I started this blog based around craft beer and have been somehow trying to weasel in video games into it, too.
This article that I’ve gone back and re-written was the one that I first used for a pairing series where I match any video game with a type of beer. I saw this buried deep in my hard drive and thought I’d throw it up for all to see where I go the inspiration. I love doing it because what two things don’t go better together?
I’ve paired cheese with various wines (I don’t know anything about that), beers with different meat (I’m a good cook but I just drink my favorite beer at the moment and try not to burn the steaks) and one of my favorite questions of late which is the great debate of what kind of drinks to pair with video games!
The method to the madness.
I’m kidding. I didn’t really do this with any panache or method. I played each game for about 3 hours and in that span, I was only allowed 2 beers per game. That way, I didn’t end up too tipsy to play the game or start the typical online argument with random strangers.
I chose a popular game from the category of genre and that I still owned. That list ended up being pretty long and I like to think that my choices were solid because I’m limited to my XB One.
The standard fare.
Let’s start with the most popular genre that’s dominating platforms right now. The FPS (first person shooter for you n00bs out there). I used Battlefield 4 for this test and found it to work quite well. This is a fast-paced shooting game based on knowing the map and the best corners to camp out in and cheat ones happy little rear end off.
These rounds can go fast and get heated quickly or can last for upwards of 20 or 30 minutes playing Rush or Domination. As such, I decided the best thing to go with these games are an IPA’s or ales.
Preferably something that’s a session style and in the low ABV category as you get hooked pretty quickly and find yourself wasting hours trying not to let the constant deaths get to you. I drank a Zombie Dust first then decided that a Lagunitas Aunt Sally would perfectly sum up the bitterness of those near-constant deaths.
It’s important to note here that I forewent using Call of Duty for the sole purpose of everyone being so angry and constantly insulting my non-existent girlfriend or what they think of my mother. That’s just a buzz kill.
The next game I decided was best for this category was Forza 5, an Xbox One exclusive title that’s a simulation racing game. I found for this genre that a light cider worked pretty well. Something like Apple Orchard Crisp Cider or Henry and Forge Apple Cider (they’re really cheap too!) You really only have to drive fast and know when to push the brakes as to avoid slamming into a tight corner wall or other players.
Now, I decided to mix it up and go into a server that was hosting a 50 lap battle on the entirety of the Nurburgring track. The ciders barely lasted long enough for me to finish the race but somehow my car wasn’t completely destroyed. I thought that my favorite Honda Civic would get the job done, and while I finished dead last, I was proud that I powered my little beater across the finish line!
A blast from the past!
For the last genre was the ever-lovable Chrono Cross for the original PlayStation (remember those things?) This was an RPG game which set you on a placed path that you had to fight your way up via way of random enemy encounters. In the fight, you had to strategically choose your next attack move. Pick right and you won the match, choose wrong or pick the wrong elemental move, and it was back to the previous checkpoint. For this bad boy, I went with the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout.
The taste stays delicious from start to finish which helps you stay focused on the next move and confident that you’ll push the right button from your rusty memory of a PlayStation controller (I haven’t touched a Playstation product in I don’t even know how long, don’t hate me). Given this was one of those old two-disk games that took upwards of 20 hours to beat, I didn’t make it that far in the story. But I could drink stouts the whole time and still rock out to this one!
These are just some brief thoughts on what worked best for me. I left each BF game on a positive K/D ratio and placed last in Forza which is pretty good for 3 hours of continuous racing. I ended up playing Chrono Cross for another 2 hours because I forgot how awesome it was only to be reminded by the rising sun that I just had inadvertently pulled an all-nighter and was now on the verge of falling asleep. But it was the most satisfying loss of sleep I’ve experienced in a while!