Willibrew Victorian Neighbor Ale
1 5oz sampler, 5.7% ABV
Purchased at Willibrew, Willimantic
At this very moment, Princess Kate is in labor (labour)? I could not care less about this. The fact that Americans give a crap about English royalty is beyond me. Cripes, I could link 50 CTMQ pages that mention on plucky colony’s (ahem, Connecticut) noble attempts to break free of the Crown. Unfortunately, for whatever media-driven reason, we can’t seem to do it.
The last time the British royals mattered on the world stage was back in Victorian times. I just made that up, but go with me here…
So in light of that bit of truthiness, part of me would like to adopt Victorian manners for this review. Why? Because I really rather despised this beer, but putting that in print would defy the rules of Victorian etiquette. So I’ll try to focus on all the GREAT stuff about this beer..
Victorian Willimantic. Quite simply, beautiful and well-kept Victorian houses are probably the opposite of what most people think about when someone says “Willmantic.” (For what it’s worth, I think of Willibrew, Frog Bridge, “did you know Willimantic is actually just part of Windham,” the defunct Hooker Hotel, the culturally tinged stinger “WilliRico,” ECSU and the godforsaken East Brook Mall.) Not beautiful and well-kept Victorian mansions.
But I want to change that – for me AND for you.
“Brewed for all the beautiful Victorian painted ladies of the hill section. We donate a portion of the sales of this Vienna style beer to the Victorian Neighborhood Association”
A-ha! You say, why would they brew a Vienna beer for an English monarch. I can’t believe you’ve forgotten that while Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III, she was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld! I mean, come on, people.
And as for the “Victorian” ways, she was identified with strict standards of personal morality. She would probably royally frown upon drinking beer. At least for the ladies.
I just learned some interesting Victoriana: She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, fulfilling the “all royal families are incestuous stereotype. Her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover – which was a German thing that I don’t care to learn anything more about.
Anyway, it’s true: Willimantic has a ton of great old Victorians. The Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association is very real and pretty active. Check out all the preserved buildings here.
It’s great that Willibrew donated some proceeds to their efforts.
It’s just a shame that this thin, grainy, bitter, bleh beer was the one they chose to do it with. Sidenote: Vienna Fingers are one of the worst cookies in the world too. I just had to say that.
Overall Rating: D, with politely raised eybrow
Rating vs. Similar style: D