“Should we do it, should we sing it for him now?” asks Gabe Barry of the Brooklyn Brewery. Her cohorts don’t seem to be into it, but they’re good sports. Soon the three brewery employees are belting out a thunderous rendition of their anthem (same tune as Stonecutters Song):
Who thinks warm, flat beer is right?
Who drinks casks on Friday night?
We do, we do!
The three crooners — Barry, Tim Rozmus and Ben Hudson — are probably not used to singing this tune dead sober, in a well-lit conference room. When they’re done, the brewery office erupts into cheers; it was pretty inspiring.
This was the anthem for the Legion of Osiris, a secret,* members-only beer society, founded at Brooklyn Brewery in 2011. Hudson was the originator; he says the early goal was to showcase their experimental brews for people who would appreciate it.
“At our Tasting Room, we get a lot of tourists and weekend warriors,” Hudson says. “[Legion of Osiris] was a way to bring together the people who really geek out on beer.”
At the time, they were working on bottle re-fermented beers, an offbeat style with a laborious, esoteric production process. Hudson knew he’d find a thirsty audience for these brews.
Initially the society was quite hush-hush (the god Osiris has many connections to secret societies of yore, as well as being a tasty pale ale). Rozmus said he learned about it from a tiny gray box at the very bottom of Brooklyn Brewery’s newsletter. “You really had to seek it out,” he says.
The meetings were every Friday night in the brewery’s Tasting Room, with a hook — instead of 6:00 p.m., when the weekend warriors descend, the Legion met at 5:00. It was a little perk, a way of making you feel like an insider.
Every week there was something new, a rare cask opened, a visit from legendary brewmaster Garrett Oliver, a tour of the entire facility (beyond just what the tourists see). For the last four years, the Legion has stayed strong.
A few things have changed over the years; meetings are now monthly, held on Wednesdays instead of Fridays. And the “weekend warrior” crowd has evolved into a more savvy, discerning group in their own right. But the founding ethos remains, giving passionate beer wonks a place to meet and taste and learn.
If you are interested in joining the Legion, you’ll have to shell out $75/year; Barry says it is well worth it (full list of perks below). Shoot her an email at email@example.com to get the process rolling.
Do you want to watch a video of Björk’s choir singing the Legion of Osiris theme song for some reason? Of course you do! See above. (Note: Hudson called them a “beautiful cadre of fashion-forward pixie singers”).
- Legion of Osiris dimple mug
- Membership Cards granting immediate entry during Public Hours
- 20% discount on Brooklyn Brewery merchandise (in person & online)
- 6pm Friday Happy Hour reserved table
- Invitation to all Brewmaster’s Reserve & Worshipful Company Release parties
- Discount codes to ticketed events such as Dinner Party, NYSBA Beer festivals, etc.
- Position at The Table for the Monthly Assembly of the Legion
- Field trips & visits to other breweries, bars & event
- Volunteer opportunities
- Feelings of Entitlement
*Secret is a relative term, when you are willing to let a writer profile you online.