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That said, it's hard for me to understand how a beer company could resist naming its Game of Thrones tie-in beer—a blonde ale!—after Khal Drogo's fair-haired widow. Instead, Cooperstown, New York, craft brewery Ommegang went with Iron Throne. Which is fine. Especially because it was good.
I'm not a serious beer drinker. I am, however, a serious Game of Thrones watcher. (Season three premieres in a mere ten days and I won't even watch a trailer or commercial for fear of spoiling a second.) On Tuesday evening, when I found out there was an Iron Ale tasting in progress at Monk's Pub, I ran down ten flights of stairs, beat up a child for his Razor scooter, and zipped over the river to get there before they ran out.
I made it, but the keg went dry halfway through my second pint. So, partially my fault for having two pints.
I ended up sitting with the Ommegang rep and his girlfriend, very nice people, neither of whom had seen Game of Thrones yet. Without being too effusive, I suggested they make time to do so. Like, soon.
Since I'm not a beer expert, I asked one—our own Philip Montoro—what he thinks of the brewery responsible for Iron Throne. Here's what he said: "Ommegang is a fine operation, and I enjoy some of their beers very much. Three Philosophers is an old favorite."
Very good. He actually sampled Iron Throne last weekend at Binny's, but couldn't quite remember how it tasted. (Binny's got a small shipment of the beer, but apparently ran out in a couple hours.) Brewed with citrus peel and grains of paradise (a thing I just learned is a thing—I thought maybe they were just being cute), it's citrusy, obviously, but not obnoxiously so. Really refreshing and drinkable, with a touch of hoppy bitterness.
I imagine this cross-promotion has been a real boon for Ommegang, and it seems like a good fit, not to mention well executed. I'm sure ideas like this one come up all the time in corporate offices—Breaking Bad-themed men's briefs from Fruit of the Loom! Walking Dead body spray from Axe . . . smells like death!—but they have somewhat more limited appeal.
Apparently, Ommegang is releasing another, darker Game of Thrones beer in a couple weeks. Between that and season three we have a lot to look forward to. (Someone please murder Joffrey.)