Star Trek Vulcan Ale recently began beaming into beer stores across Canada, another sign that the day of the officially licensed craft beer is upon us.
There have been a few movie and TV related brews that’ve sprung up over the years; some good, some great, and some pretty darn bad.
Here are five that run the gamut:
Star Trek Vulcan Ale
The first in a planned series of Star Trek inspired brews, Vulcan Ale is a 5.4% ABV Irish Red Ale brewed under contract by Montana’s Harvest Moon Brewing Company for Canadian distributor Delancey Direct. Early indications are that it’s a decent beer, but what “Irish” and “Vulcan” have in common is anyone’s guess – do the Vulcans even have drinking songs?
We can’t discuss Star Trek themed beers without a mention of Romulan Ale, an American Adjunct Lager brewed a few years back by Cerveceria La Constancia S.A. in El Salvador. The one thing this beer had going for it was its color – a raspberry radiator fluid blue that most likely made the drinker think they had bladder cancer the first time they approached the urinal after drinking the stuff.
Monty Python Holy Grail Ale
Probably the best part of this English Pale Ale is its name – anything related to Monty Python immediately puts me in a good mood. I can’t honestly recall if I’ve had this beer, but I know at least one gentleman (who is not a beer geek and CERTAINLY not a beer snob) who swears by the stuff. I just wish they’d brew something a little more absurd, like a coconut clapper Porter or an elderberry-scented Saison.
Imperial Stout Trooper
Even after George Lucas flexed his legal muscles and forced a label change that made the beer look a little less, uh, Stormtroopery (and a little more Groucho Marxey), it’s still clear that this beer is from a galaxy far, far away. Imperial Stout Trooper is a great beer with a cool name and label art that makes you feel like you’re twelve again, only this time you’re not drinking warm cans of stolen beer down by the creek. That’s a win-win!
Game of Thrones Iron Throne Blonde Ale
I’ll admit I have a crush on Game of Thrones dragon-mama Dany Targaryen, so I’m not going to argue with Brewery Ommegang’s choice to dedicate the first beer in their HBO-licensed series to coolest chic this side of Westeros. This well made Belgian Blonde Ale is as complex as the shifting allegiances on the show, and would make a great gift if you were trying to woo a warrior princess (well this, or *SPOILER ALERT* a couple of heads in a knapsack).
Of course there’s also all the Dogfish Head/ Sony Music brews to consider, Kid Rock’s Bad Ass whatever, and the soon to be wrought Hanson Mmm-Hop beer, the release of which is being held up by “complications of distribution.” I’ll say, “complications” never sounded so comforting!
I think we can expect to see more and more of these pop culture collaborations come to market as craft brewers seek to stand out in an increasing crowded marketplace and media makers seek new ways to connect with fans.
Hopefully we get more Iron Throne Blonde Ales and fewer blue monstrosities like the Romulan Ale (the folks behind the new Vulcan Ale are working on a new version – here’s hoping they do better!).
At the end of the day, one of my favorite sayings applies to licensed brews, both now and in the future: If the beer’s good, then it’s all good.
So please, Hollywood marketer types, make sure the beer is good!