Action Figures & Their Beers: Deploy the Stinger!
by Beedo Sookcool
on 2012-06-25, 03:56:53
If you’ve ever wondered what you get when you brew beer using a plant that can use tiny, razor-sharp hollow silicate hairs to inject the same kind of chemical weapon that bees, wasps, and fire ants sting with, look no further! Yes, British chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage, in his efforts to promote traditional fare, got together with Badger Ales and brewed an organic beer with hand-picked (Ouch!) stinging nettles. So, as I’ve already used Buzz-Off for Birds and Bees, the best match-up for this ale is one of the world’s favourite Predacons from the Beast Wars, Waspinator! And you can’t not like Waspinator, because just like this beer, in the end, he’s not as bad as you might think. In fact, he’s pretty damn cool.
The blurb on the back label reads: “I think we have produced a delicious and refreshing beer with true West Country character and real depth. It’s slightly spicy with a light bitterness and subtle tingle that comes from the nettles. Equally good with summer barbecues and winter roasts -- or while sitting on a hay bale, watching the sun go down.” I can’t really argue with that, because this 4.5% ABV beauty really does seem that versatile. Except that it took me a while to find that out.
I not only had a huge backlog of beers waiting for action figure partners when I bought some of this ale, I was also taking a course of new painkillers to try out on my arthritis and couldn’t drink any alcohol for a few days, so I let the someone else try it first. Don’t get me wrong; I’m in no way a gastronomic wuss (I’m actually quite fond of nettle tea, and was looking forward to trying this), but it never hurts to get additional opinions in reviews. So I gave a bottle to one of my ale-enthusiast co-workers at the time, Emily, who loved it and said “You can really taste the nettle in it!” (She’s young and very enthusiastic, and speaks in exclamation points a lot. You can’t not like her, either.) Then, when I came off the course of painkillers, I tried it myself.
Oh, but this is nice stuff! It’s said that part of the thrill of eating potentially lethal fugu sushi is that there’s just enough poison in the edible parts to numb your mouth for a weird tingly sensation. Well, unless you’re seriously allergic, nettle drinks aren’t deadly poison (or even nauseating), but Stinger gives you an interesting mouth-tingle that goes beyond its carbonation and any usual ale taste. And, as you would expect from a Badger ale, it’s crisp and refreshing and nicely beery without being bitter at the finish and in the aftertaste. And, even better, River Cottage donates portions of the sales of Stinger to “nominated charities.”
Drink this if you also like: Botanical beers, nettle tea, mouth-tingle, bragging about ingesting weird / toxic / pain-inducing ingredients, even though it’s perfectly safe (but nobody else has to know that), knowing that some of the money you just spent is going to a good cause somewhere.
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