Unlike Jon Snow, we know lots, especially when it comes to beer. That’s why to celebrate Game of Thrones’ return to our screens, we’ve hand-picked a fine selection of brews for beer lovers from across Westeros to enjoy alongside season 6’s copious amounts of bloody action, shocking deaths and flagrant nudity. Ready yourself, beer is coming.
Those familiar with the Wall will shiver at its very mention. The towering last defence separates the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms from the icy lands beyond – lands home to the terrifying White Walkers. Not only must the The Night’s Watch – commonly known as ‘Crows’ – stand guard upon this immense structure, but they must also reject any and all trappings of their former lives – except liquid refreshment. That’s why we’re sure they’d enjoy warming themselves inside Castle Black with this brutally strong English, mild ale from Buxton. An imperial mid-nineteenth century recipe, hopped up and brewed in collaboration with Buxton’s dutch pals Oproer & Oedipus Brewing – the bottle is even adorned with a midnight blue crow.
Wild Beer Co – Shnoodlepip 6.5%
Much of Game of Thrones’ storytelling stems from the torrid affairs of House Baratheon. Adultery, sibling rivalries and the odd bit of child sacrificing hang from the broken and twisted branches of the family tree. While we’d never compare the brewing methods of Somerset’s wonderful Wild Beer Co. to the increasingly unscrupulous family, their bottles do bear a strikingly similar stag sigil to the family’s house banner. Their unique and complex Shnoodlepippacks pink peppercorns, passionfruit and wild yeast, and is the perfect brew for a land rich with natural resources but besieged by equally complex and impassioned claims to the Iron Throne.
Heretic – Evil Cousin – Imperial IPA 8%
While Ramsay Bolton may not be a blood cousin to the somewhat diminished stark family, he was probably called Cousin Ramsay when he came to visit Winterfell from the Dreadfort. Unfortunately, Ramsay’s torrid family history and incredibly cruel father helped him develop a somewhat unnerving fondness for torture and depravity – it’s safe to say Ramsay’s pretty damn evil. This Imperial IPA from Hereticis a bold, in-your-face monster brew that bears a light, easy drinking malt character allowing for the hoppy flavours to stand out. Big, sticky, and aggressive, the hop profile is intentionally on the dank side. We’re not encouraging Ramsay’s behaviour, but it would be hard to criticise him if he was sipping a can of Evil Cousin -especially if it was on the way to King’s Landing.
White Hag – Black Boar – Imperial Stout 10.2%
Former ruler of The Seven Kingdoms, Robert Baratheon was mortally wounded by a great boar while on a boozy hunt with traitorous relatives – an act which led to his untimely death and the outbreak of The War of the Five Kings. While White Hag’sBlack Boar is as equally impressive as the snarling beast which cast a kingdom into disarray, its intentions a far more pleasing. Rich, bold and roasty, Black Boar comes across as warm and bittersweet with flavours of treacle, coffee and dark chocolate. If you’re a velvety chocolate fan, this’ll be your tipple. However, at an impressive 10.2% ABV we still don’t recommend galloping into the woods with a spear after downing a goblet the Irish Imperial Oatmeal Stout. This one goes well with whole turkey’s and the smell of victory wafting from the scorched battlefield to the west.
Siren – Liquid Mistress – Red IPA 5.8%
The mysterious Melisandre has been the source of much destruction since her sudden arrival. Widely known as ‘The Red Woman’, the Lord of Light priestess has repeatedly been the source of the poison dripped into the ear of Stannis Baratheon throughout his battle for the throne. Siren’sLiquid Mistress Red IPA is the self-proclaimed femme fatale of amber ales, pouring deep red with roasted nut and spicy fruit aromas. Sweet fruity flavours are complimented by smokey flourishes (we all know Melisandre’s fond of a bit of fire) before this brew finishes with a full bodied dry bitterness that smooths out at the end – the same will most likely not be said at the climax of season 6. [boost-tracker]