This blog life ain’t for everyone. Sometimes you get writers’ block, and you can’t come up with anything new or interesting to keep your readers engaged. Just so we understand each other, when I say “you”, I mean people other than me. I have an eternal font of brilliant ideas to pull from, and it just so happens that there aren’t many ideas that aren’t improved by collaborating with other great writers.
This brings me to my dude Shaka Shaw, AKA Lunch Lord AKA @CannibalAUX on Twitter. Shaka runs a phenomenal hip-hop blog called Front-Free which you can peep right here, so you can keep yourself updated on all the hip-hop music and culture worth keeping up on. Shaka’s a big World of Warcraft guy like myself, and also enjoys a fine beer
once in a while pretty frequently. So it was only right that when I began plotting on creating a new series of blogs that would pair beers with video games that I scale Mount Olympus and consult the Lunch Lord himself on how exactly to execute this idea.
This will be the first of a few parts, beginning with the first two Broken Isles myself and Shaka explored. We know you like playing games, and if you’re like us – you probably aren’t a stranger to deleting a few beers while you do, so without further delay – let’s get right into it.
Home to, as you might guess, a very high mountain, Highmountain is filled with wild forests, huge canyons, and icy peaks near the top of Highmountain Peak itself. Highmountain also hides an infinite network of tunnels beneath its surface, which play home to the monstrous Drogbar that are currently attempting to displace the indigenous Tauren of Highmountain’s surface. The Tauren themselves are hardy and tight-knit, just like their Kalimdor counterparts, and have worked hard to maintain their tribes’ unity throughout the ages.
Dom’s Pairing: Harpoon Flannel Friday (ABV: 5.7%)
Flannel Friday, which debuted this year, is quickly becoming one of my favorite fall beers. Its amber color and citrusy, piney aroma not only immediately call up memories of fall, but images of the peaks, valleys, and tribal imagery of Highmountain. Flannel Friday has a good hoppy bite to it at first sip, with a solid malty backbone throughout. The strong-yet-gentle balance of fall flavors, maltiness, and hop finish are immediately reminiscent of the strength of the Highmountain Tauren, as well as their gentle approach when it comes to the nature around them.
Shaka’s Pairing: Saint Archer Mosaic IPA (ABV: 9%)
While I agree with Dom’s choice of a piney flavor to represent the Highmountain plant life and overall feel of the zone, I’m going with an IPA to add a little bite to my pairing. While I’ll quash down anything with Simcoe hops in it, Saint Archer doesn’t stop there, adding in Chinook, Amarillo and the titular Mosaic hops, the latter of course being the most prominent. What you get in the end is an aromatic bouquet of citrus, tropical fruit, berry and pine, which speaks to the heavy reliance the Highmountain Tauren have on their agriculture – hell, the first quest in the zone has you helping a Tauren farmer rid his crops of a bug infestation. Not very appetizing, I know, but you can believe that this beer is.
Stormheim is northeast-most of the Broken Isles, and plays home to the Vrykul, as well as the Halls of Valor, which is an ancient battleground where several tribes of warriors slaughter each other to prove their worth to the warring titan keepers who protect the Halls themselves. Stormheim is a mountainous, hilly region – though not nearly to the extent of Highmountain. Where one could sense the fall-ish, crisp, almost refreshing chill in the airs of Highmountain, Stormheim gives off the vibe of a misty, murky, bone-chilling cold that is accompanied by harsh, unforgiving predators.
Dom’s Pairing: Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger (ABV: 5.6%)
Smoke & Dagger is a “Black Lager” that balances a liberal use of chocolate malt with a small amount of traditional beechwood hops. With aromas of roasted grains, beechwood smoke, and coffee, one can imagine the scent of a camp being set up by the tribes of warriors in Stormheim, eating and drinking the bare necessities to keep them sustained for the next battle – which could occur any second. Smoke & Dagger is full bodied and robust, yet smooth and drinkable, so you can keep yourself on your toes while hunting for glory in the jagged hills of Stormheim.
Shaka’s Pairing: Stone RuinTen Triple IPA (ABV: 10.8%)
Just like the Vrykul ass-kickers that will immediately start pummeling you as soon as you set your foot into this zone, Stone’s RuinTen Triple IPA is a brew that will punch you right in the mouth from the first sip. Featuring Magnum, Centennial, and Citra hops, RuinTen is a step up from the outstanding Ruination IPA, resulting in a dry, malty brew with a finish that’s as bitter as the icy winds off the coast of Stormheim. If you consider the whopping 10.8% ABV to be symbolic of the black-hearted Vrykul who inhabit this zone, then the tropical, fruity notes that share the palate with the maltiness and bitterness could be said to symbolize the ethereal presence of the Valkyr in Stormheim, resulting in a complex beer that’s a great companion for soloing this gritty but at times beautiful area.
And there you have it. Four amazing beer pairings to kickstart a weekend of gaming in Legion’s new zones. We’re moving through the phenomenal new expansion with care, absorbing as much lore and hidden secrets as possible – so be on the lookout soon as we work on pairings for Val’Sharah, Suramar, Azsuna, and the Broken Shore.
What’re some of your favorite brews to crush while enjoying your favorite games? Hit us up on Twitter at @WickedGoodGames and let us know, and don’t forget to follow @CannibalAUX as well while you’re at it.
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