Craft Beer Stories – Devil’s Elbow

Devil’s Elbow

Howe Sound Brewing

Squamish, BC

IPA, 6 %

I woke up and felt like someone punched me in the gut. My wooden surroundings suggested that I was not lying in my bed. Carefully, I lifted my upper body to see where the hell this beer had transported me.

Apparently, I was in a boat. A canoe, maybe? Last thing I remembered was taking a big swig of a new IPA. It was a huge amount of beer and I doubt I finished it in one go.

“You’re awake. Good, let’s get this over with.”

The voice startled me. I didn’t notice the person in the black robes standing there on the other end of the boat. He was holding a pitch fork, which by itself would not have been a dead giveaway, but the horns protruding from his temples made it clear: that dude was the devil.

“Can we get started?” His tired eyes gave off the vibe that he wasn’t thrilled to be here either.

“Start what exactly?”

The devil sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Your eternal torture. Look, man, I’ve been doing this job for way too long. Can we just get this done, I have a pile of other sinners on my desk to get through by Friday.”

“Jeez, man, alright. Let the show begin.”

He lifted his pitchfork and stabbed it into the water. The boat moved slowly through the dark amber coloured water, splitting a considerable amount of foam at the front. A subtle scent of hop lingered in the air.

I watched the devil move his pitchfork from one side of the boat to the other.

“Wouldn’t a paddle be more effective?”

“No. I’m not actually paddling. You think the lord of the underworld doesn’t have his own ways of moving a boat forward? Besides, I have to keep my brand image in mind. Can you imagine the devil with a paddle? That’s just silly.”

I nodded and checked my surroundings. It looked like we were on a river surrounded by a forest of pine trees. The river, it seemed, consisted of beer. I couldn’t help but dip my hand in and scoop myself a little taste.

“Isn’t that supposed to be an IPA?” I pointed at the river.

“It is an IPA.” His response was unenthusiastic.

“Well, it kinda tastes more like a pilsner maybe. A flat, bitter pilsner.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It just…doesn’t have all the qualities I would consider in a good IPA. It’s not even pale. You know what the P stands for, right?”

He was not impressed. I shouldn’t have said anything.

“Flat, huh? You want more excitement? Here we go then.”

His dark robe fluttered and a pair of giant bat wings emerged from his back. The devil raised his pitchfork and stabbed it into the boat. His wings spread out and, bracing himself on his weapon, he pushed the boat forward by beating his leathery limbs.

We were blasting through the river, barely dodging rocks and almost lifting off of the surface. But the ride ended as quickly as it began.

“What do you say now, beer snob?”

“I appreciate the volume but…unremarkable at best”, I shrugged.

Why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut again?

The devil let go of his pitchfork and closed in on me. I tried to jump off the boat but he grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and pulled me back in. I figured if flight won’t work, I have to try to fight. My fist swung at him but he crouched underneath it. Before I could pull back, the devil jabbed his elbow into my stomach. My vision blurred and slowly faded into darkness.

I woke up and felt like someone punched me in the gut. My wooden surroundings suggested that I was not lying in my bed. Carefully, I lifted my upper body to see where the hell this beer had transported me.

Apparently, I was in a boat. A canoe, maybe? Last thing I remembered was taking a big swig of a new IPA. It was a huge amount of beer and I doubt I finished it in one go.

“You’re awake. Good, let’s get this over with.”

The voice startled me. I didn’t notice the person in the black robes standing there on the other end of the boat. He was holding a pitch fork, which by itself would not have been a dead giveaway, but the horns protruding from his temples made it clear: that dude was the devil.

“Can we get started?” His tired eyes gave off the vibe that he wasn’t thrilled to be here either.

“Start what exactly?”

The devil sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Your eternal torture…”

Rating: A satanic wenis out of ten

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