Our logo for this beer was inspired by artwork in The Book of Kells.
We began by looking for an illuminated E in the Dark Ages manuscript which was created around 800 AD. Our E hunt left us perplexed. For some reason many of them were accompanied by a peacock. This seemed strange because “peacock" in Irish Gaelic is “péacóg."
Most Irish beers are illustrated with symbols of Ireland such as the harp or shamrocks. We originally envisioned something along the lines of the maiden in our logo except this time she would be playing a harp while wearing Irish costume, but the peacock and the mystery of why it went with the letter E kept coming back up.
Further investigation revealed that most of the instances where a very fancy E was created the word “Ecce" was written. “Ecce" is latin for “Behold" and the most fancy one was of course “Ecce Homo".
Rather than C is for “cow" and G is for “Giraffe" which I think all of us raised on phonics and modern children's reading books go to when we think of a picture that goes with a letter, The Book of Kells is using more of a free association. The action of peacock is the splay of the tail which goes with the idea of “behold".
I found this fascinating because it reminded me of the way that the stained glass windows told a story in Dark Age cathedrals, the illumination is helping the non-native latin speaker remember the meaning of the word. The more I thought about it, the more a peacock and the idea of “behold" matched up with John's plan to put a four leaf clover in at the start of the boil. For those that don't know our Master Brewer has an uncanny ability to find them in any clover patch.
You can learn more about The Book of Kells, a national treasure of Ireland, and even page through images of every single page on the website for The Library of Trinity College Dublin.
And that's how our Irish beer came to be illustrated by a peacock rather than the standard harp/shamrock/leprechaun fare. In that spirit: Behold... we have a new beer! Éirinn go Brách
Hope you will all come out to the Irishman's Ball, our St. Patrick's Day Celebration, and quaff a pint or two.