Anyone who’s visited a microbrewery will know that a brewer’s work is never done – endless tests of temperature and alcohol by volume, yeasts to be fed, samples to be tasted. So we wondered if Pressure Drop Brewing in Hackney had been overdoing the sampling before coming up with the label for their ‘foraged herb’ hefeweisse (unfiltered, top-fermented wheat beer; 3.8% abv).
The ‘Wu Gang Chops the Tree’ label has a willow pattern label showing a man in a conical Chinese hat and space helmet emerging from a pagoda-shaped space landing craft, cutting a tree down, then being startled as the tree regrows. Few too many foraged herbs, chaps?
Fortunately, Time Out’s team of oriental scholars are able to reveal the truth after months of careful contemplation of the label. In Chinese mythology, Wu Gang was banished to the moon to cut down a fragrant osmanthus tree, but before he could return home, the tree magically regrows. Like a Sisyphean task or the labours of Hercules in Western mythology, the Wu Gang story refers to a task that can never be completed. Guy Dimond