Sleeping isn’t as easy as it used to be. Whenever you can find safe shelter (which is rare) a constant, gnawing fear remains. Every night, you hear screams and gunshots in the inky blackness, then a cacophonous crescendo of groaning and the steady shuffle of zombie feet. You sleep with your trustiest knife, ready to flee at a moment’s notice.
Suddenly, the back door flies open to reveal… your fellow survivor grinning broadly and clutching what appears to be 12 pristine beers. You can’t believe it. As a longtime beer connoisseur, you thought your hobby would fall by the wayside since the daily struggle for survival takes up most of your time and energy.
Cracking open and pouring the first bottle reveals aromas and flavors you haven’t experienced in years. It makes you think, for just a moment, that maybe there are other survivors out there going through the same things you’re going through. Maybe they too enjoy interesting craft brews.
If that’s true, maybe there is still some hope out there…
(Contains Very Mild Spoilers)
Rick Grimes – The Reaper – Southbound Brewing Company – Rick Grimes has been the cornerstone of The Walking Dead ever since its transcendent first episode premiered in 2010. We’ve been with Rick through thick and thin, whether it was watching him kill his best friend Shane (after he became a walker) or seeing the death of his wife Lori during childbirth.
The show has been tough on Rick, but his son and infant daughter are still alive, as are many of his fellow survivors who have been with him since the beginning. Rick always tends to attract trouble wherever he goes, probably because he is a beacon of morality in a broken society where manipulation and violence are the currency. Because of this, Rick’s body count is higher than most other characters on the show. He has slain them all, be it zombie or corrupt human.
The Reaper, a dark brooding Quadrupel from Savannah, Georgia, represents Rick’s bloodstained past and will help prepare him for the future killings he will almost surely have to commit. As long as he stays true to himself and his moral code though, we will definitely keep coming back for more.
Daryl Dixon – Moonshine – Grand Ridge Brewing Company – Daryl is one of the most beloved characters on the show. Peerless marksmanship with his trademark crossbow and excellent tracking skills make him an irreplaceable member of the survivors as well. While he usually displays a gruff and brusque exterior, he cares deeply for many of his fellow survivors, particularly Carol and Beth. Rick also looks to him as his second-in-command.
Despite it not being his hard liquor of choice (as its name might suggest), this meaty Scotch Ale (8.5 % ABV) brewed by Australia’s Grand Ridge brewery would be the perfect pick-me-up after firing off a volley of precisely aimed arrows into some ravenous zombies’ skulls. Roasty malts dominate the flavor, and a heavy mouthfeel would keep Daryl satiated while slaying never-ending ranks of walkers with typical detached panache.
The Governor (Philip Blake) – Gubna – Oskar Blues Brewing Company – Through a thrilling performance from David Morrissey, The Governor came to life as one of the most horrific characters to ever grace the small screen. In a series full of unsavory characters, Woodbury’s leader was certainly the worst.
Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA not only shares a (colloquial) name with the most terrifying personage on the show, but its hefty hop quantities and high ABV are couched in an innocuous ruby red can, similar to how The Governor concealed his insanity with a combination of charisma, manipulation and unfettered authority.
No one was upset when Michonne skewered The Governor with her katana in Season 4, but the show (and television in general) hasn’t had a villain as vile and unpredictable since his demise.
Michonne – Skull Splitter – Orkney Brewery – Sporting a razor-sharp katana and lengthy dreadlocks, Michonne is one of the most interesting (and fearsome) characters on the show. While all of the survivors know how to cave in a zombie’s rotting skull, Michonne is the one who seems most able to live up to the name Skull Splitter.