A Friday night spent with Netflix, instead of at a bar, is becoming more and more socially acceptable…and I love it.
I also love a good beer and have been more conscientious about what I drink while watching TV. No, not by moderating my drinking or counting the calories, but by drinking a brew that fits well with what I’m viewing.
Here are some recommendations I have for beers to pair with your favorite shows, whether they are running live, in reruns, or waiting for you to binge watch on Netflix…These suggestions are based on themes, characters, settings, and the overall mood you get from watching the show.
If you have your own recommendations (You will. Everybody does.) feel free to Tweet them to @Mike_PiFF03.
“Gonna go home, get my beer on, get my Lost on. What are you doing later? You wanna hang out?” – Andy to Michael Scott
Ever since May 16th, 2013, The Office has served as a perfect pick-me-up for fans who need a Jim Halpert wink at the camera or a Michael Scott one-liner. If you think about it, The Office is almost like a great beer after work, in that sense. It helps you forget about work while ironically taking place in an office.
- Based on location, my first thought was Yuengling. Scranton, PA is only an hour and a half from Pottsville, PA, where the Yuengling brewery is.
- Lionshead Deluxe Pilsner from Lion Brewery is actually a very fitting choice. It’s a standard American Lager Crisp, which would make it refreshing after a long day at the office or even have at your desk (if you have one of those “cool boss” environments). And it’s only a 4.5% ABV, suitable for the binge watching occasions.
Parks and Recreation
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to endorse 10 beers into my mouth…because this has been an incredibly stressful day.” – Leslie Knope
Similar to The Office, Parks and Recreation is an excellent pick-me-up show. UnlikeThe Office, Parks is a bit more worldly than what happens at the workplace. Each character brings their own dynamic, especially when it comes to booze. From sage drinking advice from Ron Swanson to how NOT to consume alcohol, despite Tom Haverford’s best efforts….
- The beer that consistently made “cameo” appearances throughout the series appropriately comes from Indiana. Upland Brewery has a number of brews on their list that seem to pair nicely like the Barrel Chested Barleywine and the Campside Session IPA. The Easy Chair Amber Ale seems like the best pair for sitting back and enjoying multiple episodes, given its 5.3% ABV and the fact it matches Andy Dwyer’s hair color.
Big Bang Theory
“The only thing I’ve learned in the last two hours is that American men love drinking beer, pee too often, and have trouble getting erections…I’m just saying, maybe if you people cut back on the beer, you could get out of the bathroom and satisfy your women without pharmaceutical help.” – Rajesh Koothrappali
Love it or hate it, Big Bang Theory is the highest rated comedy currently running. It is also an excellent outlet for geeks who enjoy snappy comebacks that involve Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and comic book references…and Kaley Cuoco. I have come up with a pair of beers that would have certainly helped early-series Raj find the confidence to talk to women.
- Brewed specifically for Chicago’s Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Galaxy-Hero IPA from Revolution Brewing is described as a “raygun blast of Galaxy and Zythos hops into your mouth for a crisp, dry finish.” I can attest to this…Bazinga.
- And speaking of Galaxy hops, the Galactic Double Pale Ale from Daisy Cutter pairs nicely and will help you get through the next time Leonard blows it with Penny.
“Did you just sip from an empty cup?…Why did you do that?” – Peter Gregory to Richard
I love Silicon Valley. It’s new, it’s original, and most importantly…it’s hilarious. And if you’ve worked for a startup and possibly in tech, you’re nodding your head A LOT…Silicon Valley is one episode away from wrapping up its 2nd season, so what drink works best for the finale?
One beer and one beer only comes to mind that would take care of you for a half hour of Mike Judge’s smart and tastefully crude humor.
- Like “Pied Piper”, Not Your Father’s Root Beer beer from Small Town Brewery is innovative, it’s sweet, and it works fast with ABVs ranging from 10% to 19.5%. Perfect for a half hour episode and it’s up and coming, just like Pied Piper.
Game of Thrones
“Drinking and lust…No man can match me in these things.” – Tyrion Lannister
Game of Thrones is as complex and layered a show as you’ll find on television today. So many characters and storylines with moving pieces, you can’t help but theorize and contemplate what will happen next…
- While it’s easy to go with any of Ommegang Brewery’s Game of Thrones themed brews (Iron Throne Blonde Ale, Fire and Blood Amber Ale, Three Eyed Raven Saison), which are all very good and fitting…I recommend another Ommegang brew.
- The Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale has all the layers and flavors that fit Game of Thrones perfectly
The Walking Dead
“Your first drink ain’t gonna be no damn schnapps.” – Daryl to Beth
There really isn’t much time for having a drink during the zombie apocalypse. If we recall, booze can get people killed (Looking at you, Bob!). One thing I DON’T recommend doing is eating dinner while watching The Walking Dead. But while Rick Grimes and his people can’t enjoy a cold one, you certainly can.
- A personal favorite of mine and extremely appropriate to the Walking Dead theme would be Zombie Dust from Three Floyds. Described on the brewery’s website as a “gushing undead Pale Ale that will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse. Created with our marvelous friends in the comic industry.” An ABV of 6.2% also makes having a six pack during a good binge watch leading up to season 6 more than alright.
“…sorry, I drift… sometimes when I’ve had a few, that’s why I like to drink alone, one of the reasons anyway.” – Rust Cohle
You’re not drinking alone, Rust. At least not while we’re watching…The incredible anthology series is so close to premiering its highly anticipated second season, unfortunately without either Matthew McConaughey or Woody Harrelson.
The new cast includes Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. From the promos we’ve seen the last couple months, Farrell seems like the “best” drinking buddy of the bunch, but we’ll find out more later.
- Raise your hand if you recently ordered a Lone Star because that’s what Rust Cohle would do? I wouldn’t blame you if you killed a six-pack while binge watching the first season preparing for the second.
- With the show’s setting moving to southern California, I recommend going with a personal favorite of mine from the region. Sculpin from Ballast Point has one of the best finishes I’ve had drinking an IPA. “…hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.” Sounds like any True Detective character.
Orange is the New Black
I’m going to be honest, this one is a real challenge. The ladies are in prison and not really drinking much throughout the series…because they’re in prison.
However, you’re likely going to have a glass filled while binge watching Season 3, which premiers Friday, June 12th on Netflix. Yep, I already know what you’re doing with your Friday night.
- Wine might be the more popular drinking companion for many of you while watching OITNB, so perhaps a great Barleywine will do. Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine is a bittersweet malt but packed with flavor to carry you through a good 3 episodes of the show.
- If Barleywine isn’t your jam, I recommend a theme worthy sour called “Troublesome” from Off Color Brewing in Chicago. It has a nice lemon finish that’s perfect for those of you who want to bring your laptop outside to watch OITNB on the patio in summer time.