“I drink, and I know things”
Winter is coming? Who cares, Spring is here! And so is the latest Game of Thrones beer.
Now that spring has finally arrived in New York and the weather is spectacular, all seems right in the world. Needless to say, one very large contributor to the general happiness at Fandom is that HBO is back with new seasons of several favorite shows. The hilarious Mike Judge penned Silicon Valley has returned for Season 3. And of course, Game of Thrones has returned with the highly anticipated Season 6.
For beer drinkers, perhaps the most exciting news is that Ommegang Brewery is back with their latest Game of Thrones brew. The newest beer in the Game of Thrones collaboration series with HBO is called Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale and it shipped to wholesalers in late March and is now available at retail. While the idea of enjoying a delicious craft Ale on a Sunday night sounds appealing, the Belgian-Style Wheat Ale retails for the steep price of $9.99 per bottle. So the NY team at Fandom thought a beer review might help fans decide if the investment is worth it.
Seven Kingdoms is the latest release in the Ommegang Brewery Game of Thrones series, beers that that have drawn rave reviews from beer nerds everywhere. Past releases of Game of Thrones-inspired beers include Iron Throne Blonde Ale and Take the Black Stout (spring/fall 2013 and re-released fall 2015), Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison (spring 2015), Volar Morghulis (fall 2014) and Fire and Blood Red Ale (spring 2014). Even though Ommegang brewed 3.5 times the volume of Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale, demand remains high and supply very limited. It is actually quite difficult finding places to buy it. Luckily, the brewery has developed a “Beer Locator” to help thirsty consumers procure a few, precious bottles.
The packaging of Seven Kingdoms is nothing short of stunning. Unless serving it by the keg, the beer only comes in a 750ml bottle format. The elegant presentation includes a cork stopper and muselet, the type of wire cage that holds the cork on a bottle of champagne. Unfurling the wire and popping a bottle offers a playful, exciting experience. In addition, the handsome label art features the golden astrolabe from the Game of Thrones opening credits.
The brewery describes Seven Kingdoms as combining the flavor profiles of a traditional Belgian-Style wheat ale and a hop-forward American Ale to “create a playful and nuanced brew whose complexity mirrors the many intersecting storylines and characters of the show. The resulting fusion of styles produces a full, round hoppy flavor with tart orange and lemon and a substantial wheat maltiness.”
The Fandom team sampled 3 bottles of Seven Kingdoms in its New York tasting area. A group of 6 colleagues tasted the beer together as a group. The beer was let to settle upright for 24 hours and served very cold. Seven Kingdoms is cloudy in the glass, but spectacular in color, a golden yellow that matches the label. It produces a thick, even white head of foam. The most seasoned beer aficionado on the team, Sean Piereman, described his first taste as, “pretty darn smooth for a hop beer.” And then the overwhelmingly positive tasting notes started flowing from there. “The malt comes through over the hops.” Tasting notes included banana, malt, and citrus flavors orange and lemon. The finish is quite bitter, and somewhat notably, the wonderful bitterness lingers in the mouth for an extended time. The Fandom team reached the consensus that the beer is delicious, complex, and overall, quite balanced.
And as Tyrion Lannister spoke so famously in Season 6, episode 2, “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.” Fandom recommends its readers find an opportunity to learn about this wonderful offering from the team at Ommegang Brewery and taste this beer while they can. After all, Winter is coming!
The entire New York office of Fandom contributed to this article.