The Show: Neo-Western Crime Drama-Thriller / 2008-2013 / AMC
The Beer: Japanese Happoshu Style / Abashiri Brewing – Hokkaido, Japan
Breaking Bad is easily one of the most iconic TV shows of the 2010s. Sure, it premiered in 2008, but the early 2010s was when the AMC drama series really hit mass cult status.
And those of us who were hooked were HOOKED.
In addition to a gripping storyline and great characters, Breaking Bad had style. A style that was effortlessly cool and enhanced the show’s vibe while not being all up in your face. Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Crystal Blue Persuasion” playing over a relaxed montage of blue meth sales, anyone?
Which bring us to the beer of choice for this show.
There’s a handful of blue beers swirling around these days (usually in Sour styles), but Okhotsk Blue made waves a decade ago as one of the first. It’s still one of the most widely available blue brews in the world, and supposedly it’s crafted from melted icebergs (um, yay global warming?)
Okhotsk Blue is unapologetically weird, but it’s not all about the gimmick. If you’ve never had a Japanese Happoshu style beer before, this is actually a decent intro. It has almost a malty-liquor aroma and low hoppiness. It could just be the color or the surprising ingredients, but some people say it tastes almost like seawater (note: this writer did not get that).
And while it’s not the best beer in the world, it sure is sessionable while you’re watching back-to-back episodes. Each batch falls between 5 and 7% ABV (low by today’s beer standards), and each sip is surprisingly crisp and refreshing, with just an underlying rice-y sweetness. There’s no cloying sweetness or Jolly Rancher flavors that come with a lot of blue or green brews. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, the beer does not get its color from artificial dyes. Instead, the blue hue comes from blue seaweed, flowers, yams, and yes, that melted iceberg water.
So yeah, throw on the old Breaking Bad episodes, pop open a bottle and relax into cool, crystal blue persuasion.
*Bonus ‘Blue’ Brews!*
- Blue Hawaiian Sour / Sour Ale /Untitled Art — Waunakee, WI (Actually blue!)
- Blue Slush / Sour Ale / Wiley Roots Brewing — Greeley, CO. (Actually blue!)
- Abe Sapien / ‘Indigo’ IPA / Gigantic Brewing — Portland, OR. (Actually blue-ish, but suuuuper limited)
- Colors That End in ‘Urple’ / Fruited Sour / Drekker Brewing Co. — Fargo, ND. (Looks more blue than purple in certain lights, like that of a bright TV screen)
- Blueberry Sournova / Fruited Sour / Almanac Beer Co. — Alameda, CA. (Blue in name!)
- Blue Moon / Witbier / Blue Moon Brewing Co. (Coors) — Denver, CO. (Blue in name!)
- Labatt Blue / Canadian Pilsner / Labatt Brewing Co. — Toronto, ON., Canada (Blue in name!)