Five Beers for the Zombie Apocalypse

If pop culture has taught us anything, it’s that pretty people always win and the zombie apocalypse is inevitable.  The rules of zombie behavior have been well established (most recently by AMC’s The Walking Dead) and survival guides are everywhere.

But what these guides fail to mention is how to survive in style, most notably, which beers to stock up on for when the zombie apocalypse is upon us.  And sooner or later it WILL be upon us.

I have selected five beers for the zombie apocalypse, chosen primarily because they are some of my favorites, but variety also played a role in their selection.  You gotta mix it up, right?

I think I’ll do just fine when the cry for “braaaaiins!” begins, as my favorite beers are pretty well suited for the end of humanity as we know it:

1. Schlafly’s Reserve Imperial Stout (2008 if possible): This is on the top of the list because it’s my favorite beer in the world right now.  With a full, rich flavor and smooth Bourbon sweetness, it’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of foraging for food and batteries.  It’s also a good choice for the end of days because it will age very well.  If I can’t get the 2008, the 2010 will have to do, but it lacks the smoothness of the older beer – those two years make a difference.  Then again, I’ll have nothing but time on my hands, so I can wait for the 2010 to find its bloom.

2. Dale’s Pale Ale: I know there are better IPA’s and Pale Ales out there, but Dale’s has a special place in my heart.  As the first canned beer I came across, it has become the flavor of carefree summers at the lake and relaxing hikes in the woods.  I might not be able to do those things with zombies wandering about (at least without a shotgun), but I can still get a taste of sweet freedom every time I pop open a can.  And speaking of cans, they are the best way to store beers – air tight and no light – which is always important in a bunker-type situation.

3.Victory Prima Pils: Clubbing zombies and fighting off fellow human looters is thirsty work, and sometimes you need a crisp and refreshing brew to cool you down.  For me, this beer is Victory’s excellent Prima Pils, a beer which manages to provide lots of flavor and complexity without weighing you down.  If it’s great after mowing the lawn, I imagine it’ll be even better after mowing down the undead.

4. 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA: This is a beer I just discovered, but I knew after the first sip it was one for the bunker.  Back in Black manages to mash up the good qualities of the three beers above while maintaining its own delicious identity. First off, it’s dark like the Schlafly’s Reserve Imperial Stout and provides a very satisfying smoky flavor.  But like the Prima Pils, it’s light and refreshing, and with an ABV of 6.8% it won’t interfere with your ability to sight up a rifle.  Plus, like Dale’s, it comes in a can, which makes it perfectly portable for those times when the perimeter is breached and it’s time to bug out.  If there’s one beer you bring along, it’s this one, as it does so many things so well.

5. New Glarus Enigma: Yes a sour beer has made it into the bunker, but this one’s special.  Style aside, Enigma is simply delicious; a sour brown ale brewed with cherries and aged in oak. It’s a sour that doesn’t punish the senses, it tantalizes them, with tart cherries and smooth oak flavors working in harmony to create a satisfying and truly unique drinking experience. After all, a fella can only drink so many imperial stouts (or so I’ve heard – it hasn’t happened to me yet), so this beer is a lovely change of pace in the post-apocalyptic rat race.

No one is looking forward to the pending zombie onslaught, but the beers above will certainly make Armageddon a little more enjoyable.  After all, can you really consider it “surviving” without good beer?

What five brews would you choose to hunker down with?

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65 Comments on “Five Beers for the Zombie Apocalypse”

  1. May 5, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    You know I’ve been lobbying Rogue to do an Undead Guy Ale for a couple of years now. It could be re-fermented in the bottle. A rising from the grave thing so to speak.

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:30 am #

      That’s a great idea. And the zombies would LOVE it!

      • May 5, 2011 at 11:39 am #

        Marketing no-brainer, right? Oh … wait … zombies like brains. I can’t believe Rogue doesn’t come out with UnDead Guy Ale around Halloween every year.

        • May 5, 2011 at 11:44 am #

          It would be a hit for sure. What else would you bring to a party?!

  2. Don
    May 5, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Ok, first of all, we all know it is when and not if the world will end in a Zombie Apocalypse. Second, I cannot believe that Dragon’s Milk is not on the list! Not only are they delicious but you can crack zombie skulls with the empties. Seems like an oversight.

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      I thought you’d catch that! Having recently had Dragon’s Milk and Schlafly’s Reserve Imperial Stout back to back, the Schlafly’s is clearly superior, although both are awesome.

      Anyway, they are both quite similar, so the Schlafly’s gets the nod. Surprising, I know.

      • May 5, 2011 at 11:49 am #

        The Schlafly’s is light-years ahead of Dragon’s Milk, IMHO.

        • May 5, 2011 at 11:55 am #

          Agreed. I think it’s light years head of all the rest as well.

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

          Is it sweet like the Dragon’s milk? Because if it isn’t sweet, there is no way it is better, IMO.

        • May 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

          Well, IMO, it’s awesomer than Dragon’s Milk!

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

          I don’t care about your O, IMO Drangon’s Milk Rules!

