Forget Duff, anyone for Leopard, Scorpion or Butterbeer?
If there's one thing us humans have learned in our fleeting existence atop this planet, it's that yeast, hops and malted barley mixed with H20 makes for quite the satisfying beverage.
Our lust for the amber nectar also known as 'beer' is such that, having exhausted the myriad of real world tipples - from lagers and stouts to bitters and pale ales - we though it high time we started appreciating some of the finest beers we've never tasted. And by that we mean the ones that are entirely fictional, and yet every bit as familiar as a bottle of Grolsch or lukewarm can of Kronenbourg.
From Duff to Pawtucket Patriot via Romulan Ale and Samuel Jackson (yep, that one), behold the 20 finest fictional beers to ever grace our TV and cinema screens...
ALAMO BEER (KING OF THE HILL)
The thirst-quencher of choice for Hank and co, Alamo beer is etched within the very fibre of King of the Hill, given that around 400 cans of the stuff are consumed in the show's opening credits, in scenes that border on alcoholism but feature some eco-friendly aluminium recycling.
Though Alamo as a brand was purely the brainchild of the show's creator Mike Judge, a brewing company of the same name was founded in 2012. It's in no way affiliated with the show, but we'd wager they're more than happy for thirsty KOTH fans to buy it by the crate load.
ASPEN BEER (ALIEN)
Remember the chest-ripping scene in Ridley Scott's Alien? Of course you do. But can you recall what the Nostromo crew were drinking? What do you mean, no?
Brewed in Aspen, Colorado and promptly shot into the stratosphere, the made-up lager's said to be 'Extra Strong'. Precisely what you need to take the edge off a chestburster gnawing through your ribcage, or when you're desperately fleeing an exploding spacecraft.
BEER (REPO MAN)
Taking a decidedly Ronseal approach when it comes to mise-en-scene, all products in 1984's Repo Man carry the self-same plain packaging - in a move not too dissimilar to how cigarette packets may appear in a not too distant future.
Evidently unimpressed by the blanket monotony and/or bland colour scheme, main character Otto (aka brother of Charlie Sheen and Mighty Ducks supremo, Emilio Estevez) shows exactly what he thinks of the beer named um... Beer, by pouring it on the floor.
But! Those with a keen eye will notice that, Otto apart, all repo men in the film (Bud, Lite, Miller, Oly) are all named after lager brands, so perhaps the director was a beer fan after all...
BUTTERBEER (HARRY POTTER)
Tasting "A little bit like less-sickly Butterscotch", Butterbeer is a wizards' favourite, served either from a chilled bottle or foamy tankard. Though sold for the bargain price of two sickles - 60 pence to you or I - the alcoholic content of the sweet tipple is inherently low (a sugar crash is more likely than a hangover) and deemed suitable for young, would-be wizards to imbibe. .
Now freely available at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida's Universal Studios, as well as London's Harry Potter Studio Tour, it would appear life has quickly imitated (read: cashed in on) art, to reproduce the beverage for keeno Potter nuts.
CERVEZA CHANGO (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN)
An Easter Egg in most of Robert Rodriguez' movies, Cerveza Chango has roots beyond that of a Mexican beer.
Chango is the deity of fire, lightning and dance in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria. Renowned for avenging crime perpetrated against the innocent - Chango's motive is a theme seen in many of Rodriguez' films - of which the fictional drink crops up.
Cerveza Chango's most notable appearance being in From Dusk Till Dawn, where affectionately monikered character, Sex Machine, commandeers a bottle with a whip, while sat in the Titty Twister strip club. Yeah, it's that kind of film...
DHARMA BEER (LOST)
A made up beer from a fictional research initiative, Dharma beer appeared in desert island mind f*ck series LOST.
A project that started on the island some 30-something years before the plane crash that kicks off LOST (a time subsequently explored when the writers got bored/drunk and allowed characters to time travel), the Dharma Initiative comprised of scientists and free-thinkers that set up camp in the name of research. They brought with them a heap of plain-looking, indentikit provisions, which are still knocking about - albeit covered in dust and rust - when the plane crash survivors arrive in the late