March 30, 2014
New Beers For Trekkies And Heavy Metal Heads
Movie franchise spin-offs are nothing new. Check out a few beauties in this Guardian article. Boldly going where many have been before, a new beer capitalizing on the Star Trek franchise has been launched. Named “Warnog” after the cranially-challenged Klingon race’s favorite tipple in the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine series, the new beer has been commissioned by Canadian company The Federation of Beer. It will be brewed at the Tin Man Brewing Company based in Indiana. It is said to be a “Roggen Dunkel” style of beer. I thought I knew my beer, but that sounds more like a race of evil warty aliens that Spock and Co. might do battle with than a good ale. Still, I will give it a go if I get chance and hope that the morning after I don’t wake up with a Klingon head.
The Federation of Beer is an official partner of the Star Trek brand and gave the world Vulcan Ale last year. This was an “Irish Red” beer reflecting the red planet of Vulcan, which was Spock’s home. Apparently Warnog uses German yeast and Munich malt. It will have notes of banana, cloves, and caramel. I’ll keep an open mind on that one. I just can’t imagine Klingon’s mooching down to their local bar at the end of the Universe and smacking their lips over hints of banana and cloves like pretentious ale snobs. I’m sure they would probably prefer something more blood-like, with a few solid bits of unknown lifeforms floating around.
Having your own brand of beer seems to be something of a trend for the world of the rock band too and is perhaps a better “fit”, with the hard-core rock community being traditionally fond of beer and booze. UK repetitive rockers Status Quo, led by Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, are celebrating a deluxe re-release and tour of their classic 1972 album Piledriver by introducing a beer of the same name. Produced at the UK’s Marston’s Wychwood Brewery, Piledriver is described as a classic ale, fruity and hoppy. It will certainly be more traditional than Warnog and sports a large gorilla as a logo. Parfitt remembers the Piledriver sessions as having “perfect chemistry” and flowing fun and claims the eponymous ale will have the same ethos. Personally, I have never detected ethos in beer but I might be missing something.
Also jumping on the beer-wagon are Iron Maiden and Elbow. In 2013, Maiden’s vocalist Bruce Dickinson apparently showed true dedication to the task in hand by making repeated selfless visits to the 175-year-old Robinsons family brewery in Cheshire, England, to oversee the production of Trooper beer, which is named after one of their best-loved songs. Repeated visits to a brewery doesn’t sound like the toughest gig to me. With 90 million album sales behind them, Maiden must have a ready-made following for their ale.
Robinsons was also involved in Elbow’s “Build a Rocket Boys” Beer, which sold over 750,000 pints and raised over £40,000 for Oxfam’s East Africa appeal, but has now been phased out. The band’s latest offering, Charge, brewed at the same Marston’s site as Piledriver, is named after a track on their new album – The Take Off and Landing of Everything.
No doubt the franchise spin-off craze will continue and if the new beers keep hitting my local pubs I just don’t know how I will keep up. Purely in the interests of redOrbit blog readers I will, like Mr Dickinson, just have to dig deep and drink for the people.
Image Credit: The Federation Of Beer / Tin Man Brewing Company