The beer world is full of funny names, one-off releases, and interbrewery collaborations. It's an industry that takes pride in its sometimes-whimsical nature.
Sometimes you just have to geek out, whether you're a sports geek, videogame geek, or beer geek (maybe all of the above?) to touch only the tip of the iceberg. Below, we've listed ten of the nerdiest, geekiest, and otherwise socially awkward beers. Let us know how many you've had.
Alien Stout - Sierra Blanca Brewing, New Mexico
New Mexico is a pretty geeky state; after all, it's the home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the premiere sites in the country for science. But when the science is done, it's time to celebrate New Mexico's other famous nerd-event, the Roswell UFO crash of 1947, with the recently crowned Alien Stout from the Sierra Blanca Brewing Co.
Usually known for the lackluster Alien Amber Ale, Sierra Blanca pushed out this imperial stout with the alien branding to help win beer lovers over. Clocking in at 8.3 percent abv and with a roasted-coffee and chocolate taste, this deep-brown beer is getting much better press than its predecessor. It even won a silver medal at the 2012 New Mexico State Fair. Besides a better product, the alien skull logo really seals the deal.
TROOPER - Robinson's Brewing, UK
You drink my beer, but I'll drink yours too! Here's a beer for the those wanting a little more metal in their drink.
TROOPER is a British style amber ale developed by renowned Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. Featuring Eddie the Head on the label, the beer just recently hit production and shipments are making their way through Europe, with US distribution not far behind. Featuring Cascade, Goldings and Bobec (a variety of Styrian) hops, the beer should have a pleasant hoppiness that doesn't dominate the palate. "It pours a deep golden colour, so deep it verges on copper," says Marverine Cole, an accredited beer sommelier, and member of the Campaign for Real Ale. "Caramel, earthy/grassy notes and a hint of lemon citrus on the nose. All very subtle, but no real punch in terms of aroma...That subtlety translates into the flavour of a delicate sweetness, a light dry finish with no lingering bitterness: all-in-all, a well-balanced brewed beer... This is a "session" beer in the truest sense of the word."
Episode 13 - B. Nektar Strikes Back - B. Necktar Meadery, Michigan
There's no doubt that Star Wars themed anything is generally a hit, but this is mead with an AT-AT on the label! It may not be 'beer' in that it's made from malted barley, but it's a fermented beverage classified under the Beer Judge Certification Program's style guidelines as style categories 24 through 26, so I'm including it here. Also, mead is awesome.
"A long time ago, in basement not far from Detroit..." the label begins. "In an effort to strengthen their cause, the rebels sent out thousands of bottles across the galaxy."
It's a sweet honey mead that has been aged in bourbon barrels, cleverly depicted as an AT-AT made of wooden barrels on the bottle's label. Other amusing product names from this meadery include Necromangocon, a mango and black pepper honey wine, Apple Pi, made from fresh apple cider, honey, and pie spices, and Mead Love You Long Time, a mead with star anise flavor, white cardamom, juniper berries, orange zest and lime zest to imitate Vietnamese ice cream.
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale - Black Sheep Brewery, UK
Whether delivered via laden swallows or found hidden away in the Castle Anthrax, Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale is one of the more famous geeky beers, and one that has surely crossed the gifting paths of any Python fan. Produced by Black Sheep Brewery in North Yorkshire, it is the official beer of Monty Python.
They are very open about its contents as well. "We brew Holy Grail with Maris Otter malt, an old and expensive variety that is renowned for the taste and the quality of the beer it produces," the brewery exclaims. "A mixture of old English Hop varieties including a touch of WGV hops gives Holy Grail its lovely fruity nose."
It is, by their accounts, a "proper Yorkshire beer" with just a hint of wheat added in to give it that extra body. It's not a bad brew either, and we'd consider drinking it even if we had no arms left, you stupid bastard.
Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale - Tallgrass Brewing Company, Kansas
Those of us who grew up during the '80s hold a sacred nostalgia for practically anything to do with 8-bit gaming. Enter the 8-Bit Pale Ale from Tallgrass Brewing, it's a hop-rocketed American-style pale ale made from a foundation of 2 Row, Victory, Vienna and Munich malts and hopped on Magnum, Centennial and Cascade. For a final geeky touch, a Hop-Rocket infuses Australian Galaxy hops into the beer to bring out "a unique tropical, almost melon aroma in a classic American style."
Oh, and it's been named the official beer of retro gamers. So bring a case next time there's an arcade night, and show off your 8-bit style.
Game of Thrones Iron Throne Blonde Ale - Ommegang Brewing, New York
The beginning of a series of beers inspired by the hit television series Game of Thrones, Iron Throne is the adult equivalent of the Nintendo Cereal System of our youth; properly done commercial food tie in!
Iron Throne from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York is a Belgian style pale ale, featuring grains of paradise and lemon zest, and hopped with Styrain Golding and Hallertau Spalter Select.
Phil Leinhart, brewmaster at the brewery makes his case with a heroic speech. "With a Lannister currently on the throne, it made sense to do a delicate, but piercing Golden Blonde Ale with Noble hops. Iron Throne is certainly fair in color and soft in appearance, yet it still possesses a complexity and bite to be on guard for."
Hopworks Galactic Imperial Red - Hopworks Urban Brewery, Oregon
Another beer on the list for retro gamers (hey, we were young and impressionable) is from Portland's own Hopworks Urban Brewery. The organic operation puts out a seasonal Galactic Imperial Red in a battle for your tastebuds... and the fate of the galaxy?
It's described as an American strong ale, with a big malt profile and a huge hop bill of Cascade and NW Centennial to keep the whole package working together. According to the brewery, this beer is available between March and May in both 22oz. bombers and on draft at local bars.
How many quarters will it take to finish this off? Just like at the arcade, it's not over until Game Over.
Also, check out other cool Oregon beers from the Oregon Beer Project.
Vulcan Ale Episode 2013 - Harvest Moon Brewing Company, Montana
Live long and drink good beer. Taking a cue from Romulan Ale, CBS has licensed a limited collectors series of Star Trek themed beer with Vulcan Ale. Brewed in Canada, this red ale is developed to be mild and sessionable; nothing too overpowering for the senses where you'd lose your logical thinking.
Spock might prefer brandy when he drinks (the few times he does), but we'd like to think that a race of logical beings would be pretty darned efficient in making a beer.
Duff Beer - Florida Beer Company, Florida
Homer and his pals down at Moe's Tavern aren't the only ones who will get to drink The Simpson's favorite drink of choice, Duff.
The most iconic animated brew makes it way to our physical reality in the form of a contract brew for Universal Studios upcoming Simpsons theme park expansion. It will be produced by nearby Florida Beer Company, the newly Cape Canaveral based brewery (they were previously in Melbourne) that currently puts out beers such as Swamp Ape and Key West Amber Ale.
Patrons can check it out at Universal, as Moe's tavern officially opened on June 1st.
Farking Wheaton w00tstout - Stone Brewing, California
It's not beer, it's FARK. The long running news-so-strange-it's-actually-real website's founder Drew Curtis is teaming up with all around celebrity nerd Wil Wheaton (also a homebrewer!) and Stone Brewing's Greg Koch to put together a beer packed full of flavor, drinking it will make you yell 'w00t!'
This collaboration is due out in July, so in the meantime, all we know about it is that, according to the brewery, "the beer will be partially barrel-aged with rye & wheat malt and pecans."
Did we leave your favorite nerdy beer off the list? Tell me on Twitter, or leave a comment below.
Beer things in your Twitter feed - Follow me @DougFairall
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.