Beer and television have a long and storied relationship. Their history together goes back to early days of the cathode ray tube and is still a great marriage well into the digital age.

Bert and Harry Piel? The Hamm's bear? Old Frothingslosh? Who hasn't watched the Super Bowl just to see what the A-B Interbrew gang comes up with? We even get to watch some great beer-centric programming on the development and making of our favorite beverage on the History Channel. One of these shows featured our own local beer star, Gary Monterosso, in "History of Everyday Things."

Now, Brewey Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. has taken it to a whole new level. It was approached by the producers of the immensely popular HBO fantastical series "Game of Thrones" to brew a series of beers under the show's name.

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Although most of their recipes are developed by the innovation manager, the first beer in this series was a recipe by staff brewer Justin Forsythe and tweaked by brewmaster Phil Leinhart and crew on their small pilot brewery.

It is aptly named Iron Throne and is a Belgian-style blonde ale brewed with grains of paradise and lemon peel lending it a nice fruity and spicy character with a sweet malt background and some hops on the nose.

It was released March 31 and did not last long on the shelves in any of the stores it debuted in. Being a limited release, if you didn't get it by now, you may have to look on eBay to find it.

They did pour it at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival and also at A Time For Wine II at Caesars Atlantic City and Firewaters at Tropicana Casino and Resort. Passion Vines in Somers Point will soon be tapping their sixtel so keep an eye out for that; it will go fast. I was at the brewery last week and they had a good supply of it.

The next beer to be brewed will be out in the fall and they are being very tight-lipped about what it will be. Guess we'll all have to wait and see. There is one thing for certain, it will be a great beer.

Also, look for their seasonal release of Gnomegang at your favorite retailer. This refreshing brew fermented with the famous Chouffe yeast has fruit and clove on the nose and palate and finishes with a sweet malt and light hop finish. With a large fluffy head and abundant carbonation, this beer will satisfy your thirst for refreshment.

A new addition to the unusual beer lineup in the Garden State is the importation of the U.K.'s top selling bottled beer, Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Fermented with the finest ginger and allowed to soak up the flavors for eight weeks, it is a refreshing fizzy summer beer perfect for the backyard gatherings and cookouts. It will be distributed by Hunterdon Dist. and will be sold at Joe Canal's, Roger Wilco and all fine liquor stores in the area.

On Tap: Some upcoming events:

Friday, April 26: Gallagher's Burger Bar Beer tasting, 7 to 10 p.m. For $25, you get to taste a wide assortment of craft brews. Call 609-340-6555 for information.

Tuesday, April 30: Goose Island tasting at Passion Vines, Somers Point, 6:30 p.m., $20, 609-601-8463 for reservations.


Mark Haynie is a craft-beer expert who lives in Somers Point and travels extensively to find new beers. He is a contributor to the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and is the co-author of the book New Jersey Breweries with Lew Bryson. His column runs every other week.

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