It's true. Brewery Ommegang released a "Game of Thrones" beer this month. The Iron Throne blonde ale is a collaboration between one of the best craft breweries in the U.S. and HBO, and it's the start of a series.
Bloggers have been posting reviews since the start of the month, and Total Wine started selling the 750-ml bottles Tuesday, March 19. Some stores have sold out already.
Rather than offer my take on the brew -- I'm saving my singular bottle for the Season 3 premiere March 31 -- I asked some local beer geeks who love the show for their thoughts.
Cesar Vasquez, a rep with Cavalier Distributing and cheerleader of local beer entrepreneurs, was the only GOT fan I talked to who'd tried the Iron Throne ale.
"It was solid, in my opinion," he told me. "But I've read the books and, watching the show now, I would think it would be a big imperial red ale for Ned Stark and Baratheon."
There's been commotion among beer-GOT fans about Ommegang making a blonde ale rather than a hearty dark beer for a show with such bloody, lusty stories.
Vasquez thinks if Ommegang would have been true to period, fantastic as the period may be, they would have made a mead or honey-based beer.
"I would have gone for a braggot [mead-beer blend]," he said. "Then again, that doesn't appeal to the masses."
Vasquez's favorite character is Eddard "Ned" Stark, Jon Snow running a close second. He said he might watch the season premiere on a screen projected onto the side of a friend's house, maybe drinking a mead or some stouts.
Dave Crisafi, who runs the South Florida Beer Blog, understood why the beer's an easy-drinking style rather than something dark and intimidating, such as an oak-aged, dry-hopped imperial black IPA or some such nonsense.
"From what I heard, this was the one to kind of get people into it," he said, "and they're hoping to get bigger. They have three more [beers coming], I believe."
He hasn't read the books, but still thinks Brewery Ommegang fits the series perfectly.
"I actually couldn't think of anybody else that could be better," he said. "It's old-world but they still have that craft-beer feel. Even the bottles look Game-of-Thrones-y."
Crisafi's favorite character is Jon Snow.
Lara Hussey, part-organizer of the Boca Beer Lovers group, has read George R.R. Martin's series, but says she's not "obsessed" with the show. She expected Ommegang's style to be darker.
"I was expecting a big stout or something like that, since the tagline is 'Winter is coming'," Hussey said. "I was thinking it was going to be something dark and stormy."
Regardless, she thinks beer is the right choice of quaff for "Game of Thrones."
"I think that a lot of the people that watch it are really passionate people," she said. "They're obsessed with the series, and I think it's just one more thing for them to get obsessed about, the beer."
Even though she expected a "dark and stormy" style, Hussey thinks she'll like the blonde ale better.
Her favorite character is Tyrion Lannister.
Ed Hussey, who's married to Lara, said he's not a fan of Ommegang, so he's looking forward to trying the Iron Throne just because it's a Game of Thrones-themed beer.
"In theme, I would say [the brewery should have been] more along the lines of Stone [Brewing]," Hussey said, "just because it's got a medieval tone to it."
Stone, of Arrogant Bastard Ale fame, bears a gargoyle on its logo.
"I'd want it to be something very hardcore," Hussey said, imagining the ideal Game of Thrones brew. "Something on the imperial level [meaning double the potency and flavor], like a Russian stout, or even a ridiculously hoppy beer. Nothing middle-of-the-road like golden ales or Belgian."
Unfortunately for him, Belgian and golden is just what the beer is.
His favorite character is Tyrion Lannister, now that Ned Stark is dead.
FINDINGS: Beer snobs wanted a heavy-duty brew to represent the HBO drama, but even if the Iron Throne didn't meet their expectations, enough people bit that the beer's selling out. Eddard Stark, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister seem to be popular among beer drinkers, judging by this non-scientific sample of four.Copyright © 2015, South Florida