The Ultimate Pairing? TV and Beer


Forget pairing your IPA with Indian curry or dessert like carrot cake. Wouldn’t the hop-forward brew go well with an episode of Breaking Bad?

But wait, the show already has its own beer, courtesy of Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery:

To mimic the dark side of Walter White’s character, Heisenberg’s Dark is a 6.5% ABV Indian Black Ale. Brewmaster and Marble Brewery co-founder Ted Rice describes the beer to have a roasty malt profile and a lovely citrus punch courtesy of Australian Galaxy hops.

The family man side of White is represented through Walt’s White Lie, an India White Ale. The 7.5% ABV brew is a smooth and earthy malt base with big tropical notes from Galaxy hops.

Such is the marketing age we live in, where your most popular shows on television aren’t just destined for an life on DVD and Blu-Ray, but also in a bottle sitting in your fridge. When a show has millions of rabid fans, like Game of Thrones, why not capitalize? That’s what HBO and Ommegang did earlier this year with Iron Throne Blonde Ale:

HBO Global Licensing explained the partnership this way: “The collaboration between Ommegang and HBO is focused on developing truly unique beers that directly tie into themes, characters and nuances of the series of the medieval-like fantasy realm of Westeros and surrounding kingdoms.”

Of course, there’s also It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Dayman Coffee IPA.

I suppose where we once had “TV dinners,” now we have “TV beers.” In the fast-paced world of marketing and cashing in, the most important thing to consider is this: are these beers any good?

Apparently, they are. Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne Blonde Ale beer sits at 85 on Beer Advocate while It’s Always Sunny’s Dayman has an even better 94 on the rating site. We’ll only assume Universal’s take on Homer Simpson’s brew of choice, Duff, lives up to its apparent mentor, Budweiser.

*I secretly wonder how much bias plays into those rankings. If you’re a rabid fan of a show, are you sure to be a rabid fan of the beer?

Ultimately, this is about novelty, because novelty sells. I haven’t had any of these beers, but I may just be tempted to grab a bottle of “Blood Orange Wheat” if the makers of Walking Dead ever ventured into this new brewing landscape.

So maybe the question isn’t “are these any good?” but rather, “are these necessary?”

I’d argue that in a business where the new, shiny thing typically offers a burst of sales, it’s necessary for breweries trying to catch lightning in a bottle. (Rogue’s Voodoo Maple Bacon Ale, anyone?) Perhaps this is why a second Game of Thrones beer is due in September, called Take the Black Stout.

I wonder, what’s next?

Grey’s Anatomy: Seattle Grace DIPA
The only way to fight off infection is with a healthy dose of antiseptic West Coast hops like Simcoe and Cascade.

Big Bang Theory: Bazinga Beer
A straight-forward American lager that won’t play any pranks on your taste buds.

How I Met Your Mother: Barney’s Legen-dary Wit
Keeping things light and effervescent with a traditional witbier

At 13 percent ABV, this Russian Imperial Stout has enough strength to fend off any would-be attacker to keep you safe – and warm – at night.

Mad Men

What do you think? What TV show beers would you want to see?

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

11 thoughts on “The Ultimate Pairing? TV and Beer

  1. I’m waiting for Dogfish Head to team up and make a beer with Catfish. What would the secret ingredient be?

    1. Sediment from the bottom of the deepest lake in the world.
      Yeast scraped from the fossil of a 5,000-year old fish.
      or, knowing Dogfish…
      HOPS *this should be read as if Sam Calagione is screaming it at you full bore*

      1. I was thinking more along the lines of Dogfish using actual tears from the people being “Catfish’d” on the show.

        …..Or maybe that’s just wrong!

      2. Nope. Nope.

        You win. That’s the one.

  2. I’m a huge Sons of Anarchy fan. Whenever I watch I always find myself craving a smoked beer or something bourbon barrel aged. I don’t know why as I can’t imagine the characters drinking anything other than Budweiser.

    1. You cravings sound about right, though. SoA Rauchbier?

      1. I would definitely try that. Agree that this is a novelty thing, though perhaps we’ll get some decent beers out of it? One can always hope.

      2. It seems people don’t hate these beers that have been made so far, so at least we have that.

      3. I’m never against a good beer. It seems the follow-on to the brewery partnerships that popped up all over a few years ago (are they still doing that? Two breweries brewing a beer together?). Most of the time I was underwhelmed.

      4. I have actually paired a few Rauchbiers with SoA.

  3. I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones and of Ommegang. When they paired up, I was excited and tried to hunt down a bottle for in house sipping. It ended up being a chore and I never found a bottle at a bottle shop, but I was able to grab a pint at a pub. The result? Meh! The beer had so little impact on me I could not care less about the other two beers they were offering in the GOT series of beers. And that has shaped my attitude towards beers like this ever since. I just don’t care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close