We’re all fans of LOST here aboard the Mutineer frigate, so it’s only fitting that we highlight fine beverage references in the show being that the season just kicked off on Tuesday. While the series is rife with fine beverage, I wanted to focus on what is provided by the benevolent Dharma Initiative.
Dharma’s a pretty nice super-secret diabolical science organization when it comes to equipping the Dharmites. They deliver alcohol AND guns. Unfortunately for them though, where generic bullets still kill people, generic beverage may not be as enjoyable as the properly labeled stuff.
I did some uber-nerding and tried to figure out what’s in all those white cans and bottles. Big ups to Lostpedia for the specific episodes and pics. I’m working from the photo of the Dharma Initiative dated 1977 that has Hurley, Kate and Jack as new recruits.
Even in the early seasons, we find Dharma beer in a wrecked VW bus with all kinds of storylines to follow. Dharma beer apparently comes in two varieties: regular and lite beer. I’d expect more given the tropical setting. Something with hibiscus or coconut (like Maui’s Coconut Porter), but I digress.
1977 wasn’t a huge year for light lagers in America. In fact, only one company, Miller Brewing, was doing very well with it. Miller introduced “Lite” in 1973 and was producing 24.2 million barrels of the stuff by 1977. Miller also had a “heavy” beer called Miller High Life back then, so I’m going to say Miller had a no-bid contract to supply suds. Although, “It’s Dharma Time!” doesn’t really have the same ring to it.
This one’s a bit more puzzling. The Dharma Initiative apparently had a caste system when it came to wine. Ben got the good stuff in the bottle, but Hurley and James (Sawyer) got boxed wine. Certainly any self respecting corporate behemoth would get all of one product from the same place instead of hand picking the best, so I think that rules out Europe as the source.
To me, boxed wine and the lack of white wine, are the giveaways as to the terroir that the tannic tipple comes from. Australia pioneered cask wine (goon), and they were also producing some pretty serious reds like Grange as far back as the ’70s. I would also say that the logistics would have been cheaper to the South Pacific from Oz rather than California.
Stay tuned for part two where we’ll break down spirits and coffee.