How to Host The Muppets at a Beer Tasting
I, like so many of you, grew up watching “The Muppets.” The various shows and movies are among my most beloved childhood memories – right up there with juice boxes, Square Pizza Day, those weird wax bottles with the liquid candy inside, and actual cartoons on Sunday mornings.
And while I’d rather relegate most of these things to laughable memories among beers, I actually still love “The Muppets.” And thanks to ABC, I still get to spend some time with my favorite characters once a week. Those furry creatures have grown up right along with me. They deal with workplace drama, relationship disasters, online dating, and of course, drinks at the bar. So this got me thinking, if I were to be porch drinking with the cast of “The Muppets,” and I wanted to have their favorite brews on hand, what might they be?!
Kermit the Frog
Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale | Rogue Ales & Spirits
What can you say, this frog loves the pigs. And sure, it may be stereotyping, but I can only assume that Kermit would be a big fan of bacon… and then obviously a big fan of this beer. Rogue Ales & Spirits’ Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale is full of smoky, porky goodness that only bacon can bring. This is thanks to a combination of smoked malts, applewood-smoked bacon, and maple flavoring. It’s not easy being green, so good thing this bottle is colored bright pink – you can’t miss it on the shelf!
Silk Porter | Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
Miss Piggy and Kermit may be on the rocks, but you know deep down she’s got nothing but love for The Frog. Given the chance, I bet she’d hop right back to Kermit, but with the grace and class that the rest of us lack when crawling back to an ex. And if one beer could sum that all up, it would be Silk Porter by Hoppin’ Frog. Miss Piggy has always been a fan of luxury, and the silkiness of this porter shines alongside the sweetness of the caramel malts. Hop to it, you guys! We miss our favorite interspecies couple!
The Brown Note | Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Fozzie is still cracking joke after joke, and one of the funniest labels you’ll ever come across is Against the Grain’s The Brown Note. This beer, self described as “so good it WILL make you shit yourself” isn’t just a gag, so don’t let the rather crass label dissuade you from trying the beer inside. It’s actually a spot on brown ale (wouldn’t Fozzie’s favorite color be brown, after all?) that almost reminds you of a Biscoff cookie in liquid beer form.
The Great Gonzo
Cannon Dragger | Burnt Hickory Brewery
Gonzo, our favorite, um, whatever he is, is best known for his performance art pieces, one of which is doing wild stunts. He is never too far away from his favorite cannon, you know, in case he needs to be shot out of one. After a couple of these Cannon Draggers, you may push him to do just that. History runs deep with Burnt Hickory’s flagship IPA, which references the Civil War cannons that were moved up Little Kennesaw Mountain, located practically outside the brewery’s window.
Pepe the King Prawn
La Socarrada | Premium Beers From Spain
Pepe’s backstory tells us he was born off the coast of Mallorca, Spain. And despite his small stature, he is a big time, hot and spicy ladies man – err, prawn. La Socarrada is an equally as fascinating beer, merging the spice of rosemary and the sweetness of honey into a golden ale. It pairs well with a variety of food, and whatever you decide to eat alongside this beer will change the palate dramatically. Basically, this beer’s got game, and Pepe would definitely relate.
Cellar Series Smoked Apple | Woodchuck Cidery
Rizzo the Rat continues to be the juxtaposition of rodents’ otherwise bad rap. He is friendly and loyal, a wisecracker, and an overall good guy – totally someone you’d want to have a beer with! But if you are going to have a rat come over, I’d suggest having some cheese – or a beer that tastes like cheese! Woodchuck’s Cellar Series Smoked Apple reminds you of a great smoked gouda, along with hints of vanilla and applewood. Good for rats and humans alike!
Nerd Alert | Monday Night Brewing
Scooter has proven time and time again that he is not only a nerd, he is the nerd. And we all know that nerds win in the long run. Just like nerdy Scooter, the Nerd Alert from Monday Night Brewing is clean, crisp, and easy going. And to be quite honest, it’s yellow-orange hue is also spot on.
Parabola | Firestone Walker
Rowlf, now the owner of Rowlf’s tavern, would definitely be a craft beer aficionado. Between his ability to tickle the ivory keys, and the fact that he owns the main Muppet drinking establishment, you’d better believe Rowlf knows his craft beer. In fact, if you go all the way back to The Muppet Movie, Rowlf tells us that he drinks a beer every night during the song, “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along.” Well, Firestone Walker’s Parabola may just be that “something better.” It’s a relatively rare, extremely sought after, Russian Imperial Stout with an oaky bourbon vanilla finish, along with hints of tobacco and espresso. If Rowlf is over, go big or don’t bother.
