The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time hit shelves at just the right time for me. I was young and carefree, and the coming-to-age tale of a boy, his tunic, and a sword was more than enough to pull me in. I played the game from beginning to end multiple times with various friends, each of them becoming one of my best friends by the time we took down Ganon. There existed an emotional attachment, like I had with those baseball games as a kid with my dad, except it was more personal. It wasn’t a 3+ hour game. It was weeks of my adolescent summer spent playing all day, even — especially including Majora’s Mask — months.
So early last month, when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild hit shelves, I knew I was going to invest. I’m older now, and at this point in my life the game systems I do own mostly just sit around and collect dust. But I’ll always make time for Zelda.
A lot has changed since Hyrule in 1998, especially for me. I drink a lot of beer now for one — weird to think I was years away from my first sip when I met Link on the NES. So to combine my two great loves, I took a look at the first challenge in Breath of the Wild: completing four shrines and gaining their associated special powers in order to get off of the plateau. For those meeting The Legend of Zelda at drinking age, here are the craft beers that pair best with each of the four starting shrines.
Ja Baij Shrine — Victory Prima Pils
Reward: Remote Bomb Runes
Beer: Victory Prima Pils
Because: This shrine reeks of college. Link receives new power (like a freshman away from their parents for the first time) and immediately starts destroying everything in sight. At one point Link drops a spherical bomb into a funnel and launches it at a stack of stones (or cups) to knock them away. Because college was mostly full of light beer and a lot of pilsner, I chose Victory Prima Pils, the best, widely-available lager money can buy.
Keh Namut Shrine — North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin
Reward: Cryonis Rune
Beer: North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Because: With the Cryonis Rune, Link can freeze and lift a pillar of ice out of nearby standing water. Sounds pretty Russian to me. Old Rasputin is one of the world’s best imperial stouts, clocking in 9 percent ABV, and is available rather inexpensively at any beer store worth their weight in ice.
Owa Daim Shrine — Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
Reward: Stasis Rune
Beer: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
Because: Similar to the Adam Sandler film Click (don’t act like you’ve forgotten about it), the Stasis Rune allows Link to stop time for a certain object. He can then add a little kinetic energy to the thing — via smashing it with a sledgehammer — and it’ll fly off into the distance once time returns to normal. Weihenstephan is the oldest still-operating brewery in the world, having opened (arguably) in 1040. Talk about being stuck in time.
Oman Au Shrine — Jester King Brewery Black Metal
Reward: Magnesis Rune
Beer: Jester King Brewery Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout
Because: As the name implies, the Magnesis Rune allows Link to manipulate metal objects. While there’s a heavy metal themed brewery in Denver, Colorado that would be a good option, I went with a bottle from Jester King’s “Metal” series. Black Metal is big (10.8 percent) sour stout that might have you thinking you can control things with your mind.