Beer art spotlight: Sawdust City’s Spooky Action

spooky action 2

If I had a dollar for every time a brewery released a beer that was implicitly tied to profound questions about the fundamental theory of quantum mechanics, the TV show The Flash, and a man’s love for his English bulldog, I would finally have my first dollar.

That’s because Sawdust City has released Spooky Action, a spiced barrel-aged imperial stout and the fourth installment in the brewery’s Winewood Series.

The idea for the above-pictured label image, which may now be one of my favourite beer labels, started when Sawdust City brewmaster Sam Corbeil was watching The Flash and a particular episode mentioned “Spooky Action,” referenced off-hand to describe how two characters had become “quantumly entangled” and ultimately became one person.  Corbeil wasn’t entirely sure the science reference was legit, but he liked the name for a beer. So he did some googling. 

“Spooky action at a distance” is a term that Einstein used to used to describe an effect that seemed to defy quantum physics when entangled particles remain connected so that actions performed on one affect the other, even when separated by great distances.

As Corbeil puts it: “From what I could gather off the interwebs and without knowing anything about this type of sciency shit, was that two particles that share the same quantum state, no matter how far apart, can be described as a single entity.  Or something like that.”

This sciency shit coupled with the pseudo-science of The Flash naturally led Corbeil to think about how people sometimes start to look like their pets after living together for a long time.  Obviously.

“Two separate entities become so entangled that they become one uniform looking entity,” he explained to me. “We had a beer that was aged in wine barrels.  The beer and the barrel became entangled and the two separate entities fused together to create one singularity.”

Spooky action

Enter Jake Good, a guy on the Sawdust City brewing team who Corbeil thinks kind of looks like his dog. “I told him I wanted to use him and his dog for then next label and he loved it,” he says. But Good had one request: The photo, he insisted, had to look like an old school Jostens class picture.

Corbeil approached Sawdust City’s in-house photographer, Emily Collins, who was tasked with bringing it all together and, as Corbeil eloquently puts it, “She fuckin’ nailed it.”


Spooky Action was released on March 3rd in a limited run of 750 ml bottles that were available exclusively at the Sawdust City retail store and on tap in select locations across Ontario.


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