  3. May 5, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    1. Ska Modus Hopperandi
    2. Avery Joe’s Pilsner
    3. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
    4. Victory Hop Wallop
    5. Bristol Winter Warlock Stout

    A lot of IPAs because if I’m fighting zombies, my taste buds have to be as alert as the rest of me. 😉

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Smart. Keep your buds on their toes, so to speak.

      I think I need to check out Modus – It’s the second time it has come up as being suitable for zombie fighting.

  4. May 5, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Interesting. Was this post inspired by Sean of the Dead since they hide out in the local Pub while battling the zombies?

    To The Winchester!

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      Nope, but I wish I would have thought of that – a great reference for the post!

  5. May 5, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Let’s take a look at your list and make a few suggestions…

    1. Schlafly’s Reserve Imperial Stout (2008 if possible) – 2008 shouldn’t be too hard to hunt down as a SRIS of all vintages is pretty easy to find in Missouri. Still, taking a 10 to the bunker is not such a bad idea since aging goes a long way with this brew, as you suggested. Not sure I could argue with this selection.

    2. Dale’s Pale Ale – Canned beer is a good idea. Anything depending solely on hops is not such a good idea. Even in a can, hop character fades. If you want a PA/IPA in your bunker, I’d go with a Dogfish Head 120 Minute. That beer is meant to be cellared at 18% ABV. You could drink it now if you kill every last zombie today or you could wait an eternity to drink it. Doesn’t matter. This beer is good either way. That and you’ll only need one to get drunk, leaving plenty of room for these other beers.

    3.Victory Prima Pils – Again, hoppy beers won’t last and a lager like this requires proper refrigeration. I would suggest instead going with something that is light, refreshing, and can age if necessary. Duchesse De Bourgogne is your beer. I discovered last summer just how refreshing this flanders red could be.

    4. 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA – This might be the ideal zombie apocalypse beer. The can is good for aging. Black IPA’s are still good even when the hops fade, thanks in large part to the roasted malt. It’s a keeper!

    5. New Glarus Enigma – This is a good choice, but I’d rather go with NG’s Belgian Red. Like Enigma, the Red can be aged and fills a need for sour, but this beer would appeal to the non-beer-drinker you’re sure to be stuck with in the bunker. This is especially important if – as you suggest – your new roommate is pretty.

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      Good feedback, Zac. I’ve ssen Ska’s Modus Hopperandi suggested as a replacement for the Prima Pils, as it comes in a can. I haven’t had it, but it’s now on my list to try.

      The Dales thing goes beyond IPA ans Pale Ale – I have many good flavor memories tied up in that beer, so it’s there for sentimental reasons, plus it’s in a can.

      THe Duchesse makes me wince – it tastes like a Russel Stover’s raspberry caramel to me, but not it a good way.

      I’ve never had NG’s Belgian Red, but I’ll look for it this summer in Wisconsin. Perhaps it is a superior choice, but that Enigma is pretty tasty. Plus I’ll load in some peach schnapps for my pretty roommate. That should do the trick! 🙂

      • May 5, 2011 at 11:59 am #

        I love Modus, but when it’s not fresh, it’s mediocre at best. That’s why I suggest not stocking up on IPA’s for the zombie apocalypse. What about 21st Amendment’s Monk’s Blood? It’s canned, not sour, and it tastes like straight raisins.

        Maybe you need to try an aged bottle of the Duchess. Let some of the edge fall off over time. The last one I had came with mold growing on the cork. It was awesome.

  6. johnking82
    May 5, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    When death is imminent, I want something that will make me buzzy and not care if my leg is getting gnawed on, but remember, after the zombie take over….bears will rule the earth because they love zombies.

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      You’re right – bears will eat anything, John. Just look at Don!!

      • May 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

        If we’re talking a bear apocalypse, I’m gonna have to add a few more stouts to the list!

      • johnking82
        May 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm #


    • Don
      May 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      Bears are fur covered Zombies! Bears when they are getting ready for hibernation gorge themselves on fish and berries. Well when they eat the fish, the first thing they eat is always the brain. A fatty little morsel that is just a creamy taste sensation for those big hairy bastards. There you have it, bear zombies!

    • Don
      May 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      Also a few cases of Bookers and Old Weller Antique and Knob Creek, and Four Roses would be great for when you are getting gnawed upon by zombies.

      • May 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

        Get your own zombie post, whiskey boy!!!

  7. Alex
    May 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    My Zombie Apacalypse survival kit would have to include:

    1. Odell Woodcut #3 (The red ale version). I paired this with Asian-flavored food once and it was one of my favorite beer pairings ever. I’ll be sure to stock up on frozen egg rolls and potstickers before heading underground.

    2. Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. The standard-bearer for Double IPAs. I’ll drink those first, so the hop flavors don’t fade too much. Or, I can save a bottle or two and see if they really do fade as much as everyone says. I guess I’d have the time to find out.

    3. Great Divide Yeti. I love all the varieties, but for me nothing beats the original. And it will keep indefinitely. “I have all the time in the world, you undead bastards!”

