Alligators have always had a special place of honor in urban mythology, from Tennessee's “meth-gators” to New York City’s infamous sewer-dwelling snappers. The former never actually existed, and the latter seem highly improbable, but like BigFoot, Nessie and the Bambi-eyed humanoids out in Roswell, New Mexico, no one is quite ready to give up the idea.
It should be no surprise that when a five-foot, three-inch alligator made an appearance on Chicago’s West Side, the city went nuts. Though he may already have been hauled away to a Florida gator sanctuary at a cost of $33,649, Chance the Snapper, as he’s come to be known, is already a real-life legend. His likeness has inspired a bobblehead, a number of T-Shirt designs, and, yes, a beer.
“Now that Chance the Snapper has been successfully captured, we’ll be saluting his bitey outlaw spirit with his own Rev beer,” announced Revolution Brewing on Twitter. “It’s a pineapple coconut Wit for those who like underdog reptiles and getting lost in the rain.”
Fittingly, the pina colada-inflected wit will only be a taproom and pub exclusive, since Chance the Snapper now belongs to Chicagoans. A dollar from each pour will go to support West Town Bikes, a local non-profit. Humboldt Gator officially debuted on July 31, just over two weeks after the not-so-little guy was captured by another recently dubbed local celebrity “Alligator Robb.”
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Brew News: Charlie the sloth selected key ingredients for a special-edition German-style kolsch from @simmzyspub, appropriately named Slothen Bräu. This crisp, refreshing summer beer with notes of rose and pear (two of Charlie's fave snacks) will be available at Friday's #BrewattheZoo and Simmzy's locations for a limited time. Brew at the L.A. Zoo is happening August 2. Regular, designated driver, and VIP tickets are available at www.lazoo.org/brew.
“Like everyone else in Chicago, [we] were delighted to have the news cycle overwhelmed by a dapper bow-tied gator for a little while—especially the part where he was caught safe and sound and got to retire to Florida like half of everyone’s parents around here,” said John Carruthers, a brewery spokesman, according to Block Chicago, which initially reported the story.
Amazingly, Humboldt Gator wasn’t the only zoologically themed beer to hit the market this week. Over in Los Angeles, an equally charismatic critter actually helped brew a beer—well, sort of. Charlie, a two-toed sloth at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, was allowed to select several ingredients from a spread of fruits and flowers. He opted for roses and a pear, which local brewpub Simmzy’s Pub used as inspiration for a kölsch they’ve dubbed Slothen Bräu.
Unless you’re able to make it to Brew at the Zoo or Simmzy’s Pub this Friday, you may not get to sample this crisp, summery beer for yourself, as supplies are limited. Still, there’s always next year, when the zoo will choose another animal to act as a brewer’s muse.
Top photo via Wikimedia Commons