Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and posts that don’t just focus on one beer here at The Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…
As I have mentioned many times, I’m a big science fiction, fantasy, and horror fan. After all, writing about those genres led me to writing about beer. There’s a pretty big overlap between craft beer fans and SF, Fantasy, and Horror geeks, especially in my untappd friends list. In today’s “Six Pack,” I’m looking at six beers with a science fiction, fantasy, or horror theme. Some may be familiar, some may not. I’m highlighting three beers I’ve had/enjoyed and three beers I haven’t yet and hope to try some day.
Brief preface: Don’t expect any of the Game of Thrones beers in this post, I wrote up a post completely dedicated to those fine brews from Brewery Ommegang last year as well as a review of the last 2017 release in the series, Winter is Here. There are enough beers out there to make more than a six pack, but I’ll start with the following six beers. As I usually do, I’ll order them alphabetically by brewery.
Oberon Ale Pale Wheat Ale Bell’s Brewery (Comstock, MI)
Oberon is the King of the Fairies, so of course there’s a fantastical element to this beer. The beer is also a damned fine brew, as I extolled its delicious virtues in one of my early reviews here on the Tap Takeover. In a Google search for “Oberon,” the Wikipedia entry is the first result and this beer is the second result, which shows how popular/well known the beer is. I am extremely excited that Bell’s beer will finally be distributed into NJ in the near future as this will be my new summer go-to beer (especially since Yuengling ceased production on their Summer Wheat). I just hope distribution hits NJ in time for me to fill up my cooler with a case of this for my big Fourth of July party.
“Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with our signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer. Made with only 4 ingredients, and without the use of any spices or fruit, Oberon is the color and scent of sunny afternoon.”
Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout – Clown Shoes Brewing Company (Ipswich, MA)
Clown Shoes has some of the more interesting label art, including this beer, a delicious Russian Imperial Stout I had on tap over three years ago. What I recall most strongly about the beer is how smooth the beer was, especially for a Russian Imperial with 75 IBU. I haven’t seen it since, but would pick up the beer if I saw a bottle of it. When one fantastical creature isn’t enough, Clown Shoes mashed up two of the most well-known for this big beast of a beer.
“Brewed with a monstrous amount of malt and combined with aggressive American hops, this beer is powerful and complex and designed to age. Smokiness is subtle but present and blends nicely with the rich, dark flavors.”
Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout – Flying Dog Brewing Company (Frederick, MD)
The spelling on this one may be tricky, substituting a “K” for the “C” but most folks know the big rabid Saint Bernard from Stephen King’s early novel and the movie. I’m assuming the letter change is so the brewery doesn’t get sued, but you’d have to figure a brewery with “dog” in its name might eventually call a beer they brew Cujo… or Kujo. Like the dog, this is a fairly big beer clocking in at 8.9%ABV pushing it to “Imperial” Stout status.
I had this one on draft a couple of years ago at what was then a World of Beer bar in New Brunswick, NJ. I recall enjoying the beer thoroughly and that the coffee was present, but not overpowering and balanced by a hit of sweetness.
“Kujo is the savage spawn of two brewing worlds – coffee and beer – colliding. But in that collision, there’s a balance between rich and roasted stout characteristics and the deep, dark coffee notes. The result is an 8.9% ABV brew made with locally-roasted coffee from Black Dog Coffee out of Summit Point, West Virginia.”
Innsmouth Old Ale – Narragansett Brewing Company (Pawtucket, RI)
Based out of Rhode Island, Narragansett is one of the historical northeast brewing companies, founded in 1890. H.P. Lovecraft is arguably the most famous writer from Rhode Island, born in 1890. Naturally, Narragansett has a whole line of H.P. Lovecraft inspired brews, including the Lovecraft Honey Ale which I had a few years ago and enjoyed. I really enjoyed Founders’ Old Curmudgeon and the Innsmouth Old Ale is the same style so I’m hoping I can find this one near me. Hell, I’d love to try all the Lovecraft Ales.
“Chapter 2 in the Lovecraft Series draws its inspiration from “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” one of our favorite Lovecraft stories which chronicles one man’s ominous visit to the fictional sea town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. The dark, malty Innsmouth Olde Ale represents the shadow that hangs over the blighted town of Innsmouth and its strange inhabitants that spawn from the “Deep Ones.”
The Innsmouth Olde Ale draws its balanced, robust, and slightly toasted features from a complex blend of Two-Row Pale, Crystal, Cara, Dark Munich, and Chocolate malts, Chocolate rye and finishes with just a touch of Summer and East Kent Goldings hops.
Quality Supreme: Brewed in collaboration with Sean Larkin, Head Brewmaster for Narragansett and owner of Revival Brewing, Innsmouth Olde Ale is made with a complex blend of malts and rye followed by just a touch of hops, producing a bold yet balanced English-style Olde Ale. The Innsmouth Olde Ale won both the Gold Medal at the Tastings World Beer Championships and a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival!”
Imperial Stout Trooper – New England Brewing Company (Woodbridge, CT)
What would a list like this be without some kind of Star Wars beer? Local NJ/Gypsy brewer Bolero Snort has some homages to Star Wars (or their Steer Wars line of brews including Bullennium Falcon which I recently enjoyed), but those are of limited availability. This stout from the New England Brewing Company has been around for a few years. Lucasfilm actually forced the brewery to change the label a bit to include the jokey sunglasses on the helmet. I enjoy Imperial Stouts so I’ll be on the hunt for this beer.
“Nearly a dozen types of malts and grains go into this FORCE-full, American Imperial Stout. Hints of coffee, tastes of dark fruit, and a subtle chocolate background make this Stout the perfect brew to welcome the Winter months. Brewed solely during the onset of the colder months, this one-time-a-year release will make you come over to the dark side… of beer.”
Klingon Imperial Porter – Shmaltz Brewing Company (Clifton Park, NY)
I knew when I was thinking of this post I would definitely include one of the Star Trek beers from iconic NY craft brewery Shmaltz Brewing. There are about a six-pack’s worth of Star Trek beers already from Shmaltz, but this one stood out for two reasons. (1) Porters are one of my favorite styles and (2) most of the other Trek beers leaned on the Golden Ale/Pale Ale end of the spectrum. I saw this beer in a few places over the past few years and now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing a 4-pack.
“Raise a goblet of Klingon Imperial Porter to the strongest warriors in the Galaxy. Discover the ruby undertones that pay homage to Klingon Bloodwine and fallen warriors who hold honor above life. “There is no honor in attacking the weak,” so take pleasure in besieging this 7.3% ABV Imperial Porter. But like this mighty elixir, Klingons also have a sweet side: Witness the wedding ritual where the gods forge two hearts so strong that once joined together cannot be opposed. (Just ignore the part of the ceremony where the groom swings his bat’leth at the bride!) A Klingon proverb states: “Death is an experience best shared,” and so is the first Star Trek limited release of 2017. Qapla’!”