An Elector Day story … and Bank Street Brewhouse changes its name to NABC Cafe and Brewhouse.


Scroll down and learn how Elector Ale came to be 14 years ago, but first, as you can see, Bank Street Brewhouse has a new name.

Since the guy who founded the business and wrote something like 96.7% of the press releases no longer is affiliated with the business, we might be waiting a bit for an explanation, though I’m sure it falls under the all-purpose heading of “rebranding.”

And, before anyone asks, what I wrote in May remains the case: Here’s the latest in the Great NABC Non-Buyout Saga of 2016.

On a more sensible note, it appears that the august (November?) institution of Elector Day has not been abandoned, and that popularly-priced pints of the elixir are available Tuesday at both locations, BSB (oops, the Cafe) and the original Pizzeria & Public House location on the north side.

While I may no longer be involved in the business, it is a matter of pride that Elector has survived three and a half White House terms, and (hopefully) will persist into a fifth residency.

As such, here’s a freebie — written in 2014, updated for now. It’s okay; you can pay me later at the usual piece rate.

Elector was born 14 years ago on Election Day, 2002.

Now it is the year 2016, and on November 8, Elector’s birthday will be celebrated at both NABC locations with big cuts in the “poll” tax: $2 Imperial pints of Elector, all day long, and $6.66 growler refills of Elector, all day long.

No longer must we labor under the delusion of an election day prohibition on alcohol sales, so drink early and vote often.

Here is the Elector Story.

Elector’s conceptual roots extend to the beginnings of NABC’s original garage brewery off Grant Line Road — now the Research & Development Brewery.

Elector was the third recipe brewed by NABC’s founding brewer, Michael Borchers, and his assistant, Joey Burns, and was made for the very first time on Election Day, 2002.

Brew day happened to be the mid-term congressional election following the disputed presidential race of 2000, in which Al Gore won the popular vote nationwide, but lost the White House owing to Florida’s uncounted hanging chads and the state’s subsequent votes for George W. Bush in the Electoral College.

Needless to say, as subversive leftists (and craft brewers, who always should be subversive leftists), this political outcome was still somewhat fresh in our minds in 2002 as Michael concocted an initially modest plan to follow Community Dark and Beak’s Best with a traditional English-style seasonal winter warmer.

Brew day was uneventful, but as the fermentation proceeded and time rolled past, it became obvious that the new batch of winter warmer was going to have a deeper burgundy color than planned, and also was considerably hoppier than the intended style should ever be.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, as it turned out.

The resulting hybrid was delicious, full-bodied and aggressively hopped, and we concluded that while the intent had been tamer winter warmer, the result was something else – Imperial Red, in our reckoning – and we went forward with the results.

These days, I prefer to call it Elector-Style Ale, such is the beer’s uniqueness. It is a one-off, and stylistically, there is no classification except fine flavor.

Before the finished character of our newly hybridized ale had become apparent, we’d already started the process of hybridizing its name, something that arose out of drunken mischief (imagine that) when after much discussion, Joey suggested Elector in reference to the Electoral College and the way it made the popular vote pointless, and by extension, democracy itself somewhat redundant.

I replied that the “-tor” suffix would suggest Doppelbock in the minds of knowledgeable drinkers, and of course we had no intention of producing a beer remotely close to Doppelbock.

Joey: “Right.”

Roger: “Right.”

Good, then we’re agreed … Elector it would be.

Now it’s fourteen years later, and I feel just as strongly as I did then: An Elector in hand is well worth two Bushes in retirement, any election day, and in fact, any time of the year. Elector’s back story would be sufficient to render it an iconic brand, and Tony Beard’s graphics greatly add to the mystique — but of course, it’s the liquid in the glass that really matters.