Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress Ale
Every fall when the winds change and the leafs turn to crimson and orange, the ferocious temper of pirate Anne Bonney, crew mate and mistress to Captain Jack Rackham would storm Spanish treasure ships off the coast of Cuba and Hispaniola. Flying their famous skull-and-crossed-daggers flag, the two lovers and their crew were victorious and successful pirates in the Caribbean. Later another lover boarded the ship, pirate Mary Read. Both Anne Bonney and Mary Read were known for their violent tempers and ferocious fighting, and they shared a reputation as "fierce hell cats." Their fellow crewmembers knew that -- in times of action -- no one else was as ruthless and bloodthirsty as these two women were. Captain Jack, nicknamed "Calico Jack" for his love of colorful cotton clothing, was a well-known pirate in those days, but his reputation has survived through the ages primarily because of these two infamous women pirates on his crew.
In late October 1720, Rackkam's ship was anchored off Point Negril, Jamaica, the pirates celebrating recent victories in their typical hard-drinking tradition. Suddenly a British Navy sloop -- the man-o-war Albion, headed by Captain Jonathan Barnet -- surprised them. The drunken male pirates quickly hid below deck, leaving only Anne and Mary to defend their ship. The women yelled at their pirate mates to "come up, you cowards, and fight like men," and then angrily raged against them, killing one and wounding several others. But the women were eventually overwhelmed by the British Navy, and the entire crew was captured and taken to Jamaica to stand trial.
Captain Jack and the male members of his crew were tried on November 16, 1720, and were sentenced to hang. Anne was allowed to visit her lover in his cell before his execution, and instead of the consoling, loving words he was undoubtedly expecting, her scathing comments live on throughout history: "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog."
Anne and Mary were tried one week after Rackham's death and were also found guilty. But at their sentencing, when asked by the judge if they had anything to say, they replied, "Mi'lord, we plead our bellies." Both were pregnant from Captain Jack, and since British law forbade killing an unborn child, their sentences were stayed temporarily.
Their legacy inspired us to brew an equally ferocious Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pirate rum spices. We added a touch of fall flavor with butternut squash and natural maple syrup.
Time of Year
Tapped / Sold