can call it that) certainly consist of propping up religion.
Although in a way I wish most other religious folks would take heed from the monks: less talk, more ale.
I have no idea how I managed to write “there” for “the”.
Technically, only wine is forbidden. Interpreting it to mean “alcohol” is like the Mormon church deciding that the ban on hot drinks means caffeine.
Hope you’ll still down a few with us while you’re Copenhagen, even though you can get them in the States.
Gah! Imperial Stout….who wants a stout that tastes like licorice??!? Stick with Guinness; it may not be godless (it has a pope’s approval), but it tastes like a stout ought to. Maybe we can convince Guinness to go godless–a win/win. Or convince Devil’s Brew to make a real stout in addition to…to….this abomination.
Gus Snarp says
Wait, is this real? Atheist stout? Must try.
Also, there is Christian Moerlein beer, but it has nothing to do with Christianity. I haven’t tried their stout, but the OTR Ale is good.
Gus Snarp says
Crap, HTML tag fail. That should be Christian Moerlein. That’s what happens when you leave out the quotation marks.
Ha… thanks for the Shmaltz link, A. Nuran (17). Besides He’Brew (the chosen beer) they also have Genesis Ale, Messiah Bold, Rejewvenator, and Jewbelation. Hilarious!
FWIW a quick search turns up lots of “devil” beers. My favorites are probably Maudite by Unibroue and Duvel. Mmmmm.
Well, it’s named after a saint, but I don’t know if this qualifies as “Christian.” It is good beer, though.
I think you could argue that doppelbock and abbey (or Trappist) ale are christian beers. These styles were invented by monks. Muslim and mormon beers would be an oxymoron of course.
If you really want to drink like a heathen though, I recommend mead. Its the only official drink of Valhalla.
Pierce R. Butler says
Hey, big spenders: that impressive-sounding “one Danish Crown” = 17 cents.
Ah, in this moment, proud to be danish :) (perhaps the only moment I am ever going to be so in my entire life, but that is another debate)
Oh, forgot Lucifer. Too bad it’s retired, it was very refreshing and drinkable (“light bringer” indeed).
Also, St. Bernardus Abt 12 is delicious.
Do people really not get that PZ was referring to Dawkins’ contention that babies and small children can’t have ideologies so its ridiculous to talk about “Catholic children” or “Protestant children”?
(similarly beers don’t have much to say on the subject of the virgin birth)
Or are people just being ornery? :D
Imperial Stouts are technically Barley Wines, due to original gravity and final alcohol content, and the adjuncts make them taste like something other than a Stout. My personal favorites are Old Rasputin from the North Coast Brewing Company.
Very different in taste, but imperial stouts vary widely according to recipe.
Trivia: The old Trappist monks originally brewed their heavy beers for Lent, when they would swear off “food” for a whole week. They had to make strong beers to keep up their “strength” until the end of Lent (or Lint, I get all those Catholic things mixed up).
Also, the orignal Reinheitsgebot did not include yeast. Beer was made with water, barley, and hops. Because the monks kept using the same old tubs for fermenting, there was always the same strain of yeast being propagated. However, the monks merely thought that their tubs were especially “blessed” by god, and they could prove it. Take an unblessed tub from a farm, put wort (unfermented beer) in it, and nothing would happen, or it would turn sour. Ergo, only their specially “blessed” tubs could make beer.
@Pierce Butler: That’s 17 cents more than any other product gives to an outwardly atheistic organization, as far as I’m aware.
Plus, you know, usually I have to go out drinking with atheists and spend money on beer, then also spend money supporting the organization. Why not two birds with one stone, eh?
@eeanm: Haha, I forgot that Dawkins remark. Makes much more sense now, thanks :D
James Sweet says
I for one got the reference, but chose to point out the existence of He’brew anyway. I think people are just having fun trading beer trivia :D At least, that’s how I took it.
You don’t want to drink more than two of these, but this is one hell of a good beer.
I hope our local Whole Foods gets this in. It would be great to drink during the atheist meetups there.
Oh, c’mon…Trappist monks did make ale.
And there is Shinto sake…
No idea, but the pest has its own beer: Jesus beer. ;-)
Eamon Knight says
My favorites are probably Maudite by Unibroue…
…who also make Don de Dieu. I think they’re hedging their bets, there ;-). And I can’t not mention Sapient Tripp, by Dark Horse Brewery in MI — fruity enough to serve with pasta as an alternative to wine. All three are (to continue the theme) “Trappist-style” multiply-fermented brews — and all excellent!
