By Chrissy Cooper
Spoiler Alert: If you aren’t caught up on watching Game of Thrones, including the beginning of Season 8… you might want to avoid this month’s BrewsNews until you catch up.
2 years ago, I was finally introduced to GOT by my partner, Michael. He had already watched it all the way through but, with the show being as detailed as it is, he had no problem watching it again with me. Let me tell you… I am not sure exactly at what moment I was hooked, but I’m sure it was before the end of the first episode. I caught up just in time to watch Season 7 in July of 2017, so in that, I was kind of spoiled… I finished Season 6 and only had to wait a couple of weeks for Season 7 to start. So, waiting for Season 8 has been almost as torturous as Ramsey Bolton was to Theon Greyjoy… and so many others.
Jon stepped down as King in the North when he “bended the knee”, both figuratively and literally, pledging himself and his army to fight for Daenerys Targaryen Mother of Dragons or as she likes to be formally called, Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, and the Breaker of Chains… or just Dany for short. While these beers named after my two favorite characters are not from a local brewery, the moment I found them, I knew I had to do a Game of Thrones inspired review.
Game of Thrones: Mother of Dragons
Brewery Ommegang, Cooperston, New York
Lambic – Kriek | 6.6% ABV | 0 IBUs
Mother of Dragons pours as dark as dragon smoke at night with just a hint of mahogany and a light creamy head. Brewery Ommegang blended a smokey porter and a Belgian kriek to get a beer that represents the smoke and fire that Daenerys is so well known for. The tart cherry is very strong at the beginning, but it quickly mellows into a deep chocolatey flavor in the middle of each sip. The ending is really the best part… the chocolatey middle fades to a smokey flavor that ends with a hint of sweetness that is in stark contrast to its tart beginnings. They really could not have made a better beer to represent the amazing and complex Queen Daenerys… Mother of Dragons.
Game of Thrones: King in the North
Brewery Ommegang, Cooperston, New York
Stout – Russian Imperial | 11% ABV | 0 IBUs
King in the North pours blacker than Cersi’s heart as it was bourbon barrel aged for six months, and though it is a solid 11 percent ABV, it lacks the really boozy taste that some barrel aged stouts can have. There is a warm, roasted vanilla scent as you lift it to your lips. The first part of the taste contains a trace amount of coffee, but more so a rich chocolatey taste mixed with the smokey bourbon. It ends on a slightly higher bourbon note with a hint of vanilla, but it is still very mellow. This beer is strong and slightly sweet, which makes it an appropriate treat, just like its namesake, Jon Snow, the (former) King in the North… Oh, the things I would do to that man!
Unfortunately, all of the Game of Throne Beers that Brewery Ommegang produced were only done in limited-release batches, so once they are gone they are truly gone… kind of like so many of our favorite characters from GOT. Micheal was absolutely devastated to find out that he would never be able to drink King in the North again. I thought that it was a VERY good beer, but Michael claims it to be the best beer that he has ever had. The final beer of the series… For the Throne—a Golden Strong Ale fermented with pinot grigio and grape juice—was released at the beginning of April… Which means there may still be a few around if you know where to look.
I can’t even imagine how the final season is going to play out. I would like to imagine Dany and Jon flying off into the sunset together on dragons… for a short honeymoon of course. Danearys will have a kingdom to run… Or will she? I am a little sad that Game of Thrones is coming to an end, but I am excited once it is over at the idea of binge-watching it from the beginning again. There is so much information and foreshadowing packed in every episode there is no way to catch everything the first time. Maybe this time I will even wait to watch each episode with my partner rather than skipping ahead in my excitement, like the first time I watched it… Then again probably not.
The rumors of a prequel GOT series give me hope that this isn’t the end… it is only just the beginning! Hopefully, Ommegang will continue their line of delicious limited-release beers to go with—what only makes sense with such a prolific and popular television series—the prequel.