Beer on the Final Frontier: Star Trek's Romulan Ale

Jul 22, 2001

The Bottom Line If you're a Star Trek fan, grab a single as a souvenir. The beer itself is not far removed from water.

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the beer hunting Bruguru. His ongoing mission, to explore strange news bars, to seek out new and exciting brews….to boldly go where no beer lover has gone before……

Where does a beer enthusiast turn for new and exciting brews when he’s sampled suds from all the inhabited continents, rummaged through liquor stores far and wide, sat in bars and brewpubs until the wee hours of the night while sipping gently and tapping away at the keys of a laptop entering tasting notes?

Why to the final frontier, of course. Romulan Ale isn’t really brewed in space, but it was the concept of the brew that intrigued me. You see, it’s a rare combination of two of my favorite hobbies, beer and science fiction, and I’d long wondered why some microbrewery out there didn’t contract with Paramount to sell a Romulan Ale on the market long ago. Surely it would be a success with beer trekkers everywhere?

Recently, I found out that there is in fact a Romulan Ale being sold here in the United States, at the Star Trek Experience attraction in Las Vegas. The Star Trek Experience is a combination of museums, mock-ups of bridges and decks from Star Trek ships, and even a restaurant named after Quark’s bar where you can feast on such dishes as the Wrap of Khan, Isolinear Chips and Dip, or even Klingon Gagh.

You can purchase Romulan ale in their gift shop for about $13 a six-pack. I am not sure if singles are available, and I don’t know if it is sold in liquor stores. If it is, I have never heard so. It’s a genuine beer, but unfortunately its not brewed by a microbrewery. Instead production has been contracted out by Paramount to Cerveceria La Costancia in El Salvador.

The bottle is clear glass that allows the deep indigo blue color of the brew to show through. Obviously, the Romulans have never heard of the Reinheitsgebot, since this beer is heavily dyed with food coloring. The neck has a gold foil wrapping, and the green and blue label features the symbol of the Romulan Star Empire emblazoned upon it.

Romulan Ale pours to a deep, dark, indigo blue color with a thick and equally blue head formation that is spritzy and short-lived. A quick whiff of the nose reveals a little skunking present and not much else. The palate is watery and bland; very uninteresting. There’s an oh-so-faint hint of hops present but in no way does it save the beer. The finish is equally monotonous. As a curiosity, this beer is worth buying a bottle to display in your living room. I don’t recommend it for your refrigerator.

In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Dr. McCoy presents Captain Kirk with a bottle of Romulan Ale, to which Kirk replies, “Now Bones, you know this stuff is illegal.” Now we know why.

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