David Marjanović says
And indeed, there is a Turkish beer (Efes) and a Kurdish beer (Roj), both available even (…especially?) here in Vienna. Though I don’t think any pious Muslims drink either.
Ben Franklin said that beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. That’s the closest I come to recognizing a deity.
Muslim beers, on the other hand, face the threat of decapitation for leaving the faith.
I think the Koran forbids drinks made from fermented grapes or grain. Some see a loophole when it comes to drinks like mead. At least that’s what I gleaned from reading “The Eaters of the Dead.”
I was going to ask about that, but I would still be curious for the word-for-word literal translation. To me it looks like “ultralight, zero liters (of) God”.
Guinness, at least when imported into the US, tastes like cold coffee.
Unibroue, as someone mentioned, have a lot of great names: Eau Benite (Holy Water) was the first I encountered. It has a grinning tattooed bald Devil on the label, which I first saw plastered to the distilled water tank at the lab where I worked as an undergrad in Montreal.
@David #41 & mattheath #21
Actually, I believe the muslim prohibition is on drinking is generally to all intoxicants, but the Quran is kind of vague and inconsistent on this. And yes, it sometimes refers to “wine” instead of “drink”, which I’m sure gives pro- and anti- beer muslims plenty to argue about. “Allah, in his infinite wisdom, did not prohibit the consumption of Colt 45 Malt Liquor!”
But I think the secularization of Turkey is what led to the advent of Turkish beer, and Turkey has long been known for it’s winemaking, despite any islamic prohibition. I guess not all of them were True Muslims (TM).
Heh, that’s what I thought too until I wikipeeked. Although I got mine from The 13th Warrior. But one shouldn’t depend on Michael Crichton for accurate islamic scholarship.
All beers face spontaneous decapitation, stout more slowly than others.
#45, “Utroligt gode øl”
U = un-, non-
tro = belief, trust
=> utroligt = un-believ-able
I think ‘gode øl’ speaks for itself. One day I’ll figure out if there is a connection between øl/ale and oil.
BTW Djævlebryg will be represented at the Copenhagen Beer Festival from Thursday may 6 to Saturday May 8, should you be around.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
While I enjoy a good Guinness as much as the next Irish american guy, I prefer a little variety in my stouts.
I recently had the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary stout and the Sweetwater Brewery Happy Ending Stout.
And both are so good they’ll make you slap your Pastor.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
SEE!!! that’s what happens when you switch to Chrome and no longer have the Text Formatting toolbar.
/fist shake at Firefox’s memory leaking shittyness!!
Thanks. Forgot that “ø” is a letter and not a zero. (Besides not knowing any Danish at all and just making wild linguistic assumptions.)
But one shouldn’t depend on Michael Crichton for accurate
fixed it for ya’
Oh and, Denmark’s winning newcomer on the beer market is a Chili Tripel, and one of the winning breweries made a beer with weasel shit.
I felt it only fair to warn you before you buy tickets.
Noahs Arkive says
There is, however, HeBrew. And it is kosher.
Donnie B. says
Oh, what a relief… for a second there I thought the name meant Gouda-less. Now that would be a truly significant tragedy.
Maybe my next brew should be a Judeopalestinian Friendship Beer with extra alcohol and bacon. Nothing fraternises more than a common enemy.
Joe Fogey says
PZ is quite right. None of the following have any connection with christianity:
Abbots Ale, Abbot’s Chair, 3 different Black Abbots, & Newt & Abbot Ale
Abbeydale Brewery’s Absolution
47 beers with names related to bishops, including Wear Valley Bishop’s Bollocks
Brunswick’s Black Sabbath
Cairngorm’s Blessed Thistle
Tomos Watkin’s Canon’s Choice
Joule’s Black Canon’s Brew
Jennings Cross Buttock
Cambrinus Craft Brewery’s Deliverance
Church End Brewery’s Fallen Angel
Brunswick’s Father Mike
Tunnel Brewery’s Fields of Gold
17 beers named after friars,
An Autumn Goddess, 3 different Sun Goddesses, 2 different Spring Goddesses, Goddess of Winter, Green Goddess,
Bigod Stout, Cry god For Harry, England & St. George, English by Grace of god, Fat God, The God of Poetry & Music, God Knows Idiots Present Awards, God’s Country, God’s Gift, God’s Goodness, God’s Grogg, God’s Own Ale, 2 different God’s Wallops, Lap O’ The Gods, Lap of the Gods, Sea God, Sun God, Thank God It’s All Over, Thank god It’s Friday
Church End Brewery’s Gravedigger’s
53 Heaven beers, including Hampshire Brewery’s Heaven Can Wait
22 Holy beers, including 2 Holy Waters,
Marstons’ Merry Monk’ Tomlinson’s Black Monk Stout, 2 different Monk’s Gold, 3 Monk’s Habits, 2 Monk’s Madness, Wawne’s Monk’s Mild, Goodmanham Monk’s Revenge, Alcazar Monk’s Secret Brew
Black Dog Monks, Monks & Honey & Monks No Hops
1 Pickled Priest and 1 Priest’s Wheel
Reverend James and 16 other revs
Maxim Brewery’s Samson
5 beers called Salvation
17 different beers with names containing the word vicar, including Dibley Vicar’s Knickers.
