I know we’re all very happy to welcome Dangerous Man’s Chocolate Milk Stout back into the tap rotation. Creamy, smooth, rich, and chocolatey, this beer has found its beat in the Minneapolis beer scene. As this beer is rotated in often, I will once again take it upon myself to dredge up some anthropological history concerning chocolate and beer and their very important presence in human lives.
The Mesoamerican region spanning from Northern Mexico to Guatemala was an area populated with many different kinds of peoples. Influential cultures and the influenced can be seen in the written documents, stone cities, and artistic traditions that have been excavated in the past century. As I have mentioned before, cacao derives from this region where it was initially refined, grown, and exchanged between peoples, both elite and working class. The cacao plant was a defining product of Mesoamerica that regulated exchange, took place in myth, found itself in ceremony, and was consumed with a hearty and loving appetite.
Much of cacao’s importance can be seen in pottery recovered from archaeological excavations. These vessels were made with gourds, stone, or ceramic and often held inscriptions or effigies of the cacao to be consumed from them.
Much as glassware has developed specifically for beer, vessels for cacao consumption were specialized, individualized and were a major part in the consumption and enjoyment of cacao. We can only postulate (so far it’s just been me, to little effect) that the different materials used to make effigies changed the hot cacao’s flavor and perception similar to how our current glassware dramatically effects our perceptions. A foaming agent was even added to the chocolate mix to create a large, heady foam for the best consumption, which sounds very familiar to us in the beer culture.
Enjoy these images of consumption vessels; better yet, find a way to the Mesoamerican region, travel some ruins, learn bits of a new language, and grow your mind sideways for the better. As Missi (you know her as Matchbox’s awesome barista/owner and Dangerous Man’s awesome server/badass) were talking about our explorations of Mexico and the unknown, I came to the realization that old ideas are dangerous, and that’s what make them best. Drink local, drink Dangerous; grow that mind sideways.