This month The Beer Garden at SBCAST will serve Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co Magpie Porter with a Lavender Tea Syrup alongside lighting and décor that references the color purple. The beer and setting is paired with the renowned 1962 cinematic version of Harper Lee’s timeless classic, To Kill A Mockingbird. This story explores the issues of racial injustice, class struggles, and gender identity that continue to challenge our society today. Figueroa Mountain’s Magpie Porter is a strong, Baltic-style porter with a mocha-like flavor and a touch of pepper and alcohol in the finish.
In England, Porter was the beer of the working class. In early America, bottled porter from London was a sign of wealth and sophistication. This beer style became prominent during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century and represented the movement of brewing as a communal industry to a global market. From the Baltics and India to as far off as the Americas, porter was shipped around the world from the docks of London. Porter brewers rushed to out-produce one another, building larger and larger wooden room-sized fermenters called foudres. While tea was the sought after commodity, porter fueled the trade routes that connected the world and helped establish a global economy.
The blending of lavender and porter was inspired by the Pakala Porter brewed by the now defunct Waimea Brewing Co, located on the small quiet Hawaiian island of Kauai. This refreshing porter had a perfumed note of lavender and plumeria that complemented the smooth chocolate character. The aroma imparted a delicate violet hue that contrasted with the rich cola color of the brew and accentuated the breezy bar surrounded by lush greenery.
Known for its soothing fragrance and healing properties, lavender has been in use for millennia. A lavender tea was incorporated into the syrup to add its distinctive perfume and an astringency from the tea that contrasts with the rich porter while hinting at an imperialist past. As one tastes the beer, the fragrance of lavender implies its corresponding color.
Purple garb and markings have been used to distinguish an individual’s rank and power since the ancient times in western culture. In this month’s Beer Garden, the purple themes reference its regal history and its role in class distinction. Purple tones juxtaposed with the restorative aroma of lavender seeks to balance the astringency of the tea and the robustness of the porter by softening their edges and providing solace.
About The Beer Garden
The Beer Garden at SBCAST takes place during First Thursday of each month. This curated space interprets how color, media, and materials interact with beer’s flavor, culture, and history. Each month’s theme is paired with a singular, specially crafted beer and set alongside an (almost silent) movie screening. Beer has a long history as a communal beverage and has been a facilitator of social interactivity and conversation since its inception. With seating areas placed throughout, The Beer Garden seeks to invoke memories, emotions, and conversation while exploring the flavor of beer and the setting in which it is served.