With the dominance of geek culture properties over film and television these days, it’s easy to see that comics aren’t just for kids anymore. If you need more evidence, look no further than the beer bars of New York City, which joined in the fun of October’s New York Comic Con, one the biggest celebrations of all things super in the world.
Beginning in mid-September, at least seven tap lists from around the boroughs (and even Connecticut) were flooded with Brooklyn Brewery’s annual collaboration with NYCC, the Defender. Preceded by an amber IPA in 2012 and a black IPA last year, the 2014 edition was described as a red IPA, with loads of piney hops for a powerful punch.
Hell’s Kitchen’s Pony Bar was the first to pour Brooklyn Defender 2014 on September 18.
The most recent brewing was unofficially dubbed the Lady Defender, as this was the first time a female masked guardian had graced the beer’s logo. The character was designed by artist Amy Reeder, creator of Image Comics’ time-displaced Rocket Girl series. Although she doesn’t drink a lot of beer, Reeder tends to enjoy Brooklyn’s output more than most.
“There’s a lot of flavors I can drink, and [the Defender] is one of them,” she said. “Thank goodness!”
Reeder shows off her handiwork. From newyorkcoimiccon.com
And what did everyone else think?
“It’s not bad,” said convention-goer Ubaid Khan as he sampled the Defender at Manhattan’s Beer Authority. Khan didn’t enjoy it as much as last year’s edition, when he was able to attend the actual launch party at the brewery, where the beer was born.
Middling reviews didn’t seem to slow Defender sales at all, as the burly, obviously Irish-born bartender dressed as Thor assured he was pouring “a lot” of it. Beer Authority went all out for NYCC this year, with servers in costume and a special menu that included temporarily renamed food items and two Ommegang beers inspired by Game of Thrones.
Brooklyn Brewery representatives on the NYCC show floor reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to the convention and to the city’s beer bars, so you can expect a similar Defender roll-out in 2015.