Meet Thunder and Funk
They’re big. They’re bold. They’re the world’s largest living primates. And they’re just plain cool. We haven’t been bashful about sharing our love of these awesome creatures, dating back to the first time we ever printed a pair of brightly-hued gorillas on one of our beer cans. *Any guesses which beer that was? Hint: it’s big and bold, too.
If you guessed Double Thunder Funk, our first-ever Double IPA, you are correct (your prize is bragging rights). When our creative director Mike Shaugnessy heard we were making a Double IPA, he was struck by an image of two silverback gorillas smashing their heads together (he viewed it as a metaphor for what the beer would do to your head – remember, a Double IPA was a new concept for Bent Water). During a meeting when the beer was being discussed, he sketched the image that originally entered his head. The image would ultimately become immortalized on the actual beer can label, featuring two combative gorillas – one blue, and one pink.
The blue gorilla would make a solo appearance much later in life on the label of Supercharger, which was the first in a limited series of hazy IPAs that were named in tribute to stories and features of our brewery’s home city of Lynn. Supercharger is a nod to the first American jet engine, which was developed by General Electric in Lynn in 1941 and was given the codename I-A Supercharger. Evidently one of the original test pilots was a bit of a practical joker. While flying a still-unknown and experimental airplane, he would join formation with unsuspecting pilots and, to their surprise, wave at them while wearing a gorilla mask and smoking a cigar, and then fly away leaving many of them befuddled. That cigar-chomping blue gorilla appears on the can of Supercharger and is one of our favorite labels (and beers).
But we like to take it beyond the can – in everything we do. If you follow us on social media, you might have noticed the sporadic appearances of two mysterious gorillas (one blue, and one pink) who enjoy a variety of activities: brewing, hanging out in our taproom, and even skiing!
Today, we decided to give everyone a peek behind the curtain and officially introduce our friends, Thunder and Funk.
These two characters are more than attention seekers in the increasingly crowded world of social media. We like to think that they are symbolic of what we strive for with our hop-forward beers, our eye-grabbing can labels, and our commitment to pushing boundaries physically and mentally every day. We live large and are unapologetic about it.
Why does this matter?
Well, for starters, we thought it was past time for folks to get a better understanding of who these two characters are. Perhaps more importantly, we’ve decided that our commitment to and love of these bold creatures deserve more attention. In the coming months, look for more of the Bent Water gorillas appearing on the cans of many of our hop-forward beers, from a certain super-charged hazy IPA that scored a 96 from Craft Beer & Brewing (and is soon to return) to our most recent entry into the series, Primordial Haze, a triple dry-hopped tropical IPA that uses Phantasm powder for extra punch and features not two but three gorillas on the label.
We’re proud to have a portfolio with a diverse range of choices that appeals to everyone: from our summer-friendly hard seltzers and kettle sours (have you tried the just released Limoncello yet?) to smooth lagers and our flavorful high ABV series. But it was – and still is – our selection of IPAs that Bent Water Brewing built its reputation around.
Look for some of your favorite IPAs in the coming months as part of the ‘Gorilla Series’ and if you plan on coming out for Bent Water on the Beach this Saturday (we highly recommend that you do if you’re local), keep your eyes peeled for Thunder and Funk!
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