There is certainly no shortage of craft beer these days, with several new breweries popping up each and every week, but we always seem to want what we just cannot have. While watching a film or a television show, beer is often a predominantly featured part and, quite frankly, it often makes us incredibly thirsty – leaving us to want to try what our favorite fictional characters are drinking.
Some of it is just because it would be fun to sip on the same drink but another reason is to understand just what exactly that specific beer tastes like. With that in mind, we decided to pick the 10 fictional beers that we’d like to give a try. Some are on the market in smaller, unlicensed batches from hyper-local breweries while a few other imaginings can be tasted at Universal Studios in Orlando. But either way, we’re holding out hope that one day we can nip on some of pop culture’s greatest beers.
ROMULAN ALE (STAR TREK)
Any true “Trekkie” who has seen the 1982 sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is familiar with Romulan Ale. Hell, it’s been referenced on The Big Bang Theory on a number of occasions – but what exactly is this spacey adult beverage? It’s a highly intoxicating beverage with certain medicinal benefits, though the blue concoction can get even the biggest Klingon’s wasted. The description of Romulan Ale really makes it sound more like the galactic version of Four Loko – and like Four Loko, it was banned from the early 2280s until 2370s. That’s close enough to a beer for us. It was actually marketed and manufactured in small amounts as a promotion for the J.J. Abrams-directed 2009 reboot.
GIRLIE GIRL BEER (MARRIED WITH CHILDREN)
Let’s be honest, virtually everything Al Bundy did on Married With Children was half-assed but the man had two real skills when it came right down to it – mocking people and drinking beer. So, of course, the official beer of Bundy’s anti-feminism club, the National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood, or NO MA’AM for short, was one with an oxymoronic title – Girlie Girl Beer. The club met in Bundy’s garage and discussed beer, women and other manly matters and always drank Girlie Girl Beer. In fact, during one episode Girlie Girl’s mascot is changed to Yoko Ono, much to the organization’s disapproval.
DUFF BEER (THE SIMPSONS)
Many have attempted to make Duff Beer but we’re still holding out hope for an officially licensed beverage, much like how it’s sold at Universal Studios in Orlando. Arguably the most recognizable fictional beer, this is Homer Simpson’s drink of choice and can be seen in almost every episode of The Simpsons. Think of Duff Beer as the Springfield equivalent of Coors, Miller or Bud, something that offers a limited taste but is cheap and produced for the masses – in fact, in one episode Homer tours the brewery with his cohorts, only to learn that Duff, Duff Light and Duff Dry are the exact same beer. Sounds about right.
BUTTERBEER (HARRY POTTER)
Another beer that has been reproduced on several occasions and is also available at Universal Studios in Orlando, Butterbeer contains little alcohol and is extremely popular with the wizards of the Harry Potter universe, especially since it can be served either hot or cold but will still have a warming effect. The book’s author, J.K. Rowling, explained that it would taste similar to that of butterscotch and it’s really not all that expensive either – 60 pence, which is a little over 80 cents here in the United States. And since it’s sugary, there’s more risk of crashing than getting a hangover the next day. What’s not to like?
SHOTZ BEER (LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY)
This is a throwback for those of you who grew up during the sitcom boom of the late 1970s. A spin-off from the highly popular Happy Days, the title characters from Laverne and Shirley worked at Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee, bottlecapping liquid deliciousness for the masses, so of course there was plenty of beer featured. Shotz was similar to Miller – a name synonymous with Milwaukee – in that it was produced in large quantities and, from the looks of it, appeared to be a simple pilsner beer. Just hearing the theme song alone has us picturing the two in the brewery with their bandanas on, putting the rubber glove on one of the beers as it passes. The slogan for this beer would pretty much write itself if you think about it: “we’re going to make it after all.”
ALAMO BEER (KING OF THE HILL)
Upon further review, there is technically a brewery in San Antonio called Alamo Brewing Company and, yes, it technically makes Alamo Beer but it’s not quite the same thing. We want the stuff that Hank Hill and the rest of the King of the Hill characters drank while standing in the back yard figuring out life. This ice cold refreshment is prominently featured throughout the show, as Hank claims it won the Munich Beer Festival in 1849 and with a tagline like “From the lukewarm headwaters of the mighty Brazos River” how could it not win every major beer award? If we had to bet, we’d think it was a lager though, and unless creator Mike Judge has a new business venture, we might never taste it.
There was no shortage of beers featured on Futurama, from Pabst Blue Robot to St. Pauli Exclusion Principle Girl Beer, but the cartoon’s most well known beer was definitely Löbrau. The name of the beer was part a parody of Löwenbrau beer and part of a “low brow” word pun but it was one of the show’s few beverages that Philip J. Fry drank both in the 20th Century and also in the modern day 3000s. The main reason as to why Fry loved the beer was pretty simple, because, and we quote, “it has dots on it!” We have to imagine it’s a nice German pilsner or lager but we might never know and, if we’re getting really greedy, we’d also love to taste Bendërbrau – brewed specifically inside Bender.
SCHRADERBRÄU (BREAKING BAD)
Throughout the five seasons of Breaking Bad, there were several moments when Hank Schrader boasted about how good his homebrew, Schraderbrau, was and it even became a storyline in one episode. Because, what better way for a DEA agent to relax after a long, hard day of unknowingly chasing the scent of his meth dealer brother-in-law than with an ice cold beer mimicking a German creation? While we could see someone making this themselves for a smaller brewery, using the TV show’s likeness for a beer doesn’t seem to work out too well – just ask the folks over at Knee Deep Brewing about that.
PAWTUCKET PATRIOT ALE (FAMILY GUY)
This beer is to Family Guy what Duff Beer is to The Simpsons – and Peter Griffin and the gang drink it a lot. While we have to imagine it’s just the Rhode Island equivalent of Samuel Adams’ Boston Lager, it’s undeniably the favorite drink of Quahog, so much so Peter even winds up working there for a stint. And we cannot forget Pawtucket Pat, the company’s eccentric owner who is a lot like Willy Wonka, which is even the basis for an episode when Peter tours the place and meets his band of Chumbawumbas. People in the northeastern United States know good beer, which is why we’d love to try this one out. Who knows, maybe on one of the show’s anniversaries Sam Adams can make some sort of a limited release? We doubt it.
We’ve heard that the low-carb strawberry beer is OK but we really want to try Schnitzengiggle, a beer the Beerfest crew brews at their own restaurant in Colorado. Over the course of the film, many of these beers are consumed, so much so that by the end of the movie we were downright thirsty. Who knows exactly what the beer tastes like but judging from its look, it’s probably a nice golden ale or pilsner – something easily consumed. They are training for a beer drinking competition. We’d give anything to crack one open with Landfill 2 and play a game of “Asshole” with Barry Badrinath.