I was on a Netflix binge the other night and got to thinking about Stranger Things. Easily one of my favorite shows in recent memory, I now have a calendar counting down the days until Halloween for the release of Season 2. I’m a little excited. During said binge, I was consuming tasty beer and naturally started wondering what the characters from the Best Show on TV would embody (for the younger crew members) and actually drink for those of age? Would the monster just eat the can instead of drinking the beer? Is it possible Hopper drinks anything besides Keystone Light? Let’s find out in this look at Stranger Things Beer Pairings.
We’ll begin with El. Though she’s probably 24 in real life, she seems to be about 12 in the show. So really she’s not drinking beer or hopefully any booze for that matter. But we want to know what brew embodies this 89 pound wonder of the world? El is Big Bad Baptist from @EpicBrewing Physically tiny but big & bad when shit hits the fan Click To TweetWell, she moves things with her mind, so there’s that. And she’s QUITE intense. I see her as Big Bad Baptist from Epic. She’s physically tiny but big and bad when the shit hits the fan. Almost religious in her delivery of bad-assery, I bet an older version of Eleven would have relished a goblet of this complex stout after her little freak out session with the monster at the end of Season 1. If she hadn’t vaporized that is.
This crew of gangly goofballs is basically the best parts of every great ‘80s male movie character distilled down into the perfect nerds. They argue over Dungeons and Dragons, get chased by tough guys at school and interrogate their science teacher on the daily. In all likelihood, beer is not on their horizon for many years. However, if they were on a bicycle adventure, stopping at 7-Eleven to fuel up with Ecto Cooler and Ghostbusters cereal – and came upon Hazelutely Choctabulous from Rogue – there’s a good chance they’d feel temptation. Let’s be honest, the Rogue brewers must have had the same ‘80s flashback moment I’m having right now to come up with such a name. It says it tastes like a candy bar for crying out loud. Dive in boys.
- Sidebar 1: What ever happened to epic junk cereals, like Ghostbusters, from 30 years ago? We used get them as Christmas presents!
- Sidebar 2: The Candy Bar!!!! scene from Little Shop of Horrors is an all-time favorite that I didn’t even think to connect in this article until reading the Hazelutely Choctabulous label.
First off, you won’t catch me criticizing Joyce for her parenting. Winona Ryder may be depicting what happens to a mother when confronted by walls throbbing with monsters. But any parent will tell you that her behavior on the show is basically the same as when, in real life, you are confronted with a urine soaked 3 year old tracking said urine throughout the house at 1 AM. In both scenarios you want to talk to Jesus via Christmas lights.Joyce could use a @SurlyBrewing Coffee Bender while translating Christmas-lights-Morse-code Click To Tweet
Safe to say Joyce, in this state of mind, is more likely to shotgun a Natty Light than ponder the subtle nuances of a finely crafted local beer made with juniper berries and white pepper. So I would elect to hand her Coffee Bender from Surly. The only thing better for Joyce than holiday lights blinking out Morse code from the Upside Down would be a strong blast of coffee to her nervous system. And a little oatmeal brown ale to mellow things out.
Hop is a good man and a great cop. He may be tired. And a little fried. But he’s willing to go the extra mile which is impressive considering he found a cadaver stuffed with cotton fluff and a creepy laboratory wall oozing alien splooge. In reality, you wouldn’t drink beer after days like this. Straight to the bourbon more likely. But the title of this article is about beer so, anyway.
A radler won’t cut it for Jim. Nor a double IPA or barley wine. The Sheriff requires something dark and intense and with a name that seems to be made for his character – The Abyss from Deschutes. It’s deep, it’s dark and per Deschutes has “almost immeasurable depth and complexity.” Which is a homonym for Hopper’s journey to the Upside Down. Or is that a metaphor? At any rate, Oregon’s best brewery doesn’t stop there. The Abyss is aged for 12 months in bourbon, Oregon oak and pinot noir barrels for a final tally of 11.1% ABV. Now we’re talking, right Jim?
“It’s complicated being a wizard”, said Dr. Martin Brenner when asked why he enjoys testing LSD on children with electrified colanders strapped to their heads. Which is remarkably convenient – in the context of finding a beer for Mr. Modine to drink – as Burlington Beer makes one of the very same name, neat! Dr. Brenner enjoys @BurlingtonBeer Complicated Wizard brew while sleepwalking on acid Click To TweetThis extra-large IPA is the good doctor’s favorite beverage mainly because the can artwork is what he drew on the hood of his car while sleepwalking one evening, 2 tabs of acid deep. He also thinks the fact that it’s an Imperial IPA means he’s some kind of royalty and smirks when describing this brew as having “resiny goodness.”
What sort of beer would a terrifying creature that sticks it tentacles down people’s throats and lives in the wall drink? A better question is does it drink anything besides blood? Technically, the name Demogorgon originates from the ancient nerd-fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons and is reserved for the greatest villain in history whose very name is taboo. And when I say technically, I mean I’m completely fabricating this information form cobbled together Wikipedia notes.
But let’s pretend he (she?) does like beer. Surely it needs to be high alcohol content. With the way that thing screams at its victims, the best bet would be to feed him lots of booze in hopes of calming him the eff down. For the monster, I have a beer in mind that not only fits the bill, it comes from a brewery that would likely be down to hang out and drink the beer with Mr. Gorgo.
Vehopciraptor Triple IPA from Unknown Brewing. Why?
The very name is a funny play on the word velociraptor, a fearsome beast discovered in 1990 by the late Michael Crichton in his seminal work – Jurassic Park.
At 9.9% and 90 IBUs, the monster could potentially be chilled out enough to relax and drink with.
The good people at Unknown dress up in chicken costumes to frolic with naked ladies and suggest using the word “dragons” if you need to give them a formal name. Perfect.
I could go on and on about Stranger Things Beer Pairings with other notable characters. Any you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments below! Until then, ICYMI, the Season 2 trailer…