The much-anticipated Mists of Pandaria will launch soon, and thanks to a wonderful community of dedicated gamers, you can find pre-raid BiS gear lists, talent evaluations, dungeon guides, and raid guides. What you can’t find, however, is a guide that helps you to decide what to drink while playing. I have decided to fill this void for you, faithful reader, in the hopes that come midnight you are as ready as possible. Research was grueling and lengthy, but no amount of delicious beer could stop me from providing you with a comprehensive guide to doing raid night drinking right. In addition, I had the pleasure and privilege to work with the most impassioned beer aficionado that I know, Arolaide of Dragonsworn (You don’t read Dragonsworn? Start NOW), whose suggestions and feedback went a long way to making this post happen. Thanks Aro.
You’ll notice no Budweiser, Coors, Labatt’s, or Molson on this list. I dare not suggest such swill to my beloved readers and Warcraft brethren. So find your class, buy your beer, and enjoy.
Step away from the Pabst and nobody gets hurt.
Death Knight: What better beer for a fallen soldier damned into martial existence than Unibroue Maudite. A malty beer that is also spicy can be very challenging to your palette, but this beer is not too heavy, nor does it have a lingering bitter aftertaste. It is hard to express how awesome this brew is, and how unique. Well worth the effort to find and try.
Druid: Do you miss the Emerald Dream? Perhaps you are wondering if it was worth waking up after all? Well, you can’t go back to the Emerald Dream, but Delirium Nocturnum can get you close. This is a dark rich beer with a pleasant lingering taste. A good balance of sweet and bitter with caramel, mocha, and chocolate.
Hunter: If you get along with pets and nature better than other players you just may like the woodsy and crisp nature of an India Pale Ale. There are an extraordinary number of IPAs out there, but Flying Dog Brewery’s Snake Dog IPA is an excellent choice. It has a citrus flavor which includes caramel. Don’t worry if it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, it’s there to remind you how we all feel when you roll on our gear.
Mage: Do you like to enjoy a rich complex alcoholic beverage as you contemplate the most efficient way to blow something up or freeze it into nothingness? Then you are probably a mage, and if you are, you’ll probably enjoy Ommegang’s 3 Philosophers. This beer edges out Maudite as my absolute favorite during my research. Dark, rich, heavy, and incredibly complex. Drinking this beer while hitting Hot Streak procs will, in fact, confirm that you are better than everyone else.
Monk: The Pandaren race are notorious brewers and drinkers, and are introducing Azeroth to the Monk class. To pay homage to their Asian influence I suggest (with Aro’s help of course) Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale. With sake-like flavors this complex pale ale does justice to the Brewmasters of Pandaria.
Paladin: A defender and wielder of the Light deserves an exceptional beer with a summery feel and plenty of light citrus flavor. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde fits the bill perfectly and at 9% abv packs a serious punch that rivals Divine Light, Shield of the Righteous, or Templars Verdict. A smooth, dry finish and wonderful fruit flavors might remind you of wine, a fitting comparison for this class.
Priest: I’m going to admit right up front that I’m cheating, but I couldn’t help but suggest two beers for a class with an identity problem. For priests that use their power for healing let me suggest Leffe Blonde Ale, a smooth abbey ale with a slightly spicy finish and a wonderfully consistent and pleasant taste. For priests who embrace the shadows, Grimbergen Dubbel (Double) is an excellent choice. First brewed 900 years ago by Noberline monks, this is a bittersweet beer with a rich caramel flavor. In a word, awesome.
Rogue: For the class whose primary goal in life is to incapacitate and destroy before you even know what happens I present Rogue Dead Guy Ale. A fitting name would be meaningless without a good beer, and fortunately Rogue delivers. Nice caramel malt flavor, but with more IPA flavors than most of the other ales I tasted. This gave Dead Guy a distinct flavor with a bite at the end, very appropriate for stun-locking fiends.
Shaman: The connection between this class and the elements that they commune with made this a tough match. Luckily for me I had the magical beer powers of Arolaide on my side and she delivered with an exceptional recommendation. Midas Touch is without a doubt the strangest beer I’ve ever tasted, fortunately it’s also delicious. Brewed by Dogfish Head, this beer is a mixture between wine, beer, and mead and tastes much better than that sounds. Tons of fruit flavors and even saffron. One of the most unique beers I’ve ever tasted.
Warlock: Arrogant Bastard Ale. From the label to the name to the taste, this aggressive hoppy beer fits the warlock class perfectly. The ideal beer to drink as you send your minions to do battle for you, cause widespread destruction and cackle madly while you watch your enemies flee in terror. The beer itself is an exceptional one, with a taste similar to an IPA, but more complex, and smoother. A sweet start with a bitter, spicy finish.
Warrior: This class is nothing if not stout, and Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout is a perfect homage to these battle-hardened denizens of Azeroth. A very dark beer (black with a tan head) that can almost be a meal in itself, this brew is incredibly smooth almost to the point of being silky, and very rich. The sweetness of the beer is balanced by the coffee and chocolate flavors, and creates an immensely satisfying drinking experience. This strikes me as the kind of beer a warrior would drink.
I admit to being disappointed that some of my favorite breweries and go-to choices at the store didn’t make this list. Magic Hat, Samuel Adams, and Sierra Nevada make good, solid beers, but were not especially good fits for this article. Nonetheless I feel that their consistency in making very good beer warrants a mention here at the end.
In addition to enjoying some beer while you play Warcraft, I hope this inspires you to try some of the excellent brews right across the aisle from the cheap stuff that so many people seem to be content with. Thanks again to Arolaide for all her help. Happy Hunting, and Hooray for Good Beer.