For fans of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” the third season cannot begin soon enough. Legions of rabid watchers want to know what becomes of the characters in the epic fantasy series. But, there is another reason for fans to get excited, especially if they enjoy great beer as well as dragon-populated fantasy tales. HBO has licensed the beer-making rights for the program to Brewery Ommegang, which is part of the Duvel Moortgat brewery family.
Ommegang, opened in 1997 in Cooperstown, NY, has long been revered as one of the best Belgian-style brewers in the United States. The brewery’s Hennepin Saison and Three Philosophers Quad are highly regarded among the beer enthusiasts garnering scores of 97% and 99% respectively on beer rating website RateBeer.com. To tie in with the March 31 “Game of Thrones” third season premier, Ommegang will release the first of a series of beers based on the critically-acclaimed show.
The first brew, a blonde ale, will be called Iron Throne after the shows seat of power and the source of much of the show’s drama. HBO worked closely with brewer Phil Leinhart and Ommegang to ensure the beer was not a mere tie-in, but more an integral part of the “Game of Thrones” experience. The beer was crafted to “directly tie into themes and nuances of the medieval-like fantasy realm of Westeros.”
“With a Lannister currently on the throne,” Leinhart explained. “It made sense to do a delicate, but piercing Golden Blonde Ale with Noble hops. Iron Throne iscertainly fair in color and soft in appearance, yet it still possesses a complexity and bite to be on guard for.”
In the realm of the show, the Iron Throne is currently occupied by a Lannister, one of the many families vying for control of the mythical kingdom of Westeros. The Lannisters are fair-haired and known for their ruthless handling of their enemies.
The beer is 6.5% ABV and will be available on draft as well as in corked bottles mid- to late-March. Future beers in the series will likely get stronger and darker as they are released. The series of brews will consist of four beers crafted specifically for the series and using elements of the narrative for inspiration. The next brew is scheduled for release in the fall of 2013, but Ommegang and HBO have not said what the style or name will be.
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