Duck Rabbit

How could I not know?

We’ve carried the beers on and off again for the past seven years, and I had no clue why the brewery was called that.

No idea, that is, until this past Tuesday.

As my busy life would have it, I met new friend Ed Brenegar on Tuesday afternoon to take a drive to Farmville, North Carolina to enjoy a tour of Duck Rabbit Brewery.

It was here where we met Paul Philippon, owner and brewmaster of Duck Rabbit Brewery as well as a former professor of philosophy.

One of his favorite books, Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein, shows a duck-rabbit diagram, which looks like a duck or a rabbit, depending on the viewer’s perspective.  Paul liked the idea of using a logo with ties to his former career, and that is how the label came to be.

Pretty fascinating, but not as fascinating as this incredible dark beer specialist living in Farmville, North Carolina, a town smaller than Tarboro but only a short 30 minutes away.

In the age of social media, where tweeting and facebook are as popular as the dark beer movement, I asked Paul how much time he spent utilizing the internet.  While having a profile on facebook, he said it’s not something he spends a lot of time doing.  Of course, he doesn’t.  How could he when he’s making the beer, dealing with distribution in five states and keeping the books?  Another reason I fell in love with this delicious beer:  this is hands-on beer making in every part of the business.

In no means would I call myself a dark beer connoiseur or a lover, but these beers were life changing.  Balance was the common denominator in all of them and while the aromatics were perfectly complex, the beers were extremely flavorful without being obtrusive.  From the amber to the porter to the milk stout, each beer was fresh and lively, not cloying or overly bitter.  Impressive in every way.

In the process of building a tasting room (soon to open but not sure when), Paul took Ed and me in the construction area, allowing us to be the very first people to taste beer in the new room.  I’m not sure how Paul felt when I asked him about taking a picture of us so I could facebook it immediately.

Our fabulously functional tour ended way too soon, but it was the perfect re-entrance into eastern North Carolina after a long trip away from home.  Being with new friends and drinking beer made in eastern North Carolina, the land that I love.

I asked Paul what it meant if you looked at the label and saw a duck or a rabbit.  I was spilling over to tell him I saw the rabbit.

He reported that if you see the duck, you’re still thirsty, and if you see the rabbit, you believe you’ll have another.

Now, that’s my kind of philosophy.

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