I’D TAP THAT: The dragon awakens

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First Posted: 5/19/2014

Beer: Fire and Blood

Brewer: Brewery Ommegang

Style: Amber/Red Ale

ABV: 6.80%

Description: Fire and Blood pours a deep, dark reddish hue with a rocky off-white head that sticks around throughout the drink, leaving a hefty lacing on the glass. The aroma is very subtle and delicate but gives hints to the strong flavors inside. The Ommegang house yeast comes through first, mainly due to its easy recognition, and other aromas such as dark fruits, hints of spice, earthy floral hops, and sweet malt make their presence known. The taste follows the nose but also delivers a bit more spice from the peppers as well. The sweet malts hit up front, followed by the spice from the peppers, which then give way to a pleasant semi-dry finish from the hops and rye. The medium body and moderate carbonation are a great combination for this beer and give it a very silky mouthfeel.

Food pairing: The spices within this beer make for a dream pairing with spicier dishes. Try pairing Fire and Blood with enchiladas, as the spices in the dish and beer will lock on to one another while the sweet malts will quickly douse the fire in your mouth, and the carbonation will scrub the palate clean. Also try pairing this brew with simpler Mexican dishes, such as burritos or tacos. Fire and Blood is also a great beer to have for backyard cookouts, especially those dishes covered in barbecue sauce. Try pairing with barbecue chicken, pork or even a standard hamburger and do not hold back on the toppings – the spicier the better! With a beer this unique, you need to whip up something special for dessert. Try this with a creamy vanilla bean Pavlova, bananas foster upside down cake, or the fantastic Indian dessert Gajar Halwa.

The final word: Fire and Blood is the third “Game of Thrones” beer released from Brewery Ommegang. With each successive release, the “Game of Thrones” series of beers seems to get better and better, with Fire and Blood being one of the most enjoyable to date. Many drinkers are put off by spicy beers, mainly due to the beer possessing an over-the-top aggressive spiciness. However, Fire and Blood does not suffer that folly and instead provides a very subtle amount of heat from the pepper, while balancing nicely between the malt and wonderful Ommegang house yeast. Fans of the show should be on the lookout as well, as this bottle possesses three different labels, so all the completionists will have their work cut out for them. Be on the lookout this fall for the fourth “Game of Thrones” brew, which is going to be called Valar Morghulis and will be an Abbey Dubbel.

Rating: W W W W

Where can I get it? Currently available in 750-milliliter bottles at: Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City – although check with places first, as this one is a very fast seller!

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.