Look! Up in the sky!
(It's actually clutched in my hand.)
It's a bird! (Um, no. It's a bottle of beer.)
It's a plane! (Close. It's a pale ale, to be more specific.)
It's Comic Con Brew!
Now that part you've got right.
Comic Con Brew is just the latest example of crowdsourced craft beer by the guys at Madison-based MobCraft, the folks who ask people to suggest flavors and then give us crazy-delicious beers like this month's cinnamon- and nutmeg-flavored Eggnostic Stout.
Comic Con Brew, a flavorful pale ale zipped up with orange juice and orange zest, has been brewed specifically to commemorate this weekend's Wizard World Convention, Feb. 6-8 in the Alliant Energy Center.
You can guzzle glasses of the beer alongside the original TV Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, at the pre-show event Thursday night, which takes place at the Brink Lounge, the Brass Ring and the High Noon Saloon (tickets are sold separately from the convention) or on Saturday night at the Con's after-party beginning at 9 p.m. at the Badger Bowl. (The latter event is free with a Comic Con wristband.)
If you want to drink a super-sized stein of the beer at home, though, you'd better plan to move faster than the Avengers' Quicksilver: Brewmaster Henry Schwartz says that only around 150 bottles will be available at local liquor purveyors like Star Liquor, Riley's Wines of the World and the House of Brews tasting room at 4539 Helgesen Dr. on Madison's east side.
So what's Comic Con Brew's origin story? The Wizard World team approached the MobCraft team about the possibility of concocting a special brew. Instead of turning only to their usual base of Madison-based fans to vote on a winner, the voting was extended to Wizard World's vast network of national fans on social media, some of whom travel great distances to follow the show and its evolving list of pop-culture celebrity guests.
Schwartz says they avoided offering choices to potential voters that were too wild, so as to appeal to a wider audience. The other contenders were a Juniper kÃlsch and a hefeweiss with coriander and cherry, but when the dust had settled and the superhero capes had been tucked back in, the orange-tinged pale ale edged them out to claim the con crown.
Maybe if Wizard World makes Madison a regular annual stop -- and it's a distinct possibility -- we'll see those other beers, too.
Schwartz and company had originally planned to call the brew Con Elixir, but -- superbummer! -- the federal government frowns on the use of the word "elixir' on beer labels. Perhaps they're worried people will think it confers actual superpowers. We'll be satisfied if it merely tastes super.