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Avengers: Infinity Beer - Pairing Brews with Heros

Marvel's great cinematic event Avengers: Infinity War is upon us.  Let us not puzzle over where the coveted infinity stones are hiding, or even wonder who will survive this (or more definitively the next installment).  Let us consider our heroes in their last hours of peace.  What would the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and other heroes enjoy when they crack open a beer?  Perhaps their last.  What would they choose?

Thor - Pilsner Urquel

The god of thunder demonstrated his love of drink in a scene so good, we got to see it twice.  Naming the lager Dr. Strange conjures into the mug of endless refills would tell us more about the good doctor than Thor.  The latter I'd say may be a bit indiscriminate in his tastes, with a preference for volume and a mythological willingness to steal brew kettles from giants to ensure uninterrupted supply for his follow gods and himself.  Thor would want a beer that tastes great, yet is still enjoyable after a few rounds.  Epic, celebratory drinking is inherently social.  What fun would it be if his comrades fell asleep at the bar after 3 beers?  Thor's not one to wax nostalgia for Norway, or tradition.  He'd simply want the finest lager in Midgard: Pilsner Urquel.  I'm sure his choice has nothing to do with the tanker trucks frequently delivering the beer through hoses to wondrous serving tanks.  

Hulk - Bruce Banner - Very Green

The big green guy is drawn to other big, green things. Not gimmicky St. Patrick's day beers with food coloring.  That rubbish could make Bruce Banner angry. We wouldn't like that.  No, the hulk would seek out a big beer, a hop bomb.  The fun loving folks at Tree House have just the thing: Very Green.  An 8.6% New England Double IPA, blending both American and Australian hops to layer the citrus fruit flavors.  It's massive with enough fruit aroma and alcohol to sooth a beast. It's also not distributed. That's good for the Hulk, and the rest of us really. Charleton, MA is in the middle of nowhere.  Hulk can get smashed and only hurt a few trees.

Hawkeye - Cliff Barton - Capitol Gold

Hawkeye really wants to be retired, but he can't say no to saving the world. Goodbye Iowa farmhouse, and hello world. Again.  If he could have his way, Cliff Barton would be on his porch enjoying a light beer  What could be better after a hard day of watching two rivals split his firewood?  Capital Gold from Confluence Brewing in Des Moines would taste like home.

Black Widow - Natasha Romanov - Assassin

While on the clock, Soviet trained femme fatale Natasha Romanov is cunning, clever, and entirely sober.  When she punches out, the subtlety relaxes too. Toppling Goliath's Assassin is a bit on the nose.  Perhaps Hawkeye introduced it to the Widow as a joke in some prior visit to Iowa.  Assassin is an aggressively boozy barrel aged brew, as black as death.  The aromas of plum, dates, and chocolate might evoke memories of a dessert enjoyed in a life best forgotten.  Like the Widow, this beer will kick ass without discrimination.

The beer's Imperial Stout style name arose to describe stouts brewed for export from England to Czarist Russia. 

Dr. Strange - Art

Among the well curated artifacts in the New York's Sanctorum, one would find a similarly curated collection of beverages. Hill Farmstead's Art is an occasional release, blending different vintages of the brewery's popular Arthur Saison.  The wine-like complexity may have the good doctor reminiscing about the days when a trip to Greensboro, VT was an excuse to drive a sports car a little bit too fast.

If the Doctor were looking for a less refined beer to serve a potentially dangerous guest, he would choose something like Sixpoint's Alpenflo lager.  It's accessible, but perhaps unfamiliar. 

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War Machine - James Rhodes - Red Stripe
An Air Force Officer with a degree from MIT, James Rhodes has an impressive resume.  Pilot with skill enough to fly an iron-man suit without AI and experience liaising between the unpredictable Stark and a highly ordered military purchasing organisation.   Some how he's not depicted as a compulsive workaholic, just friends with one.  Clearly, Rhodey is a high achiever with a knack for diplomacy.  Whatever work-life balance War Machine has carved out must be highly compartmentalized.  In the comics, Rhodey likes to relax in the Caribbean.  It's easy to imagine Rhodey in a beach chair with a Red Stripe in his hands.  The beer and the beach are part of the same experience.

