Bits and Brews 011: Oskar Blues Death By Coconut and Street Fighter x Mega Man
Death By Coconut is a winter seasonal from Oskar Blues Brewery out of Colorado and North Carolina. It was released nationally for the first time in 2015 and became a smash hit. Originally released only in their tap room and at beer festivals, demand for this beer was so intense that the brewery had no choice but to release the beer into the wild. (and we are damn lucky that they did) DBC is an Irish Porter. Porters gained fame in the 1700’s in England with the workers of the day. These men, transportation workers, were the inspiration for the name Porter, or so the story goes. Like much of beer history, there is a general fuzziness around its origins. It was said to have been a blend of three styles of beer, an old ale that had soured or staled, a new ale that was either brown or pale, and a mild or weak ale. Blending the three together balanced the beers and created a new, popular drink. Many English breweries were built on the backs of Porters, both the drink and the workers, and are considered classics of the style. The Irish Porter, on the other hand, was brewed with Pale Malt or Patent Malt instead of the traditional brown malt. The difference in style is minimal but there nonetheless. The Irish Porter, also known as plain in Ireland due to its massive rate of consumption, is also the father of the stout style, though that is a discussion for another article.
As for this beer in particular, Oskar Blues has produced an insanely drinkable, delicious beer. Their Irish Porter is brewed with tons of chocolate and dark caramel malt. It is then aged on roasted coconut and dark chocolate. What results is a beer that upon pouring it, reminds me of a Mounds bar. The coconut and chocolate aromas just jump out of the glass. There is a hint of milk chocolate in there as well, which gives off a vague cream pie filling aroma. It’s one of those beers that makes me understand the deep, nose-in-glass inhale thing I see professionals do in their reviews. The taste is very similar to the aroma with a bit of a roasty quality coming through. There isn’t a ton of bitterness to balance this beer out, but it doesn’t exactly need it. The more I drink this beer, the more I love it. It’s so well done and an excellent addition to the winter seasonal releases schedule. If you see this, grab a four pack. If it’s already gone in your area, as it probably is in most areas this time of year, make sure you check with your local bottle shop to find its 2016 release. It is as advertised, coconut, coconut, and more coconut.
So we find ourselves having a bit of a Mega Man month here at Geekade. Didn’t plan it; just sorta happened. Not that I’m complaining mind you, I love the little guy. I also love Street Fighter so when I caught wind of a fan developed game that would be crossing the two together, well, they had both my curiosity and attention. The realm of fan made games is an interesting journey. There are some fan made games or mods that not only do an admiral job in paying homage but even go so far as to surpass their inspirations. These are few and far between though. There are some fan made games or mods that take everything you loved about a game and shit all over it, destroying a little piece of you in the process. These are also few and far between. Most fan made games are decent, fun excursions that take a few hours of your time and put a smile on your face. Street Fighter x Mega Man is in this middle tier of fan developed projects. I love it because of how fun it is. I love it because of the worlds it crosses over. I love it because it is as advertised, Mega Man and Street Fighter characters together in a cohesive story/game. It isn’t perfect. But it is damn cool.
This project was originally being developed by one guy, Seow Zong Hui, a massive fan of both franchises based in Singapore. Capcom, owner of both Mega Man and Street Fighter, found out about the project and in a rare moment of awesome from a big time, corporate company not only did not shut down his project but offered to help fund, market, and release the game. Which, quite frankly, is unheard of. The fact that they kept the game free is also astonishing. Right now, you can head here to grab a copy free of charge for your PC. There is no console version as of this writing but the possibility is always there. The game plays just like you would want a Mega Man game to play. The control is tight but the platforming is challenging. The bosses, all from Street Fighter, have all of the pattern based attacks you would expect. The weapon acquisition is the stuff fanboy dreams are made of. The soundtrack is great and fits in with other, more official Mega Man titles. It has its flaws and is a bit short but for the bargain basement price of zero dollars it’s hard to complain. If you have a relatively recent PC and a gamepad there is no excuse to skip this game. Hell, go buy a gamepad for this game alone. It’s worth it.
So why these two together? They are two examples of additions to a base that just make sense. Porters by their very nature lend themselves to the addition of things like chocolate and coconut. The flavor profile created by the roasted malts used in the brewing process are a perfect foundation for the addition of things like chocolate and coconut. (not to mention things like pecans or raspberries or any of the other flavors brewers are putting in their porters) So too is Mega Man the perfect base for the addition of Street Fighter. The Mega Man foundation is simple but strong. One guy fighting robots and gaining their powers. The base game is brimming with opportunity to add. I’d personally love to see a Mega Man x Capcom title with other Capcom mainstays given the Mega Man treatment. (who wouldn’t want to see Ghost n’ Goblins or Bionic Commando or Resident Evil in a Mega Man style game?) Sometimes creative people hit on an idea that just makes sense. They then execute that idea and bring it to us to enjoy. Death By Coconut and Street Fighter x Mega Man are just two examples of creativity making sense. Enjoy them together and see what sparks in your imagination. Thanks for reading and make sure to follow me on twitter, @geekadedan, instagram, @geekadedan, and over at Sommbeer. See you next month with another pairing of beer and games.