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Every Tuesday one of us here at Drunk Devs will introduce a brew that we like and pair it with a
game, covering all generations with a focus on the older titles, that we think has some common ground with
the drink of choice. Some examples of categories we may use are similar characteristics (e.g., a dark beer
and a dark story), a certain feeling we think the brew and game share (easy to drink and casual games), or
if the beer has a certain marketability that is akin to what a developer was aiming for, (see 21 st amendment
brew and any jet set radio title)

Tuesday
Mar122013

8-Bit Beer Club: Magic Hat #9

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!

Thursday
Mar072013

8-Bit Beer Club: Maple Bock

The week’s beer, and first in the feature, is Hinterland’s seasonal brew Maple Bock. I wanted to choose something that was completely new to me so I could pair it with a fresh mind. As every seasoned beer enthusiast knows, or something I just totally made up, is that the first time you taste a new beer the memory is burned into your mind like a wildfire of deliciousness. 

There were a few factors that led to me picking Maple Bock. It has a simple design, something I like because Hinterland is letting the beer do all the talking and not relying on some flashy packaging. The second thing is that I am a sucker for anything flavored Maple. That’s the real reason but I have to sound professional, right? When I got home and had my first sip I was not disappointed with my choice. It was as if someone had taken those delicious maple candies that are out around the holidays and melted them down into something that will get you drunk.

I should preface this next part by saying I do enjoy dark, heavy beer. I know it’s not for everyone, in fact I probably know more haters than enthusiasts. Maple Bock has a good balance of being dark and rich enough to satisfy the snobbiest of snobs but also being delicious and light enough to welcome an amateur into the world of craft brew.

So what game goes with beer like this? Maple Bock can be briefly described as being smooth, flavorful, and well-balanced, plus with a flavor as time tested as maple it will have to be classic. So a game would have to hit those marks, or be damn near close…..

To me, that game, and the first to be paired, is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past


 
Not only is this game timeless, but it has a certain fluidity and balance that pairs well with the Maple Bock. The controls are spot-on for it’s generation, young and old me still feel like I am the Hero of Time cutting through jerk-guards that try to jack my swag. The story has both a light and dark side, in a metaphorical and literal sense, that matches up with the dark rich flavor with the lighter notes of maple and chocolate. See what I did there? I went super snob to say a beer matches up with a video game story line. Expect a whole lot of that in the upcoming weeks.

Also, drinking some Maple Bock while traversing the lost woods makes one think you can almost taste the trees. I mean really taste them. Get all up in there for that sweet, sweet maple and get tree drunk.                 

I feel that we have a good starting off point for the 8-Bit Beer Club. Maple Bock taps into your flavor history even if you’ve never had a beer, because if you haven’t had  maple syrup yet what the hell are you doing with yourself? To that same degree if you haven’t played a Zelda game you now have two strikes against you in life. You should finish reading this feature and take a good long look in the mirror. You’re welcome for this feature making your life better.

Leave your thanks and praise in the comments below and don’t forget to check back daily for new content on our latest projects and every Tuesday for the next installment of 8-Bit Beer Club!

Take care and drink responsibly!