Via Cordis (Road to the Heart)

Via Cordis Abbey Blonde
22 oz bottle, $6.99++, 5.2%

Purchased at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford

viacordisStraight up: Another beautiful label from Two Roads. Beautiful AND clever, using a traditional stained glass mosaic look evoking European churches of old. Or should I say “olde.” I dig it.

Beyond that, the entire idea behind this beer is really cool as well. While I am hardly Catholic, and would never subject my children to the abject horror that is Catholic guilt (not to mention the institutional pedophilia and the insanity of transubstantiation and dead bloody Jesus fetishism and the subjugation of women), I still more or less support the idea behind this beer.

Oh what – did I offend you? I’m not ever sorry. You may be a wonderfully charitable and lovely human being, but your choice of religion bothers me. When you eat a cracker every week, do you really – I mean REALLY and truly believe you are eating the actual flesh of a 2000 years dead Jewish zombie? At least the protestants recognize it’s just a cracker. Which is still silly, but slightly less so.

Yeah, yeah, the Pope is Time’s Man of the Year in 2013. Bully for him. He cares about the poor. Okay then, how about reversing your stance on contraception and promoting it in poor countries. Perhaps then I’ll believe you care about the poor.

Oh, and while you’re at it Pope, let’s address the rampant, decades-long worldwide pedophilia ring you run. It’s horrifying to me that anyone still belongs to the Catholic church. Horrifying.

But scholarship is a wonderful thing, so it’s great that this beer was made in celebration of Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University’s 50th anniversary and money for scholarships and honors the centuries-old link between Catholicism and beer.

(Hoo boy, my starchy protestant upbringing would blanche at such a connection, for as we all know, alcohol is a tool of the devil. Yes, my father fully believes this – a concept as ridiculous as transubstantiation, but whatever.)

Via Cordis, Latin for “Road to the Heart”—cleverly combines the Two Roads name and Sacred Heart University. So it’s almost a pun with meaning. Well played.

The beer is a golden-colored Abbey Blonde, or abbey single, and is fermented with yeast sourced from an active Catholic monastery brewery in Belgium. That’s pretty cool, but not the coolest part of this beer’s story, which as the brewery says:

“Via Cordis was crafted by Two Road’s Brewmaster Phil Markowski along with assistant Biology Professor Geffrey Stopper and former biology chair and associate professor Kirk Bartholomew. A portion of proceeds from sale of the beer will result in a donation to Sacred Heart University’s student scholarship fund.”

CatholicPriestsBiology professors! I love biology professors. With all the Catholic bashing on this page, you may be surprised to read the following: Props to the Pope (or whomever) fairly recently accepted the fact of evolution. Many Catholics find this hard to believe, but it’s true. And it makes me happy. And it’s something they have over the head-up-their-ass American protestant denominations who rather prefer the stories of illiterate Bronze Age desert dwelling tribes over 160 years of modern science.

Yay Catholics!

Two Roads says:

Catholic monasteries were historically major centers of brewing and learning, and their educational model evolved into the modern university. Two Roads brewers and some beer-loving professors in Sacred Heart University’s biology department collaborated to brew this beer in celebration of that history. This Abbey Single is brewed to be distinctive in flavor yet approachable and refreshing. Please enjoy it responsibly.

My two-year-olds’ best friends are both named Abby, but one has brown hair and the other’s is red. He loves them dearly, so I wanted to love a blonde abbey – especially one brewed by saison-master Markowski.

Annnnnnnd, yeah, it’s pretty good. I mean, it’s an abbey single. A blonde ale with some yeast and some distinctive Markowski farmhouse signatures. It’s earthy and retains some maltiness. There is a slight sweetness to the Via Cordis that sort of mellows the yeasty funk. It’s more complex than you’d expect from a blonde, but it’s still a blonde.

I’d call the experiment a success, and the back story a big plus. I don’t imagine the young girls at Sacred Heart who were expecting a boring blonde were too pleased with the farmhouse qualities of the beer, and that’s actually probably annoying to Two Roads who seem to market to the lower end of craft enthusiasts, but I appreciate it.

Who knows if they’ll brew this again, but if they do, I’d buy it again. In support of biology professors everywhere.


Overall Rating: B-
Rating vs. Similar style: A-

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