Toiling away in the word mines as we do, the small-but-dedicated team that shows up to the Rue Morgue House of Horror on a daily basis has, in recent years, witnessed a steep decline in the amount of physical product that shows up in the mail. Where once upon a time that promo copy of the latest Rammstein CD or a free copy of Trick ‘r’ Treat on DVD helped offset the often long hours we put in, the digital age has progressively groomed us to find solace in merely a job well done or the tender compliment of a punch drunk co-worker during the witching hours of production.
But today felt a little like old times when one of the good folks at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company strode through the front door like an angel from heaven, carrying a glowing parcel under his arm that had all of us floating down the hallway toward him, our feet barely touching the ground. Packaged in a handsome box was none other than two 600ml bottles of beer, that golden wheat-derived fluid of life-affirming goodness, one marked “Dr. Jekyll” and one marked “Mr. Hyde,” and each adorned with colourfully gruesome labels designed by artist Dirty Donny Gillies (RM#109). Were our eyes deceiving us? We could’ve sworn Christmas had already passed. And yet here they were, two delicious bottles of horror beer, which we wasted no time in pouring into black chalices in order to conduct some mid-afternoon “research.”
Yes, research. Research for the good of all beer-loving man and womankind. Turns out this immaculate confection – available now and only directly from the brewery – is the first release in a new “beer + music” series that will see new Beau’s product packaged with limited-edition vinyl records! Only 5000 of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde gift boxes have been crafted, and the company hopes to make such releases an annual Halloween tradition.
First up was the Dr. Jekyll, a finely mannered golden malt that proved highly drinkable, sparking wobbly smiles around the room. Even though our beer guzzling would lead to this blog post and hence be categorized as “work,” we clearly wallowed in the idea that we were getting away with something, drinking a bit of the brown pop during business hours.
A slight buzz started to set in as we investigated the 7″ inside the box only to recoil in horror slightly at the discovery that it was pressed on pink vinyl. Not exactly the most ghoulish colour in the Halloween palette there, gents. Even Managing Editor Monica S. Kuebler, the sole representative of the fairer sex in the room, found the choice a bit suspect. Nevertheless, tracks from the likes of Toronto punks Teenage X (“Chelsea Horror Hotel”) and The Flatliners (“Shithawks”), alt-country band Elliott Brood (“Will They Bury Us?”), Ottawa garage rockers The White Wires (“Ha Ha Holidays”), and the hayseed harmonies of outlaw country artist Chris Rayburn on “The Theme From Lug-Tread Lagered Ale” pretty much had us ready to blow off the rest of the day.
Completing the unexpected taste tour was Mr. Hyde, an appropriately hoppier and hence more bitter, copper-coloured beer that possessed a spicy kick fitting of the good doctor’s monstrous, chemically altered doppelgänger.
In conclusion, if you’re like us and beer and horror are two of your favourite things, you’re well advised to pick up a box of Beau’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde before it’s gone. The packaging and bottles alone will be a welcome addition to any horror collector’s stash of memorabilia, to say nothing of the delicious brews contained within. And to the charitable craftsmen at Beau’s: anytime you need us to sample your wares, please know that the full extent of our journalistic abilities are at your disposal.
The Rue Crew