Black Panther - T'Challah - Gluten Free Stout

The beer scene in Africa is a bit of a mess.  Big multinationals have the market fairly well cornered, and locally owned small players are few and far between.  Above all else, we know that T'Challah takes pride in his people and their continued independence.  He's not going to be a fan of some colonizer's brew.  If they are even imported into Wakanda.  Like European royalty, T'Challah would have his own brewery. Inland Brewery in Ghana is that nation's first microbrewery, and is building a business around custom brews for wealthy patrons. They also brew using only indigenous grains like sorghum.  These grains lend themselves to brewing gluten free stouts, among other styles.  It's local.  It's black.  Perfect for the panther.

While traveling abroad, T'Challah would identify strongly with beers like Immovable King from 18th St. Brewery in Hammond, IN.

Starlord - Peter Quill - Anchor Steam

Lover of all things awesome and 80's, Peter Quill is definitely a beer guy.  Unfortunately, the 80's weren't the best decade for beer on Earth.  It was more like the worst.   The craft revolution was just beginning.  Anchor Steam would be Quill's throwback beer of choice.  Crisp and uncomplicated, it hits the spot.  The beer is a true leader - arguably America's first craft beer.

Much like Starlord's style, it's unconventional.  Some would might say that it's brewed incorrectly.  Steam Beer, aka California common, is fermented at warm ale temperatures using a supposedly cold loving lager yeast.  Maybe that's a little too geeky.  No one could have guessed that plan would work out well in the end.  It did.  The unexpected success made the brewers heroes to many.

Drax - Gose The Destroyer

Despite his muscles, tendencies towards violence, and quest for vengeance, Drax is a pussycat at heart.  His gentle demeanor and tastes gravitate towards flowers, fruits, and all things pretty.  Brewed with hibiscus and pomegranate, Slumbrew's lightly sour Gose the Destroyer is a perfect pair, in both name and character. 

Gamora - Moralite

Gamora is undoubtedly lonely.  She's foresaken her planet  Estranged  from even her adopted family, Gamora is lumped in with an improbable crew walking the line between heroism and piracy.  A fierce and violent fighter , she's trained to kill but never learned to be evil.  Gamora turned against her "father" Thanos over his obsession with killing half the people in the universe, choosing to be alone rather than compromise. If she can relax, it would be with a beer reinforcing her sense of justice and propriety.
Dieu Du Ciel's Moralite fits the bill nicely.  Born from a crossborder collaboration, this assertive IPA makes its point blending bitterness with citrus and resin.

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Rocket - Dream Weapon

By all appearances, Rocket is a talking Racoon with a penchant for big guns.  Grimm Ales Dream Weapon fits nicely in his hands.  This balanced IPA is clean and refreshing.  A perfect palliative when Rocket's OCD acts up or the teenage talking tree drives him to drink.

Groot - Spring Tonic

Groot can only order one thing at a bar.  Gruit.  This unhopped botanical beer is often made with wheat and other grains in addition to barley.  They are flavored with herbs, flowers, and really anything available including spruce tips in some occasions.  Maybe it's a quasi cannibalistic choice.  Gruits are traditional pre-industrial beer styles and are often associated with pagan spirituality.

Groot would appreciate a fresh harvest beer like Scratch Beer's Spring Tonic.  The Southern Illinois brewery is on a farm and emphasizes the use of its own produce in food and beer.  The spring tonic is spiced with the flours and herbs blossoming early in the season.

Nebula - Vengeful Heart 

Half machine, half blue, there isn't much left of Nebula beyond hatred, anger, and spite.  Trained to fight by her villainous adopted father Thanos, but always second best - or worse, Nebula never felt appreciated. Like her father, she's seeking balance.  Not death.   Her quest is for credit and retribution.  Even when relaxing, Nebula nurses a Vengeful heart.

Kane Brewing Company's full bodied barleywine packs a lot of trouble in a small package. 

Mantis - Bluebird Bitter

Empaths probably shouldn't drink.  If they do, it should be im moderation, lest they inspire some contagious drunkenness.  A polite English session beer or two could be a safe option.  A charming drink like Bluebird Bitter by Coniston Brewing would suit her while drinking socially with the crew of the Milano. 

Ant-Man - Scott Lang - Brew Free or Die IPA 

An ex-con with a heart of gold, Scott Lang will does the right thing,
ignoring consequences for himself and for his family.  He's reckless, but principled.  Ant-man has a hearty respect for his local.

21st Amendment's BrewFree or Die IPA embodies Scott Lang's principles in a pint glass.  

