This week's installment of the 8-Bit Beer Club is all about complex-fun. Confused? I am too. Join me as we figure out what exactly that means.
I had an epiphany with this week's beer when some of my casual beer enthusiast friends were saying how much they enjoyed it. Not because they are appreciative of it's relative lightness or the interesting mysterious flavors, no sir! It was simply because it was yummy. And got them drunk
As I can only speak for myself I'm going to assume whatever I say will also apply to you. If it doesn't, you now have a new truth. For example, I don't have a lot of non-enthusiast friends that find the same joy as I do when I find a new IPA. In fact, most of them won't bother trying one of my beers anymore. But this weeks beer seems to transcend that boundary, much like the game paired with it.
Magic Hat #9, the Not Quite Pale Ale, is this week's feature brew. Magic Hat's website lists #9 as “A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers.” But they ain't foolin' anyone! It's apricot. I'm serious. Drink one and tell me I'm wrong.
While the flavor isn't as intense as Magic Hat lists it, it is rather unique and delicious. I mean, when was the last time you even saw an apricot? I'm in my mid-twenties and I don't think I have a good handle on what an apricot even looks like, but thanks to this beer I know they get me drunk. Good ol' #9 carries very little bite to it, and while it is available year-round, is refreshing enough to place itself in the upper-tier of summer beers. That “holy lord my mouth is made of dust” kind of weather.
So what type of game goes with something as mysterious and fun-loving as Magic Hat #9?
One as equally mysterious and just as fun:
The story of Bubble Bobble is about twin bubble dragons that are off on a quest to rescue their girlfriends. Pretty simple, right? Nope! Apparently their girlfriends are captured by robots, ghosts and other weird bad guys and their only weakness is being placed in a bubble and then jumped on. These villains need a stronger research department before they swipe another dame.
I grew up chasing my older brothers in whatever they did. They played Bubble Bobble on the NES, so I did too. We would spend days of youth in our parent's basement hammering away with either Bub or Bob to save our lady friends from bubble-fearing monsters. Yet we didn't care if we beat the game (we did, secret levels and all) or not, it was just a matter of beating each other and having fun.
Years later I had discovered that a good friend of mine also loved this game, so we decided to take a night to play it together. After the first 30 levels or so she was having a hard time staying alive. She told me that she had never beat the game, she just liked playing it. It didn't matter to her what happened at the end, much like it doesn't matter to casual drinkers what is in Magic Hat #9. They are both enjoyable in their mystery.
What both brew and game offer this week is a surface of fun with the understanding that further beneath it's murky depths are more interesting and complex structures. The beginning is a dare to understand the end. You can either dip your toes in and enjoy the small, warm waves, or you can take that swim into the deep, mysterious waters. And regardless of what you do, you'll walk away with a smile on your face. In a world post-discovery it's nice to have the option not to care, and just enjoy.
It's a world where Magic Hat #9 is the perfect beer to play Bubble Bobble with in the company of friends.
Signing off for this week's 8-Bit Beer Club! Until next time this has been a Drunk Devs feature! Take care and drink responsibly!