Beer dedicated to Calvin missing “A”

  • The damaged Calvin Theater sign in Northampton, Monday, April 18, 2016.

  • The Calvin Theatre's A-less sign in Northampton has inspired a beer called C_LVIN.

Published: 6/14/2016 9:09:50 AM

NORTHAMPTON – The city’s most notorious missing vowel is getting its very own beer.

The C_LVIN India Pale Ale, named after the appearance of the Calvin Theatre sign with its missing “A,” is slated to be released this week at bars across the Valley as part of Western Mass Beer Week.

The limited-release beer is a collaboration between Brewmaster Jack of Northampton and Abandoned Building Brewery of Easthampton.

“It celebrates Northampton culture,” said Tyler Guilmette, owner of Brewmaster Jack.

Matt Tarlecki, owner of Abandoned Building Brewery, described the 7 percent alcohol-by-volume IPA as a “hop-dominated” beer with a pineapple aroma.

“It uses galaxy and mosaic hops, which are generally pretty heavy on the tropical fruit character,” he said. “We also infused the beer with pineapple to accentuate the tropical fruit character.”

Guilmette said the C_LVIN represents the first time that both he and Tarlecki had experimented with adding juice to beer.

“It just shines through,” Guilmettte said. “I’m really excited about it for future beers.”

Like the marquee to which is pays homage, the writing on the 16 oz. cans might be hard to pronounce.

“In celebrtion of hte first Western Mss Beer Week, we relly worked hrd to mke something specil!,” the can reads. “This beer is mde with two row brley whet, nd Vienn mlt.”

This is the second collaboration between the two local breweries. The pair teamed up with The Foundry in 2015 for the limited release Juno & the Giant Hop.

A release party for the C_LVIN IPA will be held at Brewmaster’s Tavern in Williamsburg on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.

It will also be available beginning Tuesday or Wednesday in Northampton at The Foundry, The Roost, Roberto’s and the Sierra Grille; in Easthampton at the Brass Cat, Riff’s Joint and Galaxy; in West Springfield at Lattitude Restaurant; in Ludlow at The Lighthouse and Europa; in Greenfield at Hope and Olive and at The Hanger in Amherst and Westfield, according to Tarlecki.

The beer will also be available at Abandoned Building’s Food Truck Friday event this Friday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Tarlecki said he expects the beer to last no longer than a few weeks.

The “A” in the Calvin Theatre’s sign has been missing for over a year. The void prompted a heated exchange between theatre owner Eric Suher and Mayor David Narkewicz at a meeting in April.

Reached Tuesday to comment on this development, Suher declined to offer any input.

Chris Lindahl can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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