Alas, no Bloodshot Bellywash.

§ March 8th, 2024 § Filed under promo, valiant § 6 Comments

So my dad’s clearing out the wine cellar at his house, and next to his cask of Amontillado, he uncovered this particular bottle of spirits:

That is a bottle of Darque Brew, a beer distributed as a promotional item by Valiant Comics in the early 1990s. The label features Master Darque, one of Valiant’s villains.

Here’s a closer look at the label:

And here’s a pic of the label by the cap, where you can see it was produced by the Capital Brewing Company:

Now the real mystery of this bottle that was in my dad’s possession was…where did it come from? I mean, yes, the obvious vector here is me, the son what worked in the comics business for more decades than is likely healthy. But he didn’t remember me giving it to him, and I certainly didn’t remember ever having it in my possession.

I remember my former boss Ralph having a bottle of Armstrong Ale, another Valiant Comics beer featuring one of the stars of Archer and Armstrong. He had the bottle stashed away in the back of the shop for years and years and I’m sure I saw it about a million times just in the course of my work days there.

When I think of Valiant’s beers, which to be entirely honest is not something I dwelt upon with any regularity, what I think of is that Armstrong Ale. If you’d asked me in the last few years how many different beers did Valiant release in the ’90s, I would have said just the one. I had no recollection the Darque beer even existed until my dad showed me this bottle.

Anyway, I brought up this Darque Brew to Ralph, saying both my dad and I were puzzled as to how he got it. Ralph replied “yeah, it came to my store addressed to you, so you kept it and gave it to your dad since you don’t drink alcohol!” I absolutely have no memory of this ever happening. But Ralph was a little half-annoyed that I got it, since he wanted it to go with his Armstrong Ale, so that mild annoyance kept the memory stuck in his mind, I suppose, whereas my near-immediate passing along of the Darque Brew probably flushed it out of my short-term memory right away.

Another mystery pretty much solved by the fact that my brain’s capacity for comics trivia does in fact have its limits. Think I’ll probably go ahead and let Ralph have this bottle to finally complete the set. Oh, and I should note there was more Valiant Comics beer produced in 2016, it seems.

For some additional info about the original Armstrong Ale, here’s an article that features pics of the packaging and inserts that came with the bottle.

6 Responses to “Alas, no Bloodshot Bellywash.”

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    For a real treat, you can open it and see how skunked it is after all these years.

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    Valiant missed the boat if they didn’t also make:

    X-O Marzen-O-War


    Rai P.A.


    The Second Pint of Dr. Mirage

    Magnus: Mo’ Bock Drinker

  • JohnJ says:

    Another question would be if Capital City Distribution was involved in finding the brewery for Valiant. Middleton WI is a suburb of Madison where the Holiday Inn’s convention center was located. It’s where Capital moved their distributor’s Sales Conference in 1990 or so after holding it in a downtown Madison hotel for the first few years.
    I used to love those sales conferences since they were the closest thing I could give myself to a vacation those 14 years I had a comic shop.
    I vaguely remember the beer but I must have put it to its appropriate use.

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    “I vaguely remember the beer but I must have put it to its appropriate use”

    Selling it on eBay to well-heeled Valiant complitionists?

  • Snark Shark says:

    They missed out by not coming out with canned beer named after Jim Shooter: “A REALLY Tall Boy”.

  • Adam Farrar says:

    That art with that font looks like it’s a Magic: the Gathering beer.

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