The Electric Mayhem
PsycHOPathy IPA | MadTree Brewing Company
Thomas Brau | Paulaner
Well the porch just got a little busier, as the members of The Electric Mayhem just showed up to rock things out. Dr. Teeth, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Lips, and Janice, all grab from the sixer of PsycHopathy. This 70s Jam Band would totally relate to MadTree’s description: Taste is perception. Like, totally deep man. This is an unapologetic IPA… grassy, floral goodness. On the other hand Animal sticks to the Thomas Brau. And yes, I know, Thomas Brau isn’t sold in the United States… but it’s time that we had a decent non alcoholic option. Because, maybe you just need a break sometimes?! And let’s face it… Animal doesn’t need any alcohol.
Big Bear Black Stout | Bear Republic
Did somebody call Security? Or for a stage manager? Bobo seamlessly jumps between roles, and both of them require him to be the Big Bear. Towering over the likes of Fozzie, Bobo is basically a whole other animal, and so is Bear Republic’s Big Bear Black Stout. This beer is so thick you can almost chew it. And that’s in the best way possible. It’s big and bold, with caramel sweetness and roasted malt, yet balanced with Cascade hops which add just the right amount of bitter to the finish.
Big Lushious | Founders Brewing Co.
Oh Denise. Kermit’s new pig fling. And easily the most hated Pig in all America. But, if you’re into pigs, I guess you could understand what Kermit sees in her. And you’d definitely understand why Denise’s beer of choice would be Big Lushious. A stout that brings all the classic chocolate flavor, but also naturally winds in raspberry without it feeling or tasting like raspberry candy or flavoring chemical. It’s a bit over the top, but slightly less over the top than Ms. Piggy gets. Kermit’s got a type.
Phantom Ship | Heavy Seas Beer
Although Uncle Deadly’s current job as Ms. Piggy’s Wardrobe Supervisor is significantly less… evil, Uncle Deadly still likes to think back to his roots for this beer choice. See, Uncle Deadly first started as The Phantom of The Muppet Show, and although that ship has sailed, Uncle Deadly won’t let Phantom Ship slip by as easily. Phantom Ship is a bourbon barrel aged Belgian style tripel, and like many beers of this variety, flavors of peach and banana shine through. The finish however, is all bourbon barrel… sweet vanilla heat. Like Uncle Deadly, you too could find just a little smoke coming off the tip of your nose if you don’t age some of the burn away.
Hazelnut Brown Ale | River Rat Brewery
Let’s face it. You just don’t know Yolanda that well. She used to be Rizzo’s girlfriend, now she’s Kermit’s assistant. This bottle grab was because there was a rat on the label. And to hang out with The Muppets for so long, she must be just a little nutty. Enter the Hazelnut Brown Ale: malt forward with a hazelnut background and just enough hop to balance it out.
Big Mean Carl
Utopias | Samuel Adams
Carl is big. He also used to be mean. He would eat anything in his way. Musical instruments, other muppets, even bunnies were no match for his face filling. So first things first… have extra food nearby. And second, you’ll need a big beer if Big Mean Carl is going to have it even register. One of the most sought after, highest alcohol beers in the world is Utopias. If you’re not Carl size, you need to know a few things. First, this beer is expensive, and rare. And you really should think Cognac or Sherry when you sip on it… in small amounts… with friends. At roughly 27% a little goes a long way!
Crème Brûlée | Southern Tier
Sweetums is another giant muppet… hope there is room on the porch! And although his size can scare many away, Sweetums means no harm. In fact, take a cue from his name… he’s actually quite sweet. And Sweetums would gravitate towards the dessert beers. One of the sweetest is Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee and it does indeed taste like the menu item. It has a very rich, if not decadent, mouthfeel and the burnt sugars are clearly evident.
90 Minute IPA | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Chip, from I.T., is a classic running gag character in the show. If you’ve ever waited on a repair from someone in I.T. you know it takes a little longer than you’d want. Your ten minute phone call just took an hour and a half. And that’s the perfect length for Dogfish’s 90 minute. It’s a fantastic, balanced, hop forward IPA that many consider to be among the best in the nation. Just hope that your I.T. request doesn’t take two full hours, or you’ll have to upgrade your beer option for Chip to the 120!
The Swedish Chef
Bay and Pepper Your Bretts | Against The Grain Brewery
Iff Zee-a Svedeesh cheff is cumeeng oufer, furst perffect zee-a deelect speechy. Bork bork bork!! Then offer him this delightful collaboration saison. It is savory, spicy, funky, and strange… and if that doesn’t match The Swedish Chef then nothing does. Bork bork bork.
Statler and Waldorf
Crime & Punishment | Arrogant Bastard
Yes, your favorite hecklers are still in the show, and still dishing out the insults. They’ll claim that “Up Late With Ms. Piggy” is a crime, and that watching it is punishment. These two beers, Crime and Punishment, may just be able to keep up with these jokers, doling out a very different form of irreverence. The amount of heat in these chili beers borders on ridiculous… yet on a cold night on the porch it is exactly the stomach warming burn you never knew you wanted.