Courtesy of Shmaltz Brewing Company

Symbiosis Hoppy Wheat Ale pays homage to a classic episode from the series' first season.

Mike Pomranz
July 19, 2017

In an American beer market flooded with over 5,000 breweries, it’s good to find your niche. A few brewers have tried to tap into the preexisting appreciation of beloved TV shows. A couple years ago, Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Company released a The Walking Dead-inspired beer. New York’s Ommegang has produced more Game of Thrones beers than there are seasons of the series. And another New York brewery, Shmaltz Brewing, has staked its claim on the Star Trek universe.

Few TV show diehards are as dedicated as “Trekkies,” so when Shmaltz announced last year that it was introducing an officially licensed beer to commemorate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale, the brewer seemed like it has probably tapped into an established audience. Apparently, exclusively licensing the Star Trek name for beer has proven lucrative because, this year, Shmaltz announced it would be releasing three more Star Trek brews.  Klingon Imperial Porter landed this past February, and now, just in time for the big 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego, the brewery is releasing the perfect spinoff: Symbiosis, a beer to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Star Trek Symbiosis Hoppy Wheat Ale is described as a generously hopped “limited-edition, smooth, easy-drinking ale with prominent wheat maltiness and distinct flavors and aromas of Warrior, Centennial, and Amarillo hops.” As for the name, the team at Shmaltz once again proves their worthiness for making these brews with an backstory that probably goes over most people’s heads. The brewery explains that the beer pays homage to an episode named “Symbiosis.” “In this episode, two different races from the same galaxy have seemingly found a way to peacefully coexist and work together for the betterment of all,” the brewer writes. “However, we eventually learn that their relationship is based on the false promise of felicium, which is sold by the Brekkians to the Ornarans. This forces Captain Picard to make an excruciating choice: uphold the Prime Directive, or save an entire civilization from exploitation. In this 30th Anniversary Ale, the Shmaltz crew has upheld its Prime Directive to boldly unite hops, malts, yeast, and water in the pursuit of craft beer excellence.” What that explanation doesn't get into is that felicium, it turns out, is a powerful narcotic that the Ornarans are unwittingly addicted to, thinking instead that it's curing an ages-old plague. In that case, it's probably best Shmaltz went with a less direct inspiration and didn't spike its beer with some kind of space drug.

Shmaltz says that the new brew will debut at Comic-Con with “several tasting opportunities” popping up during the event which runs from July 20 to July 23, and it will be available at the Gaslamp Tavern (868 Fifth Avenue) the entire weekend. If you can't find it, maybe just keep your eyes peeled for a bunch of drunks with Vulcan ears arguing over to what extent the J.J. Abrams’ reboot should truly be considered canon.