Ommegang’s Bend the Knee golden ale is worth swearing allegiance to

Bend the Knee Game of Thrones Ommegang ale

Arriving in stores, your front porch, or your very best dreams is the newest beer in the Game of Thrones series from Brewery Ommegang and HBO Global Licensing: Bend the Knee Golden Ale.

“Pils malt, flaked oats, Saaz, Bravo, and Styrian Golding hops all work together to create a beer that’s equally as complex and exciting as the Emmy Award-winning series,” Ommegang says of their latest offering.

Ingredients aside, what are some first impressions of Bend the Knee, especially compared to the previous Game of Thrones brews fans have sipped and savored? The name of the beer and the talk of great houses struggling for power on the label is deceptive! If nothing else, Bend the Knee is delightful. This heady, warm ale puts a shandy to shame as a lovely summer beer; it’s like fluttering butterflies over verdant greens of Highgarden.

bend the knee coloring 1Bend the Knee has a welcoming aroma less bold than Ommegang’s other Belgian brews. Under a layer of thick, swelling foam in one of the gorgeous Ommegang Game of Thrones glasses (10/10 recommend) is a honey-colored beer, apt since the label says it is brewed with honey. Don’t worry about sipping a mead; there is a ghostly, ephemeral sweetness lying on the edge of Bend the Knee’s flavor that hovers on the tongue between sips, barely noticeable.

There is a sneakily enjoyable aspect to this beer that hides under a first taste. It’s lace: airy and pleasing, complex and well-crafted.

As one keeps drinking, a bit of a bite developes in the aftertaste. This brief bitterness doesn’t detract from the beer at all; it’s always pleasing to see a brew that has some surprises. Some of the most disappointing beers, well, just lie there flavor-wise. A solid beer is ambrosia of the gods in this reviewer’s opinion, with an ability to beguile, envelop and surprise.

Stray observation: The texture seemed different to me than the other brews. No value judgment here, just another quirk of this beer.

Bend the Knee is the kind of beer that I would take out on a screen porch on a hot summer day and sip in the shade, watching dandelion fluff pirouette in the wind and dragonflies zoom through the emerald grass.

BBend the Knee back of the bottleut we’re in Westeros, right? Bend the Knee is perfect for an afternoon in the Water Gardens, listening to children’s laughter and closing your eyes to the hot sun overhead that stubbornly tries to reach you as you lounge in the cool shade. But unlike the stubborn Dorne in the face of conquering Targaryens in ages gone by, for this latest Ommegang Game of Thrones offering, one should not hesitate to bend the knee.

Maybe I’m biased, but I have yet to drink an Ommegang beer, including ones in the popular Thrones series, that wasn’t a winner. Because of my aversion to IPAs (I didn’t know what to expect with broadly-described “golden ale”), I thought I would need a friend to taste it with me to help with my review (accepting applications for beer friends in DC), but this ale has surprised me. I can say confidently that I do not recall tasting anything quite like it.

I was going to have just a few sips to write this review but it’s fun drinking something from Ommegang that isn’t as bold and Belgian-y as their usual fare (which is delicious). This is a nice departure from what they’ve done in the past. When everything around seems either crafty dark or IPA, it is kind of refreshing and novel to have a cheerful beer as summer approaches. No Night King to see around here! What do you think the Night King’s drink of choice is?

As the bottle steadily emptied itself, Bend the Knee seemed to be a rather forceful name for something so pleasant. I willingly swear my allegiance.

Bend the Knee is available now, in a series of three collectible 750ml corked bottles (SRP $9.99 each), all finished in matte black and adorned with one of the three Great House sigils: Stark, Targaryen, or Lannister.

14 responses

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    1. Thanks for the review, Bex! I love a good summer ale, and this one sounds great. I can’t wait to pick up a bottle! Or two.

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    2. Lovely read, Bex. Your description was delicious. Have you ever found a place (other than Cooperstown, NY) that serves Ommegang GoT beers on tap? I’ll search for a few bottles for the GoT S7 premiere.

      No Night King to see around here! What do you think the Night King’s drink of choice is?

      I would assume the NK is a whiskey guy. 🙂

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    3. Managed to get my hands on the last 2 bottles of seven kingdoms available in Australia
      Can’t find these 3 anywhere even for pre order
      Does any1 know how to ship these from America to Aus … like any website selling them that do worldwide shipping
      Waiting for the premiere to open the seven kingdoms but I’d love these for the finale

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    4. Hodors Bastard,

      Thanks! I have had Game of Thrones ones on tap here in DC. One of the bars I frequent that has a lot of beers on tap (Penn Social) has had a couple of them. I have the benefit of living in a city with a nice beer scene.

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    5. Bex: …benefit of living in a city with a nice beer scene.

      Cool. I remember the Brickskellar in DC as a decent place to go to try new beers on tap. Too bad they flopped, it would have been a good place to have an Ommegang tap fest. Rustico in Alexandria was also a good place to go to when I lived there but GoT-themed beers hadn’t surfaced at that time. I’ll try your recommendation when I visit next time. Thanks.

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    6. Hodors Bastard,

      Go to the Ommegang website and click on the button to the top right that says “beer finder”. It will show you everyplace that sells Ommegang brews either by the bottle or on tap. The taps will be very limited, much more so than the avalablity of the bottles though.

      here’s the link. It’s only to the Ommegang beer finder page. I hope the moderator allows it to live. 😉

      http://ommegang.com/blog/beer-finder/

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    7. Wilshade: “beer finder”.

      Yeah…thanks. I tried it before I wrote the note. I’ve used it to find bottles but have had no luck with the bar/tavern option (from within 100 miles of the places I’ve lived).

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