It’s hard to relax in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, what with all the dragons, shadow demons, White Walkers and people having sex wherever you look. Cooperstown, New York’s Ommegang Brewery is about to give George R. R. Martin fans (or just beer fans) a chance to unwind with the release of four Game of Thrones-themed brews. First up is the Iron Throne Blonde Ale coming out at the end of the month. We went all Lord Varys and tasted it early to bring you the pertinent info and help you decide whether it’s worth shelling out $8.50 worth of Gold Dragons for a 750ml bottle.
This is a very drinkable, Belgium-style beer. It’s brewed with grains of paradise and lemon peel giving it a light, citrus-y kick for a pleasing summery taste. It has only 6.5 percent alcohol-by-volume so you might be able to knock back a few at lunch and still be in sound enough mind and body to take down some Lannisters. Also, in general, we’re strong proponents of the merging of pop culture and food culture.
The connection between the show and the beer is a little hazy. They say it’s referencing the blonde Joffrey Baratheon sitting on the Iron Throne and that it’s “fair in color and soft in appearance, yet it still possesses a complexity and bite to be on guard for.” That sounds almost as wedged in as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane’s head in Tyrion “the Imp” Lannister’s helmet. Plus, a grains of paradise- and lemon peel-flavored summer ale reminds of something. And why are they making a summer ale when winter is coming?
Despite it’s thematic shortcomings, a delicious beer is a delicious beer. This one is worth trying even if you don’t get all the allusions in this post. We’ll drink this until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. If you’re game, you can find out where to get it in your kingdom here.