Monday, July 29th, 2019

Frank Herbert’s “Dune” inspires Tacoma Beer Week IIPA

Ron Swarner

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Frank Herbert’s “Dune” inspires Tacoma Beer Week IIPA: Peaks and Pints joined 7 Seas Brewing to collaborate on the Great Maker hazy double IPA, a tribute to Tacoma’s Dune Peninsula, which will be released during Tacoma Beer Week Aug. 11.

Frank Herbert’s “Dune” inspires Tacoma Beer Week IIPA

“I think we can all agree that the best “Dune” adaptation is the one that becomes a beer,” said Peaks and Pints co-owner Robby Peterson to a 7 Seas brewhouse full of laughter.

It has sold millions of copies, is perhaps the greatest novel in the science-fiction canon and Star Wars wouldn’t have existed without it. Tacoma-born Frank Herbert’s politically relevant fantasy “Dune” is also the inspiration behind the hazy double IPA 7 Seas Brewing and Peaks and Pints brewed to kick off Tacoma Beer Week Sunday, Aug. 11. Actually, more specifically, the double IPA is inspired by Metro Parks Tacoma and Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg’s newly opened Dune Peninsula — an 11-acre park named for the famous novel by science fiction writer Herbert, who was raised in the shadow of the former Asarco Smelter. Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance and the Frank Herbert Trail are part of a 40-acre, $74.8 million project that sits on the Rehabilitated Asarco Superfund site, which includes a series of six slides that allow visitors to quickly travel from the “peak” of the park to the “sea level” below.

But Peterson’s comment most likely is correct: the best “Dune” adaptation could be the Great Maker, the 7 Seas/Peaks and Pints hazy double IPA collaboration, which is named after the sandworms in the book. After all, Herbert’s 1965 opus has had its fair share of wasted “space.” The book’s adaptations include a 1992 video game, at least two TV miniseries — Dune (2000) and Children of Dune (2003) — an eight-hour Spanish movie made in 2007 with home computers, plus films left on the shelf by David Lean, Ridley Scott and Alejandro Jodorowsky. The Hollywood version ultimately was made by David Lynch — universally considered the Gigli of art films, with sandworms that look like giant sausages being pushed around a sandbox, and costume design that manages to be simultaneously cool-looking and yet completely and totally absurd (clarification: Sting’s silver drawers are only the latter and not at all the former).

7 Seas brewer Salmon Joe guided Peaks and Pints through the brewing process.
Peaks and Pints co-owner Justin Peterson adds the grains.

In fact, describing the book’s plot could make you feel like you’ve shed your clothes and donned a sandwich board and tinfoil hat. Just know it’s set on a desert planet named Arrakis that is the sole source of the universe’s most valued substance, spice mélange, and Herbert’s connection to Tacoma inspired our beer. Read a thorough synopsis here this as Tacoma Beer Week collaboration beer release description is already out of control.

“Our Great Maker hazy double IPA would easily have been more valuable than spice in Dune’s universe,” 7 Seas co-founder and head brewer Travis Guterson more or less said. “This beer is heavily hopped with Magnum and Amarillo in the kettle, Citra and Mosaic in the whirlpool and dry hopped with Idaho 7 and Amarillo. Add imperial juice yeast and our brewer Salmon Joe’s magic and this beer is money.”

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Peaks and Pints business manager Jess Madsen is all business with the malt.
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Peaks and Pints bartender Phaedra Russell Miller gets in on the malt action, too.
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There’s always a dork during brewing collaborations.

“The theme in ‘Dune’ of a world destroyed by environmental catastrophe drew in part from Frank Herbert’s life experiences in Tacoma, which in the 1950s was one of the nation’s most polluted cities,” said Park Board Commissioner Erik Hanberg, who will lecture on Herbert’s connection to Tacoma in another Tacoma Beer Week function at Peaks and Pints Wednesday, Aug. 14. “The characters in the novel have a goal to ‘terraform’ their planet back to its inhabitable origins. That’s what we’ve done [at Dune Peninsula]. We have terraformed a polluted wasteland into a beautiful environment for all to enjoy.”

What the hell is a Great Maker? The book says. …

“Out of the sand haze came an orderly mass of flashing shapes — great rising curves with crystal spokes that resolved into the gaping mouths of sandworms, a massed wall of them, each with troops of Fremen riding to the attack. They came in a hissing wedge, robes whipping in the wind as they cut through the melee on the plain.”

OK, we guess we’re going there: The Fremen are a group of people in Herbert’s “Dune” who inhabit the desert planet Arrakis, which is the sole known source in the universe of the all-important spice mélange. The Fremen believe that the actions of the sandworms are the direct actions of God, and so the worms have been given numerous titles such as the “Great Maker,” “The Maker,” and the “Worm who is God.” Virtually indestructible and with indefinite lifespans of potentially thousands of years, the giant sandworms are also referred to as the “Old Man of the Desert”, “Old Father Eternity” and “Grandfather of the Desert,” which are all horrible names for beer.

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7 Seas Head Brewer Travis Guterson loads the hops onto 7 Seas Sales Executive Keith Carpenter’s push cart.

Sunday, Aug. 11, head to Tacoma’s Dune Peninsula; enjoy the sweeping view of the water with sailboats and ships dotting the horizon; leashed dogs and longboarders filling Frank Herbert Trail; world-class landscaping with built-in viewpoints; and peak to sea trips down the slide before worming your way toward Peaks and Pints for pints of our 7 Seas Great Maker hazy double IPA, beginning at 5 p.m.

It will be the best “Dune” adaptation yet. Cheers!

7 SEAS/PEAKS AND PINTS GREAT MAKER IIPA RELEASE PARTY, 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, Peaks and Pints, 3816 N. 26th St., Basecamp Proctor, Tacoma, no cover

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Peaks and Pints bartender Erika Horwege measures the hops.
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Erika Horwege gives the hops a whirlpool bath.
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Peaks and Pints co-owner Robby Peterson joins the fun.
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Ferment, Great Maker!