I spent the 4th at the Embassy’s movie marathon showing the first three films, [1] and may well have been photographed outside posing with several stormtroopers while holding a lightsaber I may or may not own. [2]

On Empire Day I ran a Star Wars quiz at Goldings Free Dive which went well – the winning team got 23 out 30 and the last placed team reached 10 points. My major mission – ensuring an unnamed beer writer from Fish Head Magazine did not get 100% – was accomplished. No Bothans died to bring us that information. In fact, the quiz might actually have been too hard as I initially got several questions wrong and I wrote the darn thing.   

The main point of this post [3] I’m actually making a Star Wars themed beer. Truly, madly, deeply. It is for the now annual Beervana media brew competition. Well, when I say “making” I more accurately mean I will help develop the recipe, have some limited input into the branding and be of limited help on brew day.  Obviously I won’t be working on any of the bits which require maths or science or skill but I have picked the name and agreed on the style. 

It will surprise most pundits.

The Beervana Media brew competition is a great innovation because it involves journalists who do not usually write about beer and will generate plenty of publicity because journalists love being in the story.  It will also unleash some brand new beers which is always good. I actually judged the first year of the contest but I’m even more excited about winning – I mean competing. 

Of course, ideally I’d like win but my more practical aspiration is to place higher than Jono Galuszka from the Manawatu Standard. It would be embarrassing to be beaten by a beer writer who has to wear 18+ bracelets at beer festivals. 

My legitimate brewery partner for the contest is Chris Mills and the team from Kereru Brewery in Upper Hutt. We have already designed the beer and it will definitely have a Star Wars name and logo. The brewer was slightly nervous about legal issues with Lucasfilm but my research has revealed a surprising number of beers using Star Wars names without any significant litigious problems. 

Those beers include OB-1 (an Organic Brown Ale from Snake River), Dark Helmet (Imperial Schwarzbier from Brewing Kettle), another Dark Helmet (Dark Rye Lager from Westbrook), Imperial Stout Trooper (Stout from New England Brewery though they did have to change their artwork after letters from Hollywood lawyers) and The Dark Side (a Dark Belgian Ale from Terrapin). Locally, Fork & Brewer produced the Dark Vader Stout and has a new one called Skywalker

While doing this research, I loved the name Imperial Sand Trooper IPA but it turned out it was just a fan t-shirt, not an actual beer. Maybe I will make it next year…  The other great fan suggestion was Admiral Akbar Ale (“It’s a Trappist!”) – though now this has apparently been made by a home brewer and is on Untapped.

When I talk about Star Wars beer, it is important to note that I don’t mean Dickey Beer. Mr Beer is an actor who portrayed Barada, a Stormtrooper, Junkin and a Biker scout in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He also was a stunt double for Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker so you know he is cool.

To celebrate May 4th, May 5th and the casting of the new JJ Abrams Star Wars movie franchise under the benevolent yoke of Disney, I have decided to match around a dozen beers in the Malthouse fridges to beloved characters in the Star Wars films. 

First up is Thornbridge Chiron Pale Ale (5%) which is paired with the patriarchally magnificent Grand Moff Tarkin. Both are tall, English, debonair and dignified. 

Next is Rogue XS Imperial IPA (9.5%) which has to go with Han Solo because both are loveable rogues. On the theme of deeply unlikely couples, Timmerman’s Framboise (4%) lambic ale must surely represent the Her Royal Highness who was also many a teenage boys crush Princess Leia – because it is pink.

I’ve paired Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude (7%) with my beloved Boba Fett.  Nobody thought either of them would ever be popular. Now, one is an award winning beer made by a guy with flamboyant pantaloons while the other got his own widely successful action figure but had to suffer the indignity of being portrayed by Temuera Morrison on the big screen. 

Alert readers will have noticed I am not really matching flavours and aromas here. It is more about attitude and clichés. That is why I am pairing Fork & Brewer Base Jumper APA (6.3%) with the Sand People. Both of them frighten easily, disappear but always seem to return in greater numbers – at least when I’m drinking Base Jumper.

It’s time to get a bit edgy. Jake Lloyd as a young Anakin Skywalker is the cinematic version of Sol (5%) lager. Nobody with any intelligence or taste likes you. [4]

One of my favourite combinations would be Salacious B Crumb and Epic Pale Ale (5.4%). Jabba’s jester and Epic brewer Luke Nicholas share two key features – each is a small mischievous creature whose work I can enjoy over and over again. [5]

I’m going to put Cooper’s Vintage Ale (7.5%) inside a Tauntaun. The rationale behind this controversial combination is that both are big, warming and I thought they each smelled bad on the outside…

In addition to matching attitudes, I want to match intensity. That is why Jar Jar Binks has to go with Beavertown Stingy Jack Pumpkin beer (7.2%). The intensity with which I hate Jar Jar is matched only by my hatred of stupid pumpkin beers. If I ever drink pumpkin beer again – and lets hope it never comes to that – I think I would have the “Jawa Reaction”. [6]

To my mind, Steinlager Pure (5%) is the Battle Droid of beer. It is only useful in very large numbers and as an absolute last resort because you cannot afford anything better. There are few recorded instances of either Steinlager Pure or Battle Droids actually hitting the spot. 

Finally, it is time for the easiest match of the entire blog post. Tuatara Double Trouble IPA (9%) has to be paired with The Death Star – because I really, really, really want at least one of each right now.  .

Next time, we drink to TK 77255 – Sam.  A member of Outpost 42 Garrison, 501st Legion, First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment and the man who made my May the Fourth even more special when, while I was  posing with some troopers outside the Embassy Theatre before the movie marathon, he clearly said “Hi Neil.”  Best.  Trooper.  Ever. 

[1] Usually known as “the good movies”.

[2] Hint: I do. This elegant weapon for a more civilised age was ironically purchased on Norfolk Island.

[3] If indeed there is one…

[4] The public backlash against Jake Lloyd saw him retire from movies after Episode III.  Since then, he has done one film proving that he cannot even retire roperly. Dick.

[5] Apart from Epic Coffee and Fig Stout obviously

[6] Jawa’s famously shrivelled up like slugs when they drank beer. 


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Craft Beer Collective page on Star Wars Beers – http://www.craftbeercollective.com/news/2013/05/star-wars-beers/
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