I searched the snaggletoothed scenery; for what, I did not know. I recognized much of the locale’s typical residents, though many had adopted new appearances, in preparation for the brutal winter to come.
Then, rising from the cooler, I sighted it. Four humps above the top shelf, as black as a December night wrapped in sackcloth.
Could it be the legendary creature? Mine eyes did not behold the fabled characteristics. The scotch ale is known for its malt bite, but also a a somewhat lighter color and thinner constitution than its stout relatives. Could the historically sound Magic Hat have been wrong in its description?
When the 8% beast crashed on my tongue, there could be no doubt. This was Wee Heavy Champ, in the body.
Though descriptions of the wee heavy have varied for as long as it’s been known, the molasses taste made this identification unmistakable. Like nothing else in the store, this dark yet mysteriously light-bodied ale presented notes of chocolate but no caramel or peat to be found. What kind of an amalgamated beast was this?
Born on the shores of Vermont’s Lake Champlain, the Wee Heavy Champ has been observed more often than usual in recent times. Those not so fortunate as to catch a glimpse may call it a misidentifcation of a known beer, or something even more mundane.
But as the last sip slipped below my epiglottal surface, I cared not what the skeptics would say. I’d traversed these beer style waters for decades, and like all the savvy tasters who’d encountered the creature before me, only one personal truth can matter.
I know what I drank.
Magic Hat Brewing Company’s Wee Heavy Champ, part of its Humdinger Series, is inspired by the legend of the monster folklore enthusiasts speak of in Lake Champlain, and is a seasonal specialty available for a limited time. Catch it if you can.