Bomb! is an absolutely stellar beer. It’s a super dark and roasty stout with a bunch of malty goodness. The aging it goes through on vanilla beans, cacao nibs, coffee, and ancho peppers gives the base beer a ton of subtleties and complexity. Every sip is something new and really quite wonderful. The chocolate is there but it isn’t like a sweet milk chocolate. It’s like an expensive dark chocolate that you see in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and think, “I bet that’s really good but I’ve never had it and what if I don’t like it and fuck this place is expensive I should just shop at Wal-Mart.” The vanilla is there as well but again not super sweet. It blends the flavors together more than adds a bunch of sweetness to it. Other beers with vanilla, (Southern Tier Creme Brulee I’m looking at you), go way, WAY overboard and make a sticky sweet dessert beer that is just not my cup of tea (or beer I suppose). Prairie does not. They show restraint. The coffee notes are dark like espresso and have some “earth” to them along with a touch of bitterness. The peppers give the whole thing a spicy kick at the base of your throat after each sip. This is one of those beers that, because Prairie does not distribute to a ton of places outside of Oklahoma, has achieved a relatively legendary status. If you, to steal a phrase, are a “ticker”, someone who drinks craft beer because it’s cool, then you have to have this one checked off. Even if you just like new or interesting beer, you need to have this one checked off. There is a lot of this style of beer being brewed right now, but Bomb! is one of the finest examples around.
A Link to the Past is an absolutely stellar game. When it was released as the holiday pack-in title for the SNES, it found it’s way into thousands of homes across America and became one of “those” games. Games we revere. Games we wax nostalgic about. Games we use as a barometer for other games whether it’s fair to or not. Games we flat out fucking adore. LTTP is a masterclass in game design. It is perfectly paced, gorgeous to look at, has well thought-out and clever dungeons, memorable boss battles, cool items, the whole shebang. The music is some of the best in the series and the game takes it to a whole new level the first time you realize there is an entire dark world to work through. This game, for me anyway, is the standard bearer for top down, adventure titles. It’s a game I replay frequently and one that I find has gotten better as the years have gone on (minus the pink hair, I still don’t love that). It is generally regarded as one of the finest entries in the Legend of Zelda series and routinely makes Top _____ Games of all time lists. It absolutely lives up to the hype and deserves every ounce of praise heaped upon it.
So aside from the name of the beer, Bomb! and the item in the game, a bomb, why do these go together? For me, Zelda games are about the experience as a whole. The way the music sets the tone from the title screen on, the way the graphics convey the mood, like the rain storm at the beginning of LTTP, the way the story builds to an epic battle, Gannon and all of his various forms have been insanely varied and interesting, it’s like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. It’s a journey to take; an adventure to discover new, hidden things or layers even after some of the notes/tropes themselves have become ingrained in your soul. So too is it with Bomb! for me. That first sip is an explosion of flavors. There’s so much going on that it’s almost too much to handle. It can be intimidating. But as you go on that adventure, each sip brings about a new wrinkle, a new layer to get into and wrap your head around. It’s a journey to take from pour to last sip. Each one has it’s own rewards but enjoyed together, they form that beautiful whole. Remember to follow me on twitter and instagram, @geekadedan, and let me know what you think.