I've often said that fantasy games are among the easiest games to find booze pairings for. Any number of British bitters or barleywines would work well enough with Skyrim. Mead would be another very obvious pairing. But I felt compelled to take things a step further. The game is all about letting players tailor their own experience, and I wanted to similarly tailor a booze to pair with it. I wanted something appropriate for Skyrim's fantasy setting, and also mild enough that it would not stop me from playing the game for many, many consecutive hours. I opted to try out a recipe that my brother and I have been working on for our soon-to-be brewpub.
The beer that I brewed for Skyrim was inspired by two classic European styles: The English mild ale and the Belgian Trappist abbey dubbel. You can find the recipe here. Dark caramel malts and dark Belgian candi sugar gave the beer a deep reddish-brown color and a smooth, bittersweet flavor with subtle notes of plum. At about 4% alcohol by volume, it was eminently chuggable, particularly when served in the large tankard shown above. When I sat down to try out this pairing, I had just concluded a long day of brewing (unrelated to video games), and I was very full from eating a large amount of cake. For some reason my blood sugar always seems to plummet when I brew, but this time I was prepared. Fortunately, the lightness of my mild dubbel allowed for me to drink plenty of it, despite having eaten about half of a cake in the preceding hours. Anyway, I had a great time slaying things and smithing things and drinking my ale. I highly recommend this pairing to anyone who is a big enough nerd to brew a beer specifically to drink with a video game.