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The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

  • British Golden Ale
  • Octane rating: 5.5%vol.
The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

"Creativity and energy over logic and reason
Proverbs of Hell lead to the palace of wisdom
The Urizen’s compass is broken by Los
Angels and Demons in love
A Hell of Heaven, a Heaven of Hell
Two golden spirals
Thought’s immensity of man"

The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

The Background Story

“Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to human existence.” – William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793)

More than two centuries ago, a most remarkable soul was born in London, England, a soul we would all later come to know as William Blake, and regard as one of the greatest and most fascinating revolutionary thinkers of the time.

Artist, romantic poet, printer, antinomian, prophet and imaginer, Blake searched for the doors of perception, the place at which all would be infinite. He encourages the premise that there is no limit to enlightenment, that there is no limit to mind expansion. The Great Red Dragon swooping down on the Woman Clothed with the Sun in Love.

Seeking the unbounded and infinite, Blake composed between 1790 and 1793, a period of radical social and political conflict following the French Revolution, a series of prose and poetry illustrated in illuminated printing upon etched plates he titled “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” both in imitation of biblical prophecy and portraying his own deeply revolutionary and romantic beliefs. The work has become one of his best known and most influential, impacting not only musicians, artists, and writers, but psychologists and philosophers as well. Most notably among these is Alduous Huxley, who named one of his most well-known works “The Doors of Perception,” which consequently inspired the name of the American rock band The Doors.

“The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” is a critical parody upon the Swedish theologian Emmanuel Swedenborg’s work published in Latin 33 years prior entitled “Heaven and Hell,” within which Swedenborg espouses the conventional Manichean moral view of good and evil. In contrast, Blake expressed a depolarized and unified vision of the cosmos in which the material world and physical desire are equally part of the divine order, ergo, a marriage of heaven and hell. Unlike those of Dante and Milton, Blake’s work paradoxically reveals the conception of Hell as a place of liberation and the unrepressed, opposed to the authoritarian definition of Heaven. Blake eulogized Dionysian energy and passion in opposition to reason and temperance, the latter two of which he considered restraints on spiritual enlightenment and individual self-expression in an already imprisoned society.

With our British Golden Ale, we celebrate William Blake’s legacy through “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” two Golden Spirals intertwined in eternal delight.

The fine prints

This is our homage beer to the legacy of the engraver, poet, mystical thinker and painter William Blake [1757-1827].

The name of the label is after his masterpiece book “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” [1790-1793].

The label features William Blake himself based on his self-portrait in a shape of his own created character “Urizen” holding a broken compass. The compass is a representation of William Blake’s opposition against the reason and logic and his deep belief in the imagination and creativity. “Urizen” fluttering hair became a burning halo of fire for Blake representing Los’ symbol of creativity and energy. The label also presents the allegory of “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” in a shape of the angel and the demon kissing each other from the original book art cover created and printed by Blake himself. Additional allegories are the woman and horses from his painting “Pity” [1795] against the character “Nebuchadnezzar” [1795] as well as “the Tyger” and “the Lamb” characters from the illustrated collection of his poems “Songs of Innocence and of Experience” [1789].

The composition is based on two Golden Spirals to constitute the torrential whirlwinds of Heaven and Hell. The Golden Spiral is manifested in the entire nature such as the galaxies, the oceans patterns, the hurricanes, the embryo's morphology, the fingerprints, the shells of many nautilus, the seahorses, the outer and inner mammal's ears, the fluid's flow (liquid & gas), the flower patterns, the growth rotation sequence of plants, and so forth. The closest mathematical approximation of the Golden Spiral is the Fibonacci number and other logarithmic spiral approaches. However, these are just approximations as they are limited by rationalisation on integers and rational numbers but not by irrational ones such as the well-known golden ratio (i.e. 1.618033988749), which the Golden Spiral is based on. This represents the core of Blake's wisdom that resides on the organic energy/imagination in opposition against the reason and logic.

The colour scheme is inspired by the paint “Satan watching the caresses of Adam and Eve” [1808] by Blake, displaying the day with vivid sunset yellowish oranges and the night with dark blues and blacks with the dim of starlight.

The logo font is derived from the original font of the art cover of “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”.


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Flavour profile

A splendorous premium golden ale with a deep malt backbone and a beautiful fresh citrusy hop character like Angels and Demons in love. A liquid interpretation of William Blake’s poetry. His words have spoken to us and through our beer they shall speak to you.

Formula

Malts: Vienna and Melanoidin

Bittering hops: Magnum

Aroma hops: Styrian Goldings Celeia

Dry-hopping: Styrian Goldings Celeia, Mandarina Bavaria, Cascade and Motueka

IBU: 45

Availability

Late April

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