How, precisely, it took so long for the fussy nerds of the craft beer world and the fussy nerds of the Trekkie community to overlap is beyond me. And yet, it has finally happened: Star Trek-themed beer is coming to the United States.
Why has it taken so long for there to be an official Star Trek beer? Especially when Canadians have been enjoying Vulcan Ale for a while?
Well, first of all, as anybody who’s consumed Labatt’s can tell you, Canadians will drink damn near anything. They’re not picky, what with that whole “living in a grey, snow-blasted waste” problem they have to deal with. Secondly, Paramount is a bit protective of the Star Trek license and probably didn’t want to screw it up.
As you may have guessed, it’s Klingon-themed, and it comes from Tin Man Brewing of Evanston, IL. It’s built on a rye malt with a Dunkelweizen grain bill, and if you’re not a beer nerd, that essentially translates out to, according to Tin Man, “mild banana and clove” aroma.
And yes, this is pretty much completely inaccurate to the show, and thank God. You know what they drank in Star Trek: The Next Generation? “Synthehol.” Yes, even Riker, that paragon of manliness and beards, drank the future equivalent of O’Doul’s. Worf, after getting his ass kicked yet again, couldn’t settle down and ease his pain with a nice scotch. Basically, if you like good booze, the 24th century blows.
That said, beer fans probably have doubts, and you can’t blame them. It’s reasonable to be leery of “licensed” beers. Really, the only product that has a worse track record when it comes to movie licenses than beer is video games. Wine arguably has it just as bad: When the lead singer of Whitesnake can slap his name on some mid-shelf red and actually sell it, you know the wine market has pretty much gone completely to hell. The beer market is thankfully so packed with decent breweries that it’s actually a lot harder to get a grip in the market with a gimmick, but some still slip through: Three Stooges beer, anyone?
But we’re hopeful about this one. First of all, Tin Man might not have the insane cult of a beer like Heady Topper, but it seems to be doing okay on Beer Advocate, pulling a solid 3.5 overall, on average. Considering that beer nerds can be very bit as fussy and prone to snide comments and backstabbing as the boards on Memory Alpha, that’s fairly impressive.
Secondly, Tin Man is a craft brewery, not a megalo-brewing corporation, and clearly, there was something about them Paramount liked. There was really no reason they couldn’t just go to Corona and say “Give us a million dollars and you can slap Captain Kirk’s face on every box.” So, at the very least, the brewery pulled off an impressive win. We’ll see if they can follow it up as the beer starts being distributed this year.
Dan became a Man Cave legend when he cracked the code to answering the question Beanie Baby or Stripper?