There are also too many Easter and Xmas beers to count.
There was a brewery, now closed, called “Fat God’s”
On the other hand there are the Salopian Brewery’s Darwin’s Origin, and 13 other Darwin beers, and on the other side are Hexhamshire Brewery’s Devil’s Elbow and Devil’s Water + 62 other beers containing the word Devil plus a beer called Pure Unadulterated Evil.
Thanks to http://www.beermad.org.uk/
Joe Fogey says
p.s. Although none of the above have any connection with any known religion, they should collectively produce feelings of reverence and awe.
You mean I can have a beer before I do that next time? Huzzah!
Uggh…licorice? Might as well make a beer flavored with those awful hard candies old ladies always have on their coffee tables (call it “Bleeeck”)
and drink it w/ dried octo-snacks:
Doug Little says
Just spent a week up in north Michigan and hit several great micro breweries, those being Shortz and Right Brain. Will be traveling to Octoberfest this year in München but before I go I will be spending a week in the Netherlands about an hour away from the border of Belgium, and a fair number of the monasteries that brew some of my favorite trappist brews (woohoo). One of my absolute favorite beers is Dragon’s Milk (New Holland Brewing, MI). It is a strong American ale aged in oak barrels, and is absolutely fantastic.
Man I hope I can find this stuff somewhere in my local area.
Alan B says
PZ in his post said:
Definitely NOT true in the past in England. Look up church ale house in Google.
As an example (from Walkhampton on Dartmoor):
Chuch ale houses were a common feature of churches up to the time of the Puritans who put a stop to it (around 1640). Commonly there was a “Church house” built next to the church (often it was the oldest building, apart from the church, in the village). Usually they were 2 storeys with the ground floor used for baking and brewing and the upper floor used for drinking and meetings.
In older times, the church building itself was split into 2 parts. The chancel with the altar belonged to, and was the responsibility of, the priest. It was separated by a screen, often with a gate to keep dogs and other animals out, from the nave which was owned by the people. The priest had his own entrance – a small door often on the S side of the chancel.
The nave was originally an open space with no pews. People stood or, if they were elderly, were allowed to sit/perch on a line of stones let into the wall around the interior of the nave (hence the origin of the phrase “the weak go to the wall”). The nave was used for village activities – meetings, sale of animals and anything where the village needed to get together. And often as an alternative to an ale house in poorer parishes. Again, church ale was brewed and sold with the income used to support the poor.
With the introduction of pews and the takeover of the whole of the church building by the church and the Puritan (non-Christian) idea that enjoying yourself was sinful, the use of the nave or any building for drinking stopped although a number of public houses and inns in England were originally church ale houses.
(Just as a matter of interest, there is a remainder of how the church was there for the village as a whole in the office of Churchwarden. Even today, Churchwardens are chosen by the whole parish i.e. anyone living in the parish boundaries is entitled to an equal vote at the annual Parish Meeting. Indeed, the Rural Dean (leader and confidente of the local group of parish clergy) often attends the Parish Meeting to help to sort out difficulties that might arise. Once the Churchwardens are approved, the Parish Meeting ends. Usually church business continues in a separate meeting attended by those on the Church Electoral Role.)
Thus, Christian ale is definitely a part of the English tradition. (Look up Whitsun ale and the origin of bridal – “bride ale” – referring to the ale drunk after a wedding, often in the nave of the church or in the church ale house.)
