It’s a little known fact that parallel to the Trappist brewing tradition there developed a entirely more evil method of beer making. While the pious monks were busy in their cloisters fermenting by God’s plan, in remote forest clearings and in dank caverns there labored another group of brewers who were motivated by Satan’s cruel hand. These witches and warlocks weren’t entirely about blood sacrifice and took beer making very seriously.
The Satanists originally started brewing as a reaction to the gruit taxes that were keeping civilian brewers in check by the authorities of the day. A Satanic coven can’t really enjoy evil ritual without the proper libations and the quantity required was very cost prohibitive. Early Satanic brewers concocted their own gruit from what they had on hand so it was common that they used Belladonna, Nightshade and various goat parts in their beer until they too adopted hops as the primary flavouring.
Satanic beer is most commonly dark, an inky black which doesn’t show up when spilled on ceremonial robes (this happened a lot throughout a typical coven gathering). There are records about certain clans preferring the Bock style but this is only typical of groups that did a lot of goat sacrifice (ein bock is quite literally a billy goat). Another characteristic of the Satanic style is a pronounced sulfur flavour. It is thought that this taste is imparted into the beer via souring with Zymomonas and Enterobacteriaceae. This theory has been proven to an extent by analysis of a dagger used in Satanic brewing that contained traces of these microbes. It’s unknown at what part of the brewing process the brew-dagger is employed. Modern day brewers that are influenced by the Satanic methodology are unforthcoming and when pressed on the issue, they have their eyes roll back into their skulls and their voices drop an octave.
Despite the mystery and apparent danger of demonic possession, we can see the Satanic influence on today’s beer scene. Dock Street brewery in Philadelphia resurrected an old Satanic technique with their goat brain Walking Dead brew. Surly, Three Floyds and Real Ale were not only influenced by a Satanic recipe recovered from a grimoire bound with human skin but also got together to preform some of the associated rituals while brewing Blakkr. While it’s thought that Imperial Black Ale is a relatively new style, the Satanists have been brewing similar beers for centuries.