Last evening I had the honor of meeting and speaking with the president of Duck Rabbit Brewery Paul Philippon from Farmville, NC.
He was very gracious with his time to give me some history of Duck Rabbit, and how it all came to be.
Paul was previously a professor of Philosophy at East Michigan University. A homebrewer since 1987, Paul started taking a look around at his colleagues situations, and feared for his own future. It was time to take the next step.
Next stop for Phillippon was Siebel Institute of Technology & World Brewing Academy in Chicago, Illinois. By 2004 Duck Rabbit was started, and the first beer was produced in August of that year.
Now 5 years later, Duck Rabbit has gained a lot of popularity as the “Dark Beer Specialist.” Logically I had to ask Paul where the name Duck Rabbit came from. I should have known this answer armed with the knowledge that he was a philosophy major. Paul gave me some homework. Discover the origin of Duck Rabbit. Well, I have done the work, and here is the spoiler. Thomas Kuhn used the duck rabbit illustration in 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It is an optical illusion used to demonstrate paradigm shift that can cause an individual to see the same information in an entirely different way.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Turn your Duck Rabbit bottle sideways. See a rabbit? Talk amongst yourselves.
Finally, the cherry porter cask was unbelievably tasty. Paul added cherry directly to the cask and allowed it to condition. The beer was very balanced with cherry hitting your palette first, blending nicely porter tones as it finishes. This cherry cask is a rare one Duck Rabbit brought here just for this event. Don’t go looking for it, you won’t find it. It’s a shame you missed it.
Finally, it is absolutely a pleasure to sit and have a beer with the individual who made it. The insight of the actual craft brewer is worth it’s weight in gold. Paul, it was an pleasure meeting you. Keep up the great work.
Hugh Sissons, Founder and General Partner of Clipper City Brewing, made a visit to Taco Mac Metropolis on Peachtree Street downtown. With him, he brought a cask of Loose Cannon IPA.
Little bit of back-story – Hugh Sissons founded Baltimore’s first brewpub in 1989 — Sisson’s. It was a bit harder than you would think, as doing so required more than a business license. In 1987, Hugh successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly in 1987 to pass legislation allowing him to do so. If that doesn’t impress you enough about his love of craft beer, I’m not quite sure what will.
In 1994, Hugh left his brewpub — Sisson’s to found Clipper City Brewing — which has risen to great popularity more than a decade later. In 1998, Clipper City merged with Oxford Brewing Company — Maryland’s first craft brewing company. In 2003, the Heavy Seas line was added to the Clipper City lineup, representing more bold ales beginning at 7% ABV or higher.
I got to have a great conversation with Hugh about his past, present and future. He was really excited to talk about his new Mutiny Fleet line of ales coming out this fall. First up — Big DIPA. A double IPA with 5 hops, 3 malts. (which if you are reading this now, has come and gone.) Up next for his Mutiny Fleet — Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Due in September.) More on that later. One more interesting fact about the Mutiny Fleet. All the recipes and artwork on the bottles (all 22 oz big bottles,) were done by the brewers. It’s really an at home creation.
The cask was tasty, and it was a great honor and pleasure to meet Hugh Sissons. These events are great opportunities to meet the makers of craft beer, and get more in touch with what is going in your glass.
More pictures are available at the atlantabeermaster.com fan page on facebook, (do a search for “atlantabeermaster.com” on FB.)
Also — Clipper City – www.ccbeer.com