More beer pairing! We’re pairing every D&D 5e class with a beer, and we’ve come to the fighter. That’s right, we’re finding the perfect brew for these beefy front-liners. I’m not sure how much priming I have to do for fighters as the name basically says it all. I’m once again talking to Jessica Clare, licensed cicerone, to get an expert’s perspective. So Jess, take us away, what are you thinking?
Jess: Fighter seems like such a broad class that it’s tough to peg a single beer for all of them. But, it seems to me that nothing stokes a fighting spirit quite like booze, so with that in mind, I humbly submit that fighters are most likely to drink that which gives the greatest courage to all:
Malt. Fucking. Liquor.
Me: Oh dear. Well, I suppose it was just a matter of time before we got here. For those of us who don’t know the splendor of malt beverages, what’s the story with malt liquor?
Jess: High ABV, sometimes sickeningly sweet, and no frills. And, if you’re getting it from ye olde corner store, a lot of it. And malt liquor is a broad range! Sure, you have your classic Mickey’s and Old E and Colt 45 (God bless Billy Dee Williams), but wait! Four Loko and—I’m not making this word up, I promise—“malternative” beverages like Smirnoff Ice and the almighty White Claw also fall under the malt liquor umbrella. And of course, any chaotic fighter will likely remind you that there ain’t no laws when you’re…. well, you get it.
It’s also worth noting that craft breweries make malt liquors from time to time, too! Drake’s makes one called 510 semi-regularly, and I actually had one at Phantom Carriage in LA last week called Willy Bee Dilliams. Nailed it. So, malt liquor can cover a huge range of interests and backgrounds while still universally being riot punch.
Me: Whoa, whoa, whoa. You’re going a mile a minute here. How is malt liquor different from beer?
Jess: Yeah, so the process for making malt liquor and the process for making beer are nearly identical–both are grain based, but malt liquor tends to be boozier than beer so there’s sugar added to boost the alcohol content.
Me: Sometimes fighters try to fancy up by being Eldritch Knights or Cavaliers. To go along with this theme, this sort of reminds me of calling yourself the “Champagne of Beers.” Do you have any insights to normally crappy beers trying to come across as classy?
Jess: You sort of nailed it with the “Champagne of Beers” analogy. Stella Artois is another one that comes to mind–it’s a plain ‘ole industrial lager, but it gets played up as a “classy” beer for the sake of marketing. Hell, you could even throw Zima into that list. It’s basically malt liquor, but was aimed at the yuppie / young professional crowd (though not necessarily successfully).
Any beer that isn’t Trumer is basically soup.
Me: Wait, what?
Jess: Sorry, that’s the malt talking.
Me: OK, that’s as good an explanation as any. I’ve sort of made tying RPG stuff into historical presidents my calling card here on the Charmstone blog, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least attempt to ask about it. Are there any beers/malt liquors that have traditionally been associated with front line infantry or the like?
Jess: Historically speaking, beer was actually a part of a lot of soldier’s wages. British soldiers abroad drank IPAs. Soldiers during the American Revolution drank spruce beer (there were a lot of interesting beers brewed in America’s early days as settlers experimented with local ingredients), and cider was pretty common in early American days, too. And George Washington was supposed to be a pretty killer brewer and whiskey maker.
Me: So there you have it. If you’re going to be a fighter, you hit hard but maintain some sweetness. I don’t know. I feel drunk by proxy discussing malt liquor. If you or someone you love is playing a fighter this week, go snag some Olde English and drink responsibly.
If you wanna catch up on the rest of the series: