The Great Gig in the Sea: Short’s Brewer gets on the radar of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History

Special guest blog post by pub brewer,
Lukas Whitley

Scrolling through the internets after work one day while enjoying a shift beer, I came across an interesting article… Scientists had discovered a new species of Shrimp, and named it after one of my favorite bands ever, Pink Floyd… I said “Oh, that is mildly interesting” to myself. Then when I read the article, and the reasoning behind the name, I was thoroughly impressed. The Shrimp’s defense mechanism/attack is clicking it’s larger claw, and creating a sound, that has higher decibels than most rock concerts. This stuns, and sometimes kills small fish in the area. Whoa.

Artwork by Tanya Whitley

Pink Floyd has an infamous folklore-ish tale of a concert they played back in the day that was so loud, that it killed all the fish in a neighboring pond to the venue…This along with the fact that the shrimp has a giant pinkish-colored claw that kills enemies with sound totally blew me away. I need to make a beer in honor of this amazing, newly discovered animal, while giving a nod to one of the greatest bands of all time.
I’m always looking for inspiration for beers in whatever I consume in my every day life, outside of work…Whether it be lyrics from a song, an obscure line in a movie, A book I’ve read, or in this case, A random article from the internet.

“They played a concert back in the day that was so loud, that it killed all the fish in a neighboring pond to the venue…”

Although hard to pronounce, I thought the name of the beer could be the actual scientific name give to the Shrimp: “Synalpheus Pinkfloydi” …From there I thought we needed to make the beer a pink-ish in color to honor the band, and shrimp. It was late Spring, and starting to get nice outside. So I thought a super refreshing Gose would be the perfect beer style for this. I had never heard of a “Pink Lemonade” Gose being done before, and that’s what I wanted to do…Then I thought a little longer, and decided I wanted to use cherries from King’s Orchards…So it ended up being a Cherry Lemonade Gose.

One of my absolute favorite things to do at Short’s (besides making beer, and developing recipes) is coming up with the art concept for labels…And then seeing my Aunt Tanya bring my ideas into visual form… For this one, I wanted a picture of the shrimp on a “Dark Side of the Moon” album inspired background…with it’s giant pink claw in the center of the light prism, refracting various shades of pink/red light. The pink light refraction was giving a visual component to the sound it creates with it’s giant claw.
The beer came out, and I was happy with how it tastes. Although, I’m always looking to tweek my recipes to make them better, and I’ve got a few ideas for this one…Fast forward months later I get a company email stating that some of the scientists/biologists that helped name this species of shrimp, knew about my beer! I was hoping they weren’t upset that I used the name, but their reaction seemed to be the opposite of that. They were really excited about it, and sent me the official article they wrote about the species, that was extremely detailed, and very interesting. Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History also Tweeted out the image of the label on their Twitter… We are sending them a nice canvas of the label artwork for them to have at the University. This was so cool to be in contact with these immensely smart folks that I was reading about several months earlier. I hope someday they will get to try the beer, and maybe even visit the pub in Bellaire.
Small World. Crazy connection. I Love Beer. The End.

Check out Synalpheus Pinkfloydi and 99 other rare brews at the Hopcat 100 tap takeover in Chicago on Saturday Nov. 11th

Note: Synalpheus Pinkfloydi was released as a specialty release in summer 2018.

Lukas Whitley is a pub brewer would joined the Short’s team in August of 2012. He is obsessed with Craft beer, weird music, Detroit sports, Jim Harrison books, and his Old English Sheep dog, Sue (A boy named…) His fearless creativity has produced some of Short’s most sought after, and award winning beers, such as Gitchy Gitchy Ooh La La, CocoZacca, Cone Thugs, The Upside Down, The Mighty Shorse, A Tribe Called Zest, I got 5 on it, and Michigantuan.