Welcome back to our 2nd edition in our Gaming and Beer Pairing of the Month, where we pair a fantastic brew with one of the hottest console games out right now. For November, we have a fantastic pair for you here, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Arrogant Bastard Ale!
There are few games out there that are synonimous with gamers. Where you just utter the name of the game or a character, you can envision where you were the first time you played, or some remarkable thing you did in that game. The one that tends to come up the most? Grand Theft Auto. No game has redefined the open world/sandbox style of gameplay as much as GTA has since the PS2 days. No, we have been graced with the 5 version of the series on Xbox 360 and PS3, and boy, did it deliver. Reviews and sales both were sky high. Not only that, GTA 5 became the best selling entertainment medium of all time, surpassing the likes of Call of Duty and Halo. Majority of media outlets had given the game at least a 9/10 or a perfect score. Never has there been a series that you can get lost in for hours like you can GTA. The sheer scope of the game, the small, miniscule things that you can do, as well as the grand storyline are all gaming nirvana.
The storyline is Hollywood-esque, with solid graphics and a fantastic score and soundtrack to go with it. In the game, you control three different characters as their individual storylines cross paths and tie in together. Never has Rockstar San Diego done thing with their GTA series before. The ability to move from one character to another is so simple, but yet stylish looking as well. Gameplay has been refined since GTA4 and the gun play seems to be slightly updated and tweaked to make it more relevant than ever before.
On the flipside of the single player, Rockstar SD has pushed the envelope with GTA 5. I remember back during the PS2 days, taking turns playing with my college friends wondering, “man, these shootouts would be intense if you guys could do it with me!” Well, Rockstar SD heard your calls and developed a redefining multiplayer experience. Granted, there were glitches and shortcomings from the beginning, but all is well now in the online universe of Los Santos and Rockstar SD has even given gamers online cash as a token of their appreciation. With this new mode, as well as the fantastic single player, there’s not a better game to get hammered to and spend hours upon hours blowing things up!
Since Rockstar San Diego has been at the helm of the GTA series, it’s only fitting to pay homage to a San Diego County brewery. Stone’s Brewing Co. has been in operation since 1966, crafting different varieties of beers from IPA’s, Dark Ales, to Stouts and Barley Wines. They focus on, like most west-coast breweries, in high hoppiness, high ABV in their beers. They also brew beers that are full of taste, but low on the marketing. You won’t see these guys paying for a Super Bowl Sunday ad! But that’s ok, because BeerAdvocate and RateBeer both have rated these guys as a “World Class Brewery.” The same can be said for their Arrogant Bastard Ale as it has received scores of 98 and 99 respectively!
Arrogant Bastard is a dark, complex beer. It’s VERY HOPPY, and it shows in the taste. This isn’t your old mans beer! It has a fantastic aroma, is on the thick side in consistency, and keeps a nice off white head throughout. This head keeps the intense flavor from the beginning down to the final sips. It has a slight bitterness to it, which makes this a great sipping beer. You never want to drink too much too quickly as it can give you that “full stomach” feeling. This is a great beer to enjoy on a cold night indoors, shooting away on some GTA5! The higher than normal ABV at 7.2%, is nice because as you get lost in Los Santos for awhile, you can take out a few 22oz bottles and have a great buzz going all the while.
This is an aggressive beer, so if you’re choice of brew is of the Bud or Miller variety, then this isn’t the beer for you! It’s like a fine wine. Your palette will need to be somewhat advance to enjoy this “arrogant”, and flavorful beer! For those that love adventure in finding great beers, give Stone’s Brewing Co. a chance. They truly hold American Brewmasters to a higher standard. Check out Brewing TV’s inside look at Stone Brewing Co. below.