Last night at Sunset Beer Co. here in Los Angeles there was a small tasting event/launch party for the new Brewery Ommegang release “Iron Throne,” a blonde ale inspired by the television program Game Of Thrones. And if you thought for one second I wouldn’t be attendance…you would be dead wrong. Wait. How many negatives are in that sentence? Is that grammatically accurate? What I’m trying to say is, you’re damned right I was there to imbibe with friends and try to glean some information from the brewery’s west coast sales representative.
As I walked into the tasting room shortly after 5pm, I learned that the brew was available on draught (and for an extra few bucks you could score a Game Of Thrones tulip glass) and in bottles. There was a limit of one bottle per customer, but you could order glasses for as long as the venue’s keg would allow. Since I was waiting on friends, I enjoyed a glass of Cistmontane Pandion Pale Ale first. I really love Cistmontane. They (along with Strand and Ladyface) have become one of my favorite local breweries. That beer was delicious, by the way, featuring a wide variety of hops, a very floral aroma, and a crispness perfect for spring sessions. Once friends arrived, though, the night turned solely to consumption of the celebratory Ommegang brew.
Iron Throne Blonde Ale, a supposed collaboration between Brewery Ommegang and HBO (although I don’t know how much brewing experience HBO has) is a 6.5% ABV Belgian-style blonde ale that wonderfully blends fruit and spice. In talking with the sales rep from Ommegang I learned that it’s brewed withStyrian Golding and Hallertau Spalter Select hops. It’s spiced with a combination of lemon peel and grains of paradise. Malty in flavor, Iron Throne definitely fit the flavor profile of a Belgian-style ale. Very lightly bitter, crisp and sweet, the second pour I found even better than the first. Suffice to say I’m excited about breaking into my bottle on Sunday night during Season 3 Episode 2.
In talking with the Ommegang rep in the tasting room — who, by the way, was kind enough to provide my friends and I with free t-shirts, keychains, and coasters — I learned more about where the beer is going to be available in and around Los Angeles (there’s an event at Stout in Hollywood tonight, which you probably won’t make it to, but it’s also at Surly Goat, Faculty, Rosewood Tavern, and a few other spots you can seek out via Ommegang’s website). Of course, I also prodded as best I could about the upcoming Game of Thrones beers. Although unable to give direct answers to any of my questions, I’m pretty sure I could infer from the answers I received that come October/November, there will be another offering from Ommegang that is a stark (pun intended?) contrast to the Irone Throne, perhaps a more darker, heartier brew. I’m sure once it has been announced the Internet will be all aflutter, just as it was when Iron Throne was announced. Maybe next time those of us in LA should make an event of the beer release. We’ve got until autumn to set it up and make it happen.
Go seize the Iron Throne. An opportunity such as this does not arise often.
Ramin Djawadi – The Throne Is Mine [MP3]