PZ Myers says
Oh, dear. Do I really have to explain the joke?
Christians make beer. That doesn’t make the beer Christian.
Now, have you ever asked the beer if it has accepted Jeebus as its personal savior before drinking it? Bet you haven’t!
Sili, The Unknown Virgin says
I think you’ll find that that is a fate destined for most beers, not just the Muslim ones.
So, beers are Calvinist, you’re sayin?
Pierce R. Butler says
Wouldn’t those of a contra-Christian persuasion logically/historically favor Löwenbräu?
I really don’t care if my beer is Christian, Hindu or whatever. A “Fanziskaner Weissbier” is good stuff (and not any more brewed by Catholic Monks). But I sure hope to get some of this stuff when seeing You in Copenhagen in June… So: “Don’t label me!”
Beer related: my favorite beer recently is Sam Adams Imperial Double Bock:
Hey, anything that gets decent beer into the U.S., I’m all for it.Most U.S. beer is Pisswasser.
'Tis Himself, OM says
There’s St. Pauli Girl beer, if you want a mediocre lager.
Yes, that was the the joke.
Peter Ashby says
I have drunk Moslem Beer, Efes Pilsner in Turkey. A secular islamic state, but still moslem. It, and posters advertising it, are all over the place in Turkey, as are old men sitting outside playing backgammon or dominos with a glass of watered raki at hand. Not all moslems are abstemious.
Alan B says
#66 PZ Myers
Ah. So that’s US humor (“humour” in English). OK.
(Just as a matter of interest, were people aware that the English church used to not just encourage drinking but provided the means? Drinking and Christianity go/went very well together until the Puritans got onto it.)
John Scanlon FCD says
Hey, it only seems vague and inconsistent because you’re using a translation; it’s absolutely clear and precise in the original Arabic. It means… well, it means whatever the guy with the sword says it means.
Rogue Medic says
Licorice is not a bad flavor for a beer. I used to regularly drink Belhaven Scottish Ale, which has a bit of licorice flavoring.
My favorite beer has not yet been mentioned and I am hurt. My poor feelings are crushed. Sob.
Arrogant Bastard Ale
Arrogant Bastard Ale short animated cartoon
The image on the bottle is not what one would describe as Christian. And it tastes great, if you love heavy ales, which I do.
JPS, FCD says
I want this label on a T-shirt!
JPS, FCD says
… And one with the “Fucking Hell” label. And Arrogant Bastard Ale. And Fat Bastard wine.
F @ 73 (“Jedes amerikanische Bier ist Pisswasser”): If you are ever in the vicinity of Lexington, Kentucky, drop in at a good liquor store and pick up a few bottles of this.
A. Nuran says
eanm, beer definitely has opinions about the Virgin Birth. Most of the yeast reproduces asexually.
A. Nuran says
Island Brewer and John Scanlon,
While the Quran only mentions wine the Sunnah and Hadith are very clear. Intoxicants, particularly ones which dull the mind, are forbidden. The only exception is date palm wine, a very mildly alcoholic ferment of the sap of the tree.
@Rogue Medic # 79
I was going to mention Arrogant Bastard in a reply to F @ #73. Arrogant Bastard is one of my favorites, hands down. Despite it’s super hyper hoppiness, there’s a smooth balance after the first few sips.
I think F can name, what … 3 American beers? Budweiser, Coors and Michelob?
I’ll put up a Stone Brewing Arrognat Bastard against any British Pale or German Pilsner any day. Hell, name a favorite style, and I can you at least a half dozen excellent versions of it all made within 100 miles of my house.
Yes, I’m an arrogant Californian hop-head.
Traditionally, in Britian at least, a ‘godless’ beer was one that had been fermented in less that seven days. It hadn’t seen a Sunday therfore was godless. In general longer fermentation gives a more integrated and fuller flavour to the beer.
Youngs Brewery’s ‘Old Nick’ was not classed as a ‘godless’ beer by it’s brewers on account of it’s quite lengthy fermentation period, given the name quite confusing.
Could some one tell me if Gudeløs is or isn’t a ‘godless’ beer?
There is , on one side, St Arnold’s. On the other hand there is (or was ) a Louisiana brew called ‘Black Voodoo,’ Which I have never seen. The Texas ABC gave them some static about their label. Also, there is ‘Pete’s Wicked Ale,’ and not altogether on topic, ‘Roswell Alien Ale.’ I am currently going thru a six pack of the later.