The Twelve Mile Circle is all about geo-oddities although the author of the site also has other interests. Sometimes those topics collide. I’ve made no bones about my interest in craft beer and it creeps into 12MC from time to time. Today is one of those days.
I noticed a passing reference to Vulcan Beer in a brewery publications I follow. It’s apparently the first in a series of officially licensed beers with a Star Trek theme that will be produced by Delancey Direct. Their site includes a copy of the bottle label with slogans like "Mind Melding Good" and "A logical choice for a palate pleasing libation." I guess anything can be licensed today.
According to a press release, Vulcan Beer is described as a 5.4% ABV Irish Red Ale contract-brewed by Harvest Moon Brewing Company of Belmont, Montana. Each year Delancey Direct will issue another beer to represent a different season in the television series… Vulcan, then Klingon, and so on. Labeling has been designed with collectors in mind of course.
What could this development possibly have to do with geography? Vulcan is a town in Alberta.
Vulcan, Alberta, Canada
Vulcan Beer was brewed to coincide with the centennial of Vulcan — the one in Canada — and timed for a May 2013 release. That would place it on liquor store shelves right before Vulcan’s 21st annual Spock Days celebration.
SOURCE: Flickr by fracture via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license
The Vulcan of Alberta’s prairie existed long before any notions of Star Trek ever crossed Gene Roddenberry’s mind, or before he was even born for that matter. The town of Vulcan, in a county of the same name, began as a stop on the Kipp-Aldersyde line of the Canadian Pacific Railroad:
Street and avenue names in Vulcan originally included Apollo, Atlas, Juno, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune and Vulcan. They were later changed to numbers, but the town readopted them in 1998 for Vulcan’s 85th anniversary.
The founders envisioned Roman Gods rather than paying homage to intergalactic science fiction locales. Their choice became rather fortuitous for town residents several decades later. Imagine if they’d selected Vesta or Ceres or one of the other Dii Consentes (the 12 major deities in the Roman pantheon) instead of Vulcan. That allowed their descendants to playing-up a tenuous Star Trek connection and earn a descent living in the process. Why not? Other rural towns have claimed fictional sons. It’s no different than Metropolis in the United States claiming Superman. Vulcan can select Mister Spock.
Vulcan wouldn’t have anything other than agriculture if it wasn’t for the Trekkies. That’s why a welcoming replica of the Starship Enterprise stands outside of Vulcan’s tourism station…
SOURCE: Flickr by nicodeemus1 via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license
… complete with greetings in Vulcan calligraphy (pictured) and Klingon.
Unfortunately the 2013 Spock Days happened last weekend so I missed my opportunity. Too bad I found out about this four days too late — pretending for a moment that I might actually have been able to travel to Alberta for a bottle of beer. No, I’m not the Weekend Roady.
Other Vulcan towns exist on Planet Earth.
Vulcan, Michigan, USA
I found one example in Michigan, USA. Consulting GNIS, I discovered another dozen-or-so, including a couple of historical sites that no longer exist. I couldn’t uncover anything special about any of those poseur Vulcan settlements other than their physical locations. Residents have done little to attract Trekkie tourism as far as I could tell. They’re missing out on some solid business opportunities as Alberta can attest.
Vulcan, Hunedoara, Romania
I also discovered the city of Vulcan in Hunedoara, Romania. Wikipedia says, "The city is named after the Vulcan Pass that connects the Jiu Valley to Oltenia, itself being derived from Slavic ‘vlk’, meaning ‘wolf’ (even if ‘vulcan’ means ‘volcano’ in Romanian)." This Vulcan is by far the largest example, with a population of 23,000. An additional, smaller Romanian Vulcan is located near Brașov. Could Romania become the next Star Trek center of the universe?
I’d drink a Vulcan beer if I could get my hands on one. Are there any 12MC readers in Alberta that might be able to snag me a bottle? I’d even take an empty just to put it on a shelf.