Style: Strong Golden Ale (w/ Pinot Grigio and Viognier Grape Juice
Brewery: Ommegang Brewery
Format: 750 ml
My husband Michael (also a RP contributor) and I are huge beer AND Game of Thrones enthusiasts. Last year, we ended up getting a growler of the GOT “Hand of the Queen” barleywine ale. It was 100% delicious, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t wake up a little groggy the next day. Nevertheless, a GOT beer should be strong and heavy and intense, by all accounts, so it definitely did not come as a surprise.
When we were in one of our local beer joints a couple of weeks ago, we spied the For the Throne golden ale — a shining beacon in their cooler — and we knew we couldn’t resist. We did manage to resist, however, in waiting to open it until the premiere of season 8. And it did not disappoint — neither the premiere nor the beer, but that’s for another post. This review is dedicated to the drink, as it should be.
First of all, let’s talk about the bottle. It’s sealed like champagne or sparkling wine, so you know it’s going to have some carbonation — and that it does. It is a beer that should be poured carefully, as there is A LOT of foam, but delicious foam, so it all pans out. The color of the beer is a rich, golden hue, and it’s lovely. The foam really helps bring out the floral fragrance of the beer. And as a golden ale blended with Pinot Grigio, the citrus notes help to cut through the sweetness and keep it from feeling too heavy.
The bottle may seem large from the outset, but it’s just enough to fill two beer glasses. So don’t be intimidated by the size if you don’t have anyone to share it with. But beer and good television are fun to share with people, and if it’s GOT-related, then all the better! Michael commented that the beer starts out sweet but then moves into bitter, nutty notes — which he enjoyed. He said that it was smooth, crisp, and surprisingly (for a Belgian-style ale) easily drinkable. “It’s bitter,” he commented, “Kind of like the bittersweet thought of Game of Thrones leaving us.”
The price point, $20.00, may seem like a lot to put down for two beers, but this isn’t just any beer. It’s one you want to savor. And if you’re a collector like my husband and I, you are definitely going to be saving this bottle. So, as we enter into this last season of Game of Thrones, BUY this ale, drink well, and enjoy it all while you can!