Given the explosion of microbreweries across the United States, it's not surprising to see pop culture infiltrate bottle labels. We've seen Monty Python and Star Trek themed beers, but it was only a matter of time before some passioned gamers started to incorporate their favorite pastime into their brewing.
These five beers are blazing the trail for game-themed adult beverages, which we should remind you are only to be consumed once you reach the legally determined age.
Red Ring of Death Irish Amber – Warped Brewing Company
This small brewery based in Sebastopol, California wears its love for gaming right on all the labels. You could opt for the Red Ring of Death Irish amber pictured above, the Cold Crash '83 IPA, or the Impossible Landing kolsch inspired by the NES game Top Gun. The tasting room also showcases brewer Noah Bolmer's love of games, with vintage arcade machines available for play and a unique bar adorned with marquees of classic cabinets. The brewery doesn't appear to bottle its beer for distribution, so you'll have to stop into the tasting room to enjoy these game-inspired brews.
Game of Thrones series – Ommegang Brewery
You could say including this beer series is cheating since HBO collaborated with Ommegang on these beers, but HBO also collaborated with Telltale for the new Game of Thrones episodic adventure, so we're saying it's fair play. Four beers comprise this limited run, including the Iron Throne blonde ale, Take the Black stout, Fire and Blood red ale, and the Valar Morghulis dubbel. Given this was a limited run for the third season of the show, you may have to do some hardcore web surfing to find a bottle.
Imperial Stout Trooper – New England Brewing Co.
From the early days of Dark Forces leading right up to DICE's highly anticipated reboot of Battlefront, gamers have put down a Death Star's worth of Storm Troopers. What better way to celebrate their ineptitude than to down a big and bold Russian imperial stout from New England Brewing Co? LucasArts must not have taken kindly to this bottle art, because now the bottles seen in stores feature a disguise nose and moustache over the stormtrooper mask.
Mega Milk Oatmeal Stout – Arcade Brewing
Like Warped, this Illinois brewery uses its love of gaming to name its beers and influence its label design. In addition to the Mega Man inspired oatmeal stout, the brewery makes a zombie apocalypse themed black wheat ale called Festus Rotgut, the Graveyard Shift coffee pale ale, and a cute 8-bit label for its Grapefruit IPA. Beer distribution appears limited to the Chicago area, so you may want to find someone to trade with on one of the many aftermarket sites available.
8-bit Pale Ale – Tallgrass Brewing Co.
Perhaps the most easily accessible beer on this list (at least for those who live in the Midwest), the Tallgrass 8-bit pale ale is a Game Informer favorite and the self-proclaimed official beer of retro gamers. This is the perfect beer to enjoy alongside a gaming session.
Do you know of other gaming-inspired beers? If so, share them in the comments section below.