This week my mind is on collaboration. Now, I have been playing a lot of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance – both parts one and two. My reviews on those two titles went live earlier this week, but I also found myself wanting to play something a little whimsical, a little Marvel – and found myself firing up LEGO Marvel Super Heroes again this week. Honestly LEGO with almost any property seems like a good idea, but the Marvel games are among my favorites their collaboration has produced. On a similar note, I tried a new beer last weekend called White Noise – a collaboration between two of my favorite breweries in Perrin Brewing Company and Cigar City Brewing.
Now seeing that these two breweries are on opposite sides of the US map, it seems like an odd pairing. At least until I read this page on Perrin’s website explaining that Cigar City was now part of the Oskar Blues/Perrin/Klopcic team. So, now the collaboration itself made more sense to me from a logistics standpoint. As I have mentioned in prior posts, summer is a heavy IPA season for me. Still, the description of the beer was an interesting one:
The specialty beer is “White Noise”, an Imperial White IPA brewed with several unique hops and blend of spices. Unlike a normal IPA the white IPA is very pale and made with wheat, unmalted wheat, and flaked oats to give a lighter color but creamy body. Once the beer is fermented with Belgian yeast, the subtle hints of lemon grass, juniper berries, and grains of paradise will blend into a spicy (hoppy) and slightly floral White IPA. ABV will be 9-10% range.
So, when my wife grabbed me a bottle the other day when she stopped by Perrin, I was eager to give this beer a try. Now, seeing as we live close to Perrin, I get to visit them a great deal. Cigar City Brewing? Sadly I have only been there once – last spring when I was visiting my dad down in Florida. However we enjoyed every single beer we tried there (and I tried several). My dad has certainly developed his own preferences when it comes to craft beer now, and he also enjoyed each one he tried – in particular their Maduro. When the two of us are at a bar or brewery together, it’s usually me putting the beers down far more quickly, but he put a dent in that one at a good pace of his own. We have already agreed that another visit to Cigar City Brewing is in order when I come down to visit again next spring.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes worked on multiple levels for me upon its release. It took familiar and now very popular characters from the Marvel universe, expanding out from just X-Men or Avengers to include all kinds of different characters to play. The LEGO aesthetic is awesome, from the surprisingly expressive characters to the blocky landscapes all of which are rendered in bright, vibrant colors that are pleasing to the eye. It helps that the gameplay is a familiar, tried and true mix of action, platforming and light puzzle solving that while a little repetitive at times, is still a lot of fun – and only gets better with a friend.
Of all the various LEGO properties, I believe these super hero themed ones work the best. These titles generally boast very large rosters, but the stable of heroes and villains allow for more diverse skill sets than most other games. I really enjoy the Star Wars ones, the Indiana Jones game of old and more – but the developers have more freedom to be creative when they are jumping between heroes like Iron Man, Hulk, Spidey and more because they not only have their own distinctive appearances, but also special moves that apply not only to the combat, but puzzles as well. On a warm day where I was looking for something quick and easy to pick up and play with one of my buddies, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes fit the bill just about perfectly.
Now White Noise boasts a pretty decent ABV at 9.7% – not a surprise for an imperial style. There is definitely some notable alcohol flavor to it, with a hoppy and herbal aroma that I really enjoyed. When pouring it into my glass, the scent of the hops mixed with the other elements created a complex flavor as the head dissipated pretty quickly. However, despite that initial alcohol bite, I was surprised at just how smooth the beer itself went down with a really nice, clean finish.
I found this to be a really complex beer – one that I enjoyed sipping very slowly to start. The Belgian influence was something I noticed immediately. I can’t recall ever having a beer that combined IPA and Belgian traits before and I suspect the combination is not going to be for everyone. I have a couple of buddies who are big IPA fans, and I can totally see White Noise being split down the middle where a couple would really like it and a couple would likely find it off-putting. I fall firmly in the former camp however, as I found myself really wishing I had a second bottle of this on-hand. I will likely pick a few more bottles up pretty soon and have a few people try this one with me while we find something cooperative to play and see how it sits with everyone. I get the feeling it will be a very polarizing beer without a lot of middle ground.
By now LEGO has established a willingness to work with a lot of different properties and have generally gotten good results out of their games. I am looking forward to more collaborations between Perrin Brewing and Cigar City Brewing as well – and if this tweet is any indication, I just might be in luck:
As for White Noise? I am going to have to score this one pretty high. If nothing else, it was a really unique beer, with a style I had not experienced before. It came on a little strong right at first, but by the end I was ready for more – unfortunately my bottle ran out.
Article by Nick