Pop culture happy hour: Wine and beer with TV-inspired cred

Chicago TribuneOctober 14, 2013 

Don Draper has his old-fashioned, Carrie Bradshaw her Cosmo and Homer Simpson is partial to a cold Duff Beer, preferably on tap at Moe’s.

Television often features alcohol in a supporting role, and store shelves and tap rooms of late have featured a bevy of spirits with TV tie-ins that seek to bottle the essence of their TV inspiration.

Brewery Ommegang collaborated with HBO to create a series of brews inspired by HBO’s hit show “Game of Thrones.” Their first offering, a citrusy blond ale named Iron Throne, was inspired by Cersei Lannister, the show’s fair-haired yet brutal matriarch. The beer is light and airy but its citrus nose and crisp bite remind that the drink, like Lannister, is not to be taken lightly.

A partnership between online retailer Wines that Rock and Dulong Grands Vins de Bordeaux means fans of PBS’ “Downton Abbey” can soon look for Bourdeaux claret and blanc made from the same region as the World War I-era English upper-crust quaff on the show.

Being released in October, this vintage aims to please Carson, the butler who obsessively stocks the cellar of English aristocrats on “Downton Abbey.”

For Ted Rice, brewmaster at Marble Brewery in Albuquerque, N.M., his “Breaking Bad” beer is just a way to pay homage to a show that paid homage to him. Marble’s beers were featured on the show, and Rice’s home appeared briefly as a shooting location.

“‘Breaking Bad’ has definitely been a part of our life through beer, our neighbors who work on it, our house. … I wanted to say ‘thank you’ and tip my pint toward the show,” Rice said.

His small-batch India black ale, Heisenberg’s Dark, and India white ale, Walt’s White Lie, were created with a nod to the duality of the show’s main character, Walter White, an underachieving yet genius Albuquerque chemistry teacher who takes to cooking methamphetamine.

Oh, and for those who always wondered just what Homer saw in Duff? Head down to Moe’s Tavern at Universal Orlando’s new Simpsons-themed park in Florida, where they’re pouring Duff beer (and the “Flaming Moe”).

Two more to try:

•  Take the Black Stout: The newest limited offering from Brewery Ommegang’s “Game of Thrones” series is a 7 percent ABV beer, brewed with base, caramel, chocolate and roasted barley malts. It is due for an October release.

• Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout: This collaboration among Stone, Fark.com founder Drew Curtis and “Star Trek: Next Generation” star Wil Wheaton is a rich blend of coffee, nuts and velvety-smooth wheat aged in bourbon barrels that punches in at 13 percent ABV.

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