A (not so) long time ago in a homebrewery far, far away… an idea was born! Let’s tell the tale of the original Star Wars trilogy (IV, V, VI) with beer recipes.
This brilliant plan came from Andrew Sanders, Tyler Maybee, and Paul Crowther. The triumphant trio were the cohosts of the Pop Culture Brews podcast (2019-2021), where they developed beer recipes inspired by their favorite movies and other pop culture media. Check out these 4 Beer Recipes Inspired By Movies.
The Pop Culture Brews crew used the same pale ale beer base for this intergalactic adventure. For each film, one of the cohosts developed a beer recipe with different ingredients to represent best Luke Skywalker’s journey to becoming the Empire-fighting Jedi Master.
Episode IV: A New Hope Pale Ale
For the first episode in the trilogy, Tyler developed an American-style pale ale showcasing Citra hops. This lively pale is as bright as Tatooine’s twin suns, Luke’s home planet. Each sip is as refreshing as the last, making it perfect for the desert planet.
Coming in at 5% ABV, A New Hope Pale is the kind of beer you would be drinking at Mos Eisley Cantina, the wretched hive of scum and villainy on Tatooine.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Dark Ale
Paul took on his favorite Star Wars film: The Empire Strikes Back. The second episode in the trilogy takes on a darker tone, and Paul wanted to reflect that by transforming the pale ale base recipe into a darker, more sinister beer. The Empire Strikes Back Dark Ale shows how easy it is to go to the Dark Side.
Adding Carafa III, a dark-roasted barley, makes the recipe darker in color (~45 SRM) and instills some mild roasted notes in the aftertaste. While this beer is impenetrably dark compared to its Episode IV predecessor, The Empire Strikes Back Dark Ale is still bursting full of Citra hop flavor, reflecting the lighter moments of Episode V.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Pale Ale
The first Star Wars film Andrew saw was Return of the Jedi. By the end, he was an ardent supporter of the Ewoks–the tiny bear-like warriors found on the first moon of Endor who allied with the Rebel Alliance.
Andrew wanted Return of the Jedi Pale Ale to have more piney and earthy hop notes to reflect the forest setting of the final battle between the Rebels and the evil Empire. Return of the Jedi Pale Ale uses the same grist as A New Hope Pale Ale but changes the dry hop additions to Simcoe and Chinook for a more West Coast-style hop.