Start 14-Day Trial Subscription

*No credit card required

Chris Guest's picture

Top 20 Beer and Video Game Pairings

Beer and video games; both are works of art meant to be enjoyed. They can take the edge off after a long work day, or serve as a way to build friendships and community. They can also be quite complementary – putting you in a zenlike zone of sipping and blipping, slaying while swaying, or guzzling during puzzling. We love both, so we put together a list of some of our favorite games and their fittingly fizzy counterparts. 

So gather your party and venture forth; all your beers are belong to us.

The Legend of Zelda Series – All Green Everything – Link of the evergreen tunic; perennially searching for his other half, Zelda. Perhaps it’s the enthralling art design, or powerfully nostalgic musical score, but something about the Zelda franchise conjures up visceral emotions within its fans. The public seems to feel the same way about this Triple IPA, perennially pining for their Other Half beer. The can is simple, yet gorgeous and its contents are equally remarkable, clocking in at an extraordinarily refined and dry 10.5% ABV. This beer, like the Zelda franchise, is a testament to a focus on quality over quantity.

Street Fighter – Fist City – Championed by purists, Street Fighter is widely considered to be the progenitor of the modern fighting game. Its cartoony visuals belie an extremely deep gameplay experience which, while fun for the average player, requires significant study to master. Revolution Brewing’s Fist City resides in the Pale Ale family, a perennial contender for the most popular beer style. The style’s strength is in its accessibility, a combination of juicy hops and easy-drinking ale. At first taste, Fist City’s elusive candied melon, grapefruit and citrus flavors are masked with mild crackery malt. Our judge advises that you must take time to study this one to fully reveal its character.

Fallout 4 – Bombshell Blonde – Fallout 4 features one of the biggest, most impressive game worlds in recent memory. With a thriving mod scene and a robust story, many beers would pair well with this (Super Mutant) behemoth of a game. However, what started it all in the Fallout series was “the bomb.” Lots of bombs, actually. Nuclear ones. Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde is an easy-drinking and spritzy Blonde Ale that would fit your friendly neighborhood Vault Dweller and your Lone Wanderer like a snug Power Fist as he explores the Commonwealth. You could even toss some food coloring in there to make it look like a Nuka-Cola! (Rad-X not included.)

Telltale Games The Walking Dead Series – Zombie Dust – Point-and-click adventure games used to be all the rage. Before technology caught up with video games, just moving a mouse around and seeing a digital character move in reaction to your input was revolutionary. Of course, technology did catch up and with it, point-and-click games became old news –obsolete and antiquated. However, nostalgia has now also caught up with those games, and developer Telltale Games makes some of the best modern, narrative-driven, point-and-click games around. They made their name with The Walking Dead series and with good reason. The games are extremely well-written and they adapt to the decisions you make, as you make them. These games are harrowing, however, so sip a 3 Floyds Zombie Dust Pale Ale in real life while you turn zombies into dust within the game. Trust us, it makes the (frequent) sad moments in the game a little less sob-inducing.

Mass Effect Series – Space Rock – Bioware’s Mass Effect was a groundbreaking first game in the series when it was released in 2007. Featuring an excellent story set in the year 2183, well-rounded characters, a futuristic setting and score, and the revolutionary dialogue wheel for player-character responses, it’s no surprise that it spawned an all-encompassing multiverse that includes comics, books and mobile games. One of the main goals of series protagonist Commander Shepard is to explore uncharted worlds and find elements, supplies and weapons that will help him or her defeat an ancient alien menace. These planets (or Space Rocks) are well-represented in beer form by Short’s Brewing’s Space Rock, a smoothly hoppy American Pale Ale that’s crafted to reduce gluten. A gluten-free beer would suit people in the future, as they all look thin and fit even at an advanced age, something that is discussed in-game at various points. Well, this entry is over; I should go.

Call of Duty Black Ops IIIBrooklyn Black Ops – Call of Duty has come a long way since its inception as a WWII-era first-person-shooter. Now, all sorts of futuristic gadgets and military technology are commonplace in the series. Not only do Brooklyn Black Ops and the COD Black Ops series share a name, they are also both best enjoyed under cover of night so as to fully immerse oneself in the riveting gameplay of COD as well as the velvety layers of roasted chocolate, boozy barrel and caramel coffee flavors found within Brooklyn Black Ops.

Assassin’s Creed Series – Cutthroat Porter – Assassin’s Creed combines elements of stealth with vicious combat. Odell’s Cutthroat Porter follows suit, blurring the lines between porter and stout with punchy, robust flavor notes of dark coffee and woodsy hops tempered by a deceptively silky and creamy finish. Just as Assassin’s Creed bounces between stylistic representations of classical eras, Cutthroat’s makeup gives a nod to both the classic London porter while masquerading as a modern American Stout. How do you know you can trust it? Because it’s beer.

Pokémon Series – Bengali, Resin and Hi-Res – There’s something extraordinarily satisfying about catching a bunch of extremely well-designed digital critters (ranging from adorable to terrifying), improving their abilities and statistics, and watching them evolve and grow into bigger and more interesting well-designed digital critters. You can’t help it, truly – you “gotta catch ‘em all.” Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn understands this appeal and translated it into a line of delectable IPAs with Bengali, Resin and Hi-Res. Each beer gets stronger and improves upon its previous incarnation in numerous ways (just like Pokemon). So whether you’re flitting about like a Pidgeotto or flopping around like a Magikarp, Sixpoint’s line of top-shelf IPAs is there for you – as you grow as a beer drinker and a Pokémon trainer.

Doom Series Mephistopheles’ Stout – Doom is one of the more venerable first-person shooter franchises in gaming history. In it, you take out the denizens of hell with an ever-increasing array of weapons and power-ups. There have been numerous entries into the series over the years, with Doom 3 being one of the most memorable, culminating in a titanic tussle between the player-character and Beelzebub himself. Usually though, you’re defeating some of his minions, such as the namesake of Avery Brewing Company’s Mephistopheles’ Stout. This deep, dark and beautifully packaged Imperial Stout clocks in at a powerful 18+ percent ABV, pairing well with the brutal gameplay that the Doom series is known for.

Super Smash Bros. Series2X Smash – This beer matches perfectly with the Super Smash Bros. series in a variety of ways. It could refer to the number of different Smash games in the series you play on a regular basis – mostly Melee and Smash 4 – (but not Brawl, never Brawl), or it could refer to the amount of times you chuck your controller across the room when you get thwomped by your best friend (again), or it could be the obscene amount of smash attacks that your opponent always seems to nail you with throughout an online match. No matter what the meaning, this hefty Double IPA will make every round of Super Smash seem a little more epic with each sip. Settle it with 2X Smash!

Grand Theft Auto Series – Barrel Thief – “Yep, I’ve been drinking again.” A classic line from the timeless GTA III, which spawned one of the most influential series of games to date. The eloquent pedestrian responsible for that statement may very well have quaffed this oak-aged DIPA from Odell, with a similar theme of thievery – stolen from the brewhouse and stashed in medium-toast American oak barrels, according to the brewer. At 9.4%, “the brew features a notorious tropical fruit hop character that tangles with hints of vanilla, dried fruit, and toasted nut from its time served in the barrel.” Our judge gave it an 88, though if it did some more time in the cellar, he would have likely given it a five-star rating.