    4. Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde. Because it’s a much more pleasant “End of the World” than the Zombie Apocalypse.

    5. Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Grand Cru. For celebrating after the last zombie starves to death, or for my late taste of civilization after I get bitten (but before I start to crave brains).

    • May 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      I never considered after I’ve been infected…If a nice glass of chianti goes well with brain, which beer would be the equivalent?

      • Alex
        May 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

        Brains are very fatty. I think an oatmeal stout would go really well with them. Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast?

        • May 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

          Beer Geek Breakfast? Isn’t that what zombies are having?


          Yes. Something sweet and malty would do the trick. Jim’s suggestion of a black IPA such as Back in Black would also work.

    • May 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      I almost put chocolate yeti on the list – I’m crazy about the chipotle kick in that beer!

      • Alex
        May 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

        I also like the CAYENNE flavoring in the Chocolate Yeti. 😉

        The regular Yeti just seems more substantial that the Oak Aged varieties to me.

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

          Mixed cases!

        • May 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

          Aw snap – face!!

    • May 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      I couldn’t have Pliny on my list Alex – all the zombies would call me a poser!

      • Alex
        May 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

        Pfft! Whatever, man. I liked Pliny WAY before it was cool . . .

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

          I liked Pliny before it was PLINY…if you know what I mean.

        • johnking82
          May 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

          Pliny who?

  8. May 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I won’t argue or add to the list (sounds good enough to me, plus I feel like a zombie at the moment) but hats off for some excellent writing!

    • May 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks Scott. Hope your little zombie is doing well!

  9. Jeff W
    May 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    The idea of having only 5 different beers for the rest of my life is more terrifying than the inevitable zombie apocalypse. I therefore reject the five beer list and have instead opted for a five brewer list.

    I’d save:
    1 – Fred Colby, my hop powered friend and genius brewer at Laughing dog.
    2 – Greg Hall, if he can be house broken.
    3 – Charlie. (Shame on you if you don’t know who I mean)
    4 – Brother (not sure) from Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren.
    5 – Brother Barnabas from Paulaner Brauerei. He’s likely a zombie but I’m sure we can find and de-zombfy him.

    • May 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      That’s great idea Jeff! Of course they’ll probably drink more than they brew!!

    • Don
      May 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      I’m pretty sure anyone from Europe is already a zombie.

      • May 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

        Dude, you really hate Europe, don’t you? Have you ever been?

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

          Of course NOT! I’m askeared of ZOMBIES! DUH.

        • May 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

          I’ll keep that in mind while in Spain this summer.

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

          Yeah, if I were you I’d wear a Bicycle Helmet everywhere…Or as they call them in Spain…Brain protectors.

        • May 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

          I though you did that already, Don. 😉

  10. May 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I literally laughed out loud when I saw this headline. Thumbs up on a great article.

    • May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      Thanks. You’re always doing number posts on TDYLF, and I guess they must’ve inspired me.

  11. michael
    May 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    1. Golden Monkey
    2. Youngs Double chocolate stout
    3. Double Simcoe IPA
    4. Dogfish 60
    5. Chimay blue

    Shoot if its the apocalypse I’m going to have the beer I can’t afford now!!

    • May 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      As long as you beat the other geeks to the abandoned beer store, Michael (and avoid the zombies!).

  12. May 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    We had the same debate on our blog (! How about we join forces for the ZA?

    • May 6, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      As long as you’re stocking up on good beer, I’m in!!

  13. daveT
    May 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    a friend sent me here due to my fascination of all things zombies. i am a simple man of simple tastes and will do with whatever beer I find along the way running from zombies. if i could have a stash of one, i’d get some dharma initiative beer. it lasted on “the island” over 30 years! (LOST)

    • May 6, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      That’s the great thing about bad beer, Dave – it’s hard to make it bad, even after 30 years.

      I thought about those cans when I was writing the piece – they are perfect for the apocalypse!

  14. May 6, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Max Brooks and Beer. That combination simply can’t be beat (well, at least until that whole zombie apocalypse thing happens… that may put a hamper on the beer drinking).

    • May 6, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Yes good + good = great times.

  15. May 6, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    As for my 5 beers, it goes something like this:

    1) Firestone Walker Double Jack
    2) Great Lakes Oktoberfest
    3) Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
    4) Sam Adams Noble Pilsner
    5) Cantillon Classic Gueuze

    • May 6, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Variety and quality all the way!

      • May 6, 2011 at 10:29 am #

        That’s the goal. It’s certainly not my top-5 but it gives me a beer for most all occasion. I picture the Oktoberfest will go mighty-well with whatever small mammal I’m able to capture while avoiding the undead.

        • May 6, 2011 at 10:31 am #

          Cool, just look out for zombie-rabbits. Cute, but nasty little buggers!

  16. May 6, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    So am I to assume you’d be roaming the earth, moaning “GRAAAAAAAAINS!!!”?

    (bad joke; sorry)

    • May 6, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      Ha ha – that’s awesome!!


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