Ultimate 6er | The Walking Dead
Many of you may be thinking, “Doesn’t this guy know that the 4th season of The Walking Dead ended a month ago!?” As with many shows, I am hardly the patient type who waits week to week for a new episode just to sit through the incessant commercials, so coming into this show just last month was the perfect way for me to get all set for season 5! It has definitely been enjoyable, and I could hardly contain myself while watching with some of these delicious IPAs in hand, getting me ready for hop season. Anyway, enough rambling and on to the pairings!
Being Rick Grimes’ partner and best friend isn’t always an easy task, especially when he’s presumed to be dead and leaving his family behind. Some may say it leaves a sour taste in their mouths, dealing with all the disappointment when Rick resumes his position as the head of the family and the camp. Strong and bitter would that pill be to swallow, and for that reason Iron Fist Uprising Tripel IPA is the best IPA to describe the tragic hero of Shane. No longer benefitting from his status once Rick is back in the picture, it is no wonder Shane offers all opposition and pushback when it comes to who is in charge. This beer, for all the punch it packs at 12% ABV, is definitely the oddball of the bunch, and would leave me hesitant to bring to a party at the end of the world.
Once considered an outsider by camp, Daryl has progressed and carved out his role for being dependable and reliable when the shit hits the fan. In contrast to his older brother Merle, Daryl takes care of his adopted family after his own flesh and blood goes missing. That being said, Cambridge Brewing Co. Big Man IPA is a very easy AIPA to drink and enjoy, much like Daryl’s character. With a nice balance of hops and malt, and a medium ABV of 6.8%, it is right for anytime of day, especially if it’s your last.
As the oldest member of the group, and perceivably with the most to lose in Season 2, Hershel wears the father hat pretty well. Tending to the wounded, opening his house and farm to others and nary raising a word of complaint, Hershel only continues to travel down that path while opting to stay out of the spotlight or drama involved with being leader. Speakeasy’s Doubledaddy Imperial IPA shares the same kind of backbone of the man mentioned in this paragraph. Strong when you need it, favoring the citrusy side of the hop equation instead of the malty caramel found in some of the others on this list, Doubledaddy stays true to its roots and provides the kind of bitter hop notes at a very respectable 9.5% ABV.
The wildcard of the bunch, taking no other feelings or objections into consideration, Daryl’s older brother displays little foresight or regret for his actions. These actions usually put the safety of the group in jeopardy and diminish the morale just as thoroughly. DuClaw’s Hellrazer speaks volumes of those qualities, and while the taste isn’t my favorite (nor is this character), there is something to be said about it’s finish. At 7.5% ABV, it isn’t too deceptively strong, until you’ve had more than a few.
Oh how we love politicians in a post-apocolyptic world! Feeding off the fears of security to attain total domination of others is but one of the effective tools the Governor utilizes to run a tight ship at Woodbury. Instead of focusing on the threat of the undead, he sets his sights on the living, and fulfills the role that no dystopia is complete without -homicidal megalomaniac. Sierra Nevada’s DevESTATEtion summarizes the strife the Governor sows in the lands surrounding his fortress at Woodbury. The black, bitter taste under the waxed seal almost paints too good a picture of the kind of man he wishes others to see him as. The story of how this beer came to be seems like a perfect anecdote to the rise of this man…scary but good.
The drifter in the group, Michonne exhibits some of the most basic, cunning survival skills on the show. From walking around with “walker pack mules” to camouflaging her scent around the others to being the only one badass enough to wield a katana, this mysterious lady brings to mind Mother Earth’s Sisters of the Moon American IPA. With a good mixture of pine and citrus, this beer (and character) have brought a good deal with them along the country side. While on the lighter side of IPAs, with its fruitier profile and a 6.9% ABV, there is definitely room for this beer in the survival pack after a hard day of decapitating zombies.