Victoria brewery hops onto boy’s campaign to get levidrome in the dictionary

A Victoria craft brewery will launch a time-limited heady ale next week — a frothy endorsement for a Victoria boy’s campaign to get his word into dictionaries.

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. will launch Regal Lager on May 7.

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People in the know will recognize the name as a “levidrome” — a term coined by Levi Budd, 7, for a word that spells another word when it’s read backward. Other examples include loop and pool, pots and stop, lived and devil.

Phillips Levidrome Imperial Regal Lager labelWith help from his parents, Levi made a video asking people for help getting levidrome into the Oxford Dictionary, an effort dictionary editors say has a good shot.

But it’s not enough that the word has been well publicized, appearing in newspapers in South Africa, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, India, Spain and Singapore. Oxford says levidrome needs to be in regular, everyday use.

Levi’s efforts have received the backing of schools, libraries and bibliophiles, along with actor William Shatner, Capt. James T. Kirk of Star Trek fame.

Matt Phillips, owner of Phillips Brewing and father to two young kids, said Levi’s campaign touches a community and family chord. “We really love that it’s a beer we’re excited about, but we’re also really excited about the way it connects and supports community efforts and these neat projects that people in our community take on and tackle.”

The brewery has wanted to produce the beer for a while and was only waiting for space in its schedule. “We’re glad to see it finally on the shelf,” said Phillips. He said he hopes the beer label, which features the word levidrome, furthers Levi’s efforts.

Levidromes — not to mention the word itself — have been popping up around the world.

In an article on the Crafty Pint, an online beer site in Australia, writer Nick Oscilowski gives a nod to Ekim Brewing Co. beers by head brewer Mike Jorgensen, noting “Ekim — a levidrome of Mike — is just one of those small breweries that reaches [a] cult-like level of devotion.”

Gregory Betts, a poet and professor in St. Catharines, Ont., wrote a levidrome poem entitled Armstrong’s Lament about astronaut Neil Armstrong. It runs parallel lines of the poem forward and backward.

Regal Lager is an “imperial” beer with an alcohol content of seven per cent, slightly above the five per cent standard.

“It’s a really great, ideal beer for this kind of weather, refreshing but full-bodied with subtle hop notes,” Phillips said.

The seasonal one-off beer will be available until it runs out — typically up to four weeks.

Regal Lager will be sold across B.C. and in Alberta, in private liquor stores as well as at Phillips Brewery.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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