Classical Beer Review: Solidus

This is a post by regular contributor Kimberley, who runs the social media at BCS. Kimberley is currently writing up her PhD in Mediterranean Archaeology and is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Every once and a while, she will blog at BCS about all things beer and Classical in the Low Countries or – as I’d like to call it – ‘The Nether Regions’.

During the holiday break, team BCS traveled extensively in the US and beyond. First, we went from rural Illinois via the Windy City to the West Coast (Reno, SoCal). After a two-week sojourn out west we briefly made it back home before embarking on another trip to Toronto, NJ and back to Illinois through Indianapolis. Safe to say, we had the opportunity to sample many a-beer. Today, I will be reviewing one such beer: Solidus by Bottle Logic Brewing. Readers are more than welcome to check our untappd for the full list, or to scroll through our Instagram feed for our #travelbeer highlights.

Tap list at Bottle Logic, Dec. 23rd 2016

Upon entering Bottle Logic’s tasting room, we were overwhelmed with the breadth of choice of amazing brews on draft. Of course, I had to go for the one beer that instantly triggered associations with the Classical world – Solidus.

Solidus is Bottle Logic’s take on a Scottish Ale, more specifically the 80 Shilling Style. Dropping the 80 Shilling Style bomb like that makes it sound like I actually knew about this particular style entailed, but, to be frank, I had to do some research (read: Googling). According to this website, 80 shilling refers to the price per barrel and is an indication of the beer’s strength – in this case, a beer between 4.0% and 5.5% ABV. At 5.1%, Solidus fits comfortably within this range. The beer has a dark brown color and the beer tastes malty and slightly smokey, almost like scotch. Sounds appropriate for a Scottish ale!

Solidus is the Latin word for ‘solid’. In chemistry, the solidus is the range of temperatures below which a substance is entirely solid. Presumably, this is what Bottle Logic was referring to when naming their beer, as many of their other beers are named after scientific concepts, such as Actuator, Recursion, and so on. Yet to a scholar of the ancient world, solidus refers to a totally different concept.

In late Roman times, the solidus was a coin made of relatively solid gold. It was first issued on a small scale by the emperor Diocletian in 301 AD, but only became more widespread in 312 AD during the reign of Constantine the Great. After the end of the Roman Empire in the West in 476 AD, the solidus continued to be used in the Byzantine Empire in the East. The coin’s weight, dimensions and purity remained virtually the same until the 10th century AD – that is, for a solid (pun absolutely intended) 600 years!

12 oz (draft)
5.1% ABV
Brewed by: Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA


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