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- Helles Bock
- Octane rating: 6.8%vol.
"Maypole dance, the children, and the spring
Naked girls jump over the bonfire for fertility
The procession follows six swordsmen and the priest
Midday Sun catches a rainbow from the sky
And ties the ends together
The virgin meets the Wicker Man
And makes the blossoms fruit forever!"
The Background Story
Life, sex and death.
The attentive follower of Macken Bryggeri has probably realised by now that every brew we present is a celebration that also carries a message, urging you to question authorities, break boundaries and strive to use your full potential.
Our spring time celebration beer is called Summerisle and is a tribute to the cult film The Wicker Man from 1973. Determined to make a horror film without the usual blood and gore, filmmakers Shaffer and Hardy took inspiration from pagan fertility rites that would send icy shivers down the spines of the audience. The subtle suspense that builds up through this beautiful, tender movie culminates in an end scene that is by many said to be one of the scariest in movie history.
The Wicker Man contains graphic nudity and was produced in a time of free love and sex. Today, some forty years later, one should think that we would come a long way since, and that the open-mindedness we were taught then had long since become the norm. But on the contrary, as we write this year 2016, alongside with the obvious, worn-out "sex sells"-approach used generally in marketing, we seem to have strangely enough adapted an almost Victorian prudery and shaming of the free love and nakedness. Female nipples censored in social media are one twisted example of this. We advocate going back to a more natural attitude towards nakedness.
We would also like for you all to ponder the subject of sacrifice. In the Wicker Man, the ritual of sacrifice may seem extreme, as it is indeed a human one. Yet, we would like for you to take symbolic inspiration of this approach and think about which sacrifices you need to make in your life this spring, in order to ensure a bountiful personal harvest in the fall.
It is time for you to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man.
The fine prints
This beer is a tribute to the British cult film The Wicker Man  by Robin Hardy and Anthony Shaffer [1926-2001].
The name of the beer is after the fictional isle Summerisle, where all the plot of the film takes place.
The concept of the label captures all the imagery, esoteric and alchemical symbolism and hidden knowledge displayed in the film as well as in existing May Day pagan celebrations such as the ancient Gaelic Beltane ritual and elements of the Mithraic mysteries related to this event - the representation of the sun rebirth (Mithras) coming out from darkness (cave).
The label artwork features the following imagery of the film:
1. The Maypole: The phallic symbol, the generative force in nature
2. The Irminsul symbol: The reciprocity between the life and death. “Death holds life”
3. The silhouettes of the procession participants with their animal masks
4. The naked dancing virgin girls performing the fire ritual of fertility
5. The sword constellation: Solar symbol
6. The 12 Zodiac signs
7. The Wicker man: The sacrifice to the gods to ensure the bountiful harvest in fall
The label frame is formed by a circle that represents the conscious self, the human head (i.e. reason and order), which is being destroyed by fire as well as decapitated by the sword constellation. This stands for the liberation of the self-contained nature of the human being, which we have been restricted by duties to mainstream religions, morals and ethics. A showdown between two forces in opposition in the human mind. That the part, which represents the discipline and order, is controlled and tricked all the way by the opposite that represents the unknown.
The colour scheme is influenced by Ukiyo-e school (Japanese woodprints) emphasizing the beautiful stillness and mystery of nature. Colours of the spring.
A bonnie Helles Bock with a radiant midday sunny colour and ivory foam head. Juicy and malty yet refreshing taste; a true libation to the generative force in nature. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man!
Malts: Vienna, Munich Type I, Carahell and Melanoidin
Bittering hops: Northern Brewer
Aroma hops: Styrian Goldings Bobek
Dry-hopping: Styrian Goldings Bobek and Saaz
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