SPOILER ALERT (or is that nerd alert?): I’m a zombie fan.
In fact, I’ve been a Dead Head (not that kind) long before I became a Hop Head.
The obsession started years ago, when I first saw the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead on USA Network, which prompted me to check out the 1968 original, which meant I had to watch the other movies in George A. Romero’s trilogy, which made the genre stick to me like a rotting carcass on a sidewalk on a Georgia summer day.
Hell, this book has a permanent place on the backseat floor of my car, in case I need reading material:
All this is to say, I’m a big Walking Dead fan. I have been since I first picked up the comic in 2003 and when the TV show started airing four years ago.
With the latest season of AMC’s smash hit coming to a close this Sunday, I thought it was the perfect time to mix a couple of my passions: the undead and beer. But not by putting brains in my beer.
What follows is my attempt to find the perfect pairing: each main character of the show is matched with a corresponding beer to represent their “turned” self. The rules were simple: The beer has to be readily available, a year-round offering and adhere to the traits of each character.
So what are we waiting for? Grab your
beer weapon of choice and let’s pray for survival with help of our fermented friend.
Characteristics: Steadfast, dependable and our heroic leader. Can get a little crazy at times.
Beer: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Could it be more fitting? It’s a classic and a crowd pleaser. Only Sam Adams Boston Lager might seem appropriate for a go-to American hero.
Wild card beer: Depending on level of sanity, Sierra Nevada Torpedo offers a second option. The intensity of the brewery’s “Torpedo” hopping process lends an extra layer to the country’s highest selling IPA.
Characteristics: Rebellious teen, focused on growing up and getting stronger … looks up to his role model dad.
Beer: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. It’s the littlest option of the 60, 90 and 120 Minute family who wishes to grow up and be as strong as 120 Minute some day.
Characteristics: Young, energetic and impulsive.
Beer: Founders All Day IPA. A beer that can keep you going throughout the day, but offer enough hop kick to prove its worth.
Characteristics: Realist, unemotional when necessary and unforgiving.
Beer: North Coast Old Rasputin. Nothing less than an imperial stout would do Carol justice. She’s grown tough and hardened throughout the series, which requires a hardy beer to match her persona.
Characteristics: A first-time drinker, looking for new experiences and growing up fast.
Beer: Allagash White. A perfect choice for someone new to the beer scene looking to bridge flavor and drinkability. A nice gateway beer to craft beer adulthood.
Characteristics: Tough, trustworthy and sweet, but with an edge.
Beer: Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. A combo of depth of sweet, fruity flavor with a slight edge of funk. Not to be messed with, but always enjoyable.
Characteristics: Hardened, powerful, but with a growing soft side.
Beer: Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’. Like the label says, it’s a dual-purpose beer (hoppy wheat ale) that’s great for a variety of tastes. A slightly amped up ABV can sneak up on you, but won’t cut through its complexity.
Sasha and Tyreese
Characteristics: Stubborn, emotional and offer bouts of anger.
Beers: Stone Arrogant Bastard (Sasha) and Oaked Arrogant Bastard (Tyreese). They can be aggressive. You probably won’t like them if you’re used to talking about feelings and consequences. It’s doubtful you’re able to appreciate the importance of this personality in a world overrun by zombies.
Characteristics: Classic roughneck, down to earth and doesn’t kid around.
Beer: Steel Reserve. In his F’n black garbage bag.
Characteristics: A reformed alcoholic.
Beer: Please. Club soda or GTFO.
The BMC Crew
Special consideration is given to the latest members of the show, who seem to fit nicely into a macro beer category…
Eugene Porter: Miller Fortune. He seems fancy, but there’s something hiding. LIES.
Abraham: Budweiser. The only brew that seems appropriate for his facial hair.
Rosita: Bud Light Platinum. If you show up in that outfit, are you doing anything other than clubbing?
Don’t be shy … share your best pairings below and let me know how crazy I am. Is there a SweetWater brew that should represent one of our Georgian characters?
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac