Happy 4th of July in this bicentennial year of Walt Whitman’s birth! In addition to archival exhibits and poetry contests, the major U.S. celebrations include a 7-part liquid tribute from Bell’s Brewery. Its Leaves of Grass series takes its name from Whitman’s signature volume of poems first published on July 4, 1855. Part I is the Song of Myself American IPA. Here’s the opening to my interpretation in The Massachusetts Review:
Some poets are wine poets. Walt Whitman is a beer poet. In a Brooklyniana piece from 1862, he describes the Eastern District breweries as “sources of the mighty outpourings of ale and lager beer, refreshing the thirsty lovers of those liquids in hot or cold weather.” In American literature, the boisterous and sprawling poem that made his name still refreshes lovers of innovation with its mighty outpourings. Bell’s “Song of Myself” India Pale Ale isn’t Whitman’s first beer incarnation. Enlightenment Ales brewed a “Song of Myself” American Pale Ale in 2014, and Philadelphia Brewing still makes a Belgian White Ale dubbed Walt Wit. . . .
You can read the rest of my Liquid Whitman review here.