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The Wasp - Hope van Dyne - Fat Tire

A busy tech executive, Hope Van Dyne has little time to keep up with the trends of San Francisco's dynamic brewing scene.  She'd be happy to try any pink boots collaboration brew, when out on the town. 

The Wasp's go to girl power beer would be Fat Tire by New Belgium.  Kim Jordan's successful executive management and expansion of her start-up is inspiring from any perspective.  New Belgium is as idealistic as now as it was when the brewery began.  Few national beer brands are as committed to environmental sustainability as New Belgium.  

Falcon - Sam Wilson - Renaissance Wit

Sam Wilson is a man who loves birds, bird puns, robotic wings, and robot birds, but these aren't the limits of his interests.  In addition to his Air Force background, Sam has experience in social work and veterans affairs.  He'd vote with his pocket book to support small businesses owned by veterans or minorities.

When leading a beer run, Falcon would put his hometown Harlem Brewing Renaissance Wit near the top of the pick list.

Winter Soldier - James Buchanon "Bucky" Barnes - Sidekick

On the mend from Hydra mind programming, Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes wants to return to being the man who was worthy of being Captain America's best friend and leave his days as an assassin in the the dust.  He's ready to put the Winter Soldier years behind and go back to his roots with his former brother in arms.

Sidekick extra pale ale from Two Brothers brewing sends a strong message.  Will Steve will miss the signal?

Shuri - All the Single Hazies

Wakanda's brightest must have found a way to get herself to Coachella by now.  In the comics, Shuri is of legal age.  Let's assume that applies.  No doubt, upon wandering into the beer tent, Green Cheek Beer's Beyonce inspired "All the Single Hazies" would be the one beer to catch her eye.  The opaque, New England Style IPA looks great on her Instagram.

Spider Man - Peter Parker - Montauk Light

Peter Parker probably isn't too successful at sneaking beer.  If he does, he'd end up with something perfect for Aunt May's tastes like Southampton's Montauk Light.  A beach daydream in a bottle, with a calorie count that will keep every bodega clerk in the neighborhood asking how she's doing.

Nothing in the fridge can entice Spidey to cross a line.

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The Scarlet Witch - Wanda Maximoff -  Duchesse de Bourgogne

Scarlet Witch InfinityWar posterIs there a beer that can match the Scarlet Which?  She's still learning to master her incredible powers, and has suffered a bit when they went wild.  In Wanda we find a super hero trying to have a normal family life, but by partnering with the synthezoid Vision she is committing to incessant weirdness.  Is Wanda complex, or outright contradictory?  In the comics she's not always sane.

Not only does Verhaeghe's Duchesse de Bourgone check the color box, pouring with wonderful red hues, it delights with contrasting flavors of red fruit, wood tannins, and a refreshing sourness.

Vision - AI Pale 1.14

The synthetic superhero Vision was built by Ultron, incorporating Tony Stark's AI personal assistant Jarvis, and given a spark of life by the infinity stone in his forehead.  He's a miracle of science and magic.  There's a brewery in actor Paul Betany's home town of London which mixes the traditional brewing craft with sophisticated algorithms. Intelligentx Brewing Co. uses artificial intelligence to optimize beer recipes based upon consumer feedback.  Flavors evolve with changing tastes and trends.  AI Pale 1.14 is an American style pale ale.

Iron Man - Tony Stark  - Abita Root Beer

     Tony Stark's troubles with alcohol are well publicized.  I'm going to respect that.  I could completely see him grabbing an Abita Root Beer at Shake Shack.

Valkyrie  - Skull Splitter

Valkyrie has little left in this universe beyond the bottle and combat.  Her lovers are dead, as are her friends.  The last of the Valkyries is without an Asgard to defend.  

She can still fight while clinging to the bottle like a drunken master.   There's but one beer that matches her mood:  Skull Splitter, a strong scotch ale from the Orkney Brewery.  Does it describe her plans for the day, or just her headache? 

Captain America - Steve Rogers  - Brooklyn Lager

Steve Rogers feels more at peace being a Brooklyn boy than a symbol of his nation or a specific set of politics.  No doubt, Captain America is proud of a business started by a war correspondent and a banker that grew from a neighborhood business to become one of the best in the state and nation.  Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager is the flagship beer from this proven leader.  The German style reminds us that America is a melting pot of immigrant ideas and customs.

The man out of time is probably smarting a bit from the recent retirement of Brooklyn's Pennant Ale.  Cap hasn't really gotten over his baseball team's move to LA.


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