Can fame ever taste any sweeter than when it comes in the form of honey ale? That’s the delicious prospect offered by Rhode Island’s Narragansett Beer, which aims to put the “craft” in Providence’s favorite son, H.P. Lovecraft, with its Lovecraft Honey Ale.

According to the brewery, there’s quite a pedigree, and quite a basis, to the brew. Lovecraft was “born in 1890, the same year that Narragansett Beer was founded.” And “the Lovecraft Honey Ale was inspired by the Space Mead consumed by winged Byakhee as protection from “interstellar space travel” in Lovecraft’s ‘The Festival’.”

Actually, as a dedicated scholar of the Cthulhu Mythos, I have to point out that, although the Byakhee do appear in “The Festival,” their connection to space mead comes from Lovecraft’s successor August Derleth in his story cycle The Trail of Cthulhu. Still, there’s already more than enough justification for creating a Lovecraft commemorative ale. And Narragansett has full canonic status in the Mythos, with Narragansett Indians appearing in the terrifying “The Shunned House,” and Narragansett Bay featuring repeatedly in Lovecraft’s celebrated short novel of his native Rhode Island, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Besides, at 7 percent alcohol by volume “backboned by the combination of five pale malts,” opening up “with a hint of honey sweetness,” followed by “a herbal hop crescendo and a smooth finish,” drinkers may well be seeing Byakhee, stars, and just about anything else a crazed imagination can spawn. Who needs pink elephants and DTs when you can have tentacular Great Old Ones and the tremors of gibbering madness instead? In short, Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar may at last have found its spiritual – and real – successor.


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