Winter is here, but thankfully beer is coming. On Friday, Brewery Ommegang and HBO announced its eighth Game of Thrones-inspired beer, Bend the Knee, a golden ale brewed with honey that will become available around Memorial Day.
According to a HBO Global Licensing press release, the 9% ABV beer from the Duvel-owned, Cooperstown, NY-based brewery will be available in three collectible 750ml bottles, "all finished in matte black and adorned with one of the three Great House sigils: Stark, Targaryen, or Lannister" (which you can see in the gallery below).
The three-bottle design is meant to commemorate a realm headed to war at the end of Game of Thrones sixth season on HBO, and the "coming melee" involving the three houses in this year's penultimate season.
So what does Bend the Knee taste like? According to Ommegang, the beer is brewed with "pils malt and flaked oats and hopped with Saaz, Bravo and Styrian Golding hops" for a fruitiness from Ommegang's signature house yeast, a light sweetness from wildflower honey, and "firm hop bitterness."
"With this next Game of Thrones-inspired release, we wanted a beer and a pack that was fit for a king … or a queen," said Brewery Ommegang President Doug Campbell. "Drawing from a rich Belgian brewing tradition, Golden Strong Ales are deceptive due to their unique combination of extreme drinkability and relatively high alcohol content. Bend the Knee walks that line while also incorporating the delicate flavors of honey into the mix. The subtle noble and floral hop contribution adds to its delicateness and the beer finishes smooth and dry."
Bend the Knee is the eighth release culminating in the partnership between Ommegang and HBO, which began in 2013. The others include Iron Throne blonde ale, Take the Black Stout, Fire and Blood red ale (also released with three collectible bottles), Valar Morghulis Abbey Dubbel ale, Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison ale, Seven Kingdom Hoppy Wheat Ale and Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale.
On an entirely subjective note, the Ommegang GoT line is an excellent series and the best pop-culture tie-in beers. Period. They have evolved from brews accessible to non-beer drinkers to increasingly complex and nuanced beers that fans of Belgian-style ales can appreciate. As a confessed fan of the Ommegang Game of Thrones beer, I'm excited to Bend the Knee and raise a glass this Memorial Day.