13 February 2017
While speculation abounds over Russia’s alleged influence over the 2016 United States presidential election, the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies are rumored to be investigating the recent hacking of a local Charlotte brewery.
Brad Shell, owner of The Unknown Brewing Company in Charlotte, NC has admitted that Russian intelligence “may have gained limited access” into the brewery’s electrical system in order to spy on the formulation of his recent Russian Imperial Stouts. While Shell did not go into details, it is widely assumed that Russia has been working on developing an advanced imperial stout for decades. People with direct knowledge of the brewery’s system did note that the recipes had appeared to be tampered with for a short time.
Despite the international controversy, The Unknown Brewing Company decided to move forward with releasing their acclaimed Russian Imperial Stouts. The brewery, fed up with Russian interference, released the following descriptions of this year’s Imperial Stouts.
- Krash the Kremlin (12.4% ABV) This stout is big. Seven different grains give this beer a great taste of chocolate and toasted toffee. It has a thick brown head and with a warm mouth feel that will up against the coldest winter months. Even for its high gravity this beer is not overly thick or syrupy even though it’s made with enough grain to Krash the Kremlin.
- Dirty Commie Heathen (12.4% ABV) When we think of Russian Imperial Stout, we think cold, dark and filthy rich. We’re not historians but another dark, cold leader comes to mind. This beer weighs in at more than 4,000 pounds of grain and would easily tax the resources of premier Stalin. We added tons of red cherries and aged in bourbon barrels over a long winter to make this a real bear. Instead of starting a cold war maybe the former premier would have been better off brewing a delicious beer. And, unlike the former Soviet Union, this beer ages well.
Dirty Commie Heathen will be available in 22-oz. bottles for a taproom release on February 18 at 11 a.m. Very limited distribution of draft and bottles will begin on February 28.
“It is no surprise that Putin would desire a superior Russian Imperial Stout,” stated a beer expert source close to the investigation. “That type of beer has a high alcohol content with heavy malt character and was originally developed in the 1800s to win over the Russian Czar. The Russians have been fans ever since.”
Pressed on the issue, Shell acknowledged that this was not the first time that Russian operatives had sought to hack into his system. Known for pushing boundaries, The Unknown Brewing Company has a reputation for unconventional brews and avant-garde lifestyle, which Shell admits may be particularly appealing to those who have suffered through the drudgery of soviet living.
Shell conceded that he has kept a watchful eye over Putin’s alleged passion for the craft beer industry for years. He confirmed that the Russian president did reach out once through the Russian embassy to query if Shell would be interested in visiting Moscow to go bareback riding through the countryside while discussing the finer points of stout brewing. Shell quickly rejected his offer. Later it was discovered that Putin’s favorite horse, Penelope, went missing. Her whereabouts are still… Unknown.
“More than anything in this world, I love ‘Merica,” Shell stated emphatically. “I love everything it stands for—freedom, democracy, apple pie, the right to wear jorts, Chuck Norris, electric guitars, and beer. Those Russians may try to hack our computers…but I’ll be damned if they will take our brew.”
The Russian government continues to deny any involvement or tampering with The Unknown Brewing Company, although Putin did put out a tweet this week stating, “You should never believe everything you read…”