Delirium Tremens and Pink Elephants

One of the best Belgian triples out there - especially if you can get it on tap. Next best thing is the 5 liter aluminum keg which many liquor stores carry. The pressurized container produces that very smooth taste that sustains the 8.5% alcohol into a deceivingly easy to drink beverage - can't say the name didn't warn you!

The keg proclaims that the brewery dates from 1654, however the brewery site's "history" section clarifies that the Huyghe brewery continued in a location in Melle (Belgium) where there have been breweries since that time, and that Leon Huyghe worked at the "Appelhoek" brewery in Melle in 1902 and subsequently purchased the site at that historical location in 1906. It changed its name to "Brouwerij Huyghe" in 1936.

Image removed. Image removed. Image removed. Image removed.

Delirium Tremens was first released in 1988. But wait! Since delirium tremens is the result of alcohol withdrawal, I think this beer is telling us that we're safe, as long as we never stop drinking. So never mind that alcohol percentage.

Beerwulf has a great write-up on this beer as well as links to other great Belgian beers.

The pink elephant was a genius move that has created a very identifiable and enormously loveable brand. Not to mention awesome merchandise.

Image removed.

Pink Elephants

"Pink Elephants on Parade" is a song and scene from the 1941 Disney animated feature film Dumbo in which Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse, having accidentally become intoxicated (through drinking water spiked with champagne), see pink elephants sing, dance, and play musical instruments during an hallucination sequence.

Image removed.

An early literary use of the term is by Jack London in 1913, who describes one kind of alcoholic, in the autobiographical John Barleycorn:

There are, broadly speaking, two types of drinkers. There is the man whom we all know, stupid, unimaginative, whose brain is bitten numbly by numb maggots; who walks generously with wide-spread, tentative legs, falls frequently in the gutter, and who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants. He is the type that gives rise to the jokes in the funny papers.


Apparently the other type of drinker needs no quoting in wikipedia, not being related to elephants of any sort. Women are also outside of this binary beverage broadstrokes possibly because Jack cannot square the idea of a delicate lady having their brains are beset with maggots or visited by ecstatic elephants.

So, the beer "delerium tremens' is named after the dangers on NOT drinking, and its branding is based on a pink elephant which may have been inspired by either Jack London's description of a drunk seeing them in 'ecstasy' of drunkenness, or the Disney movie, an intoxicating hallucination brought on by mild drunkenness. You'd almost think they'd like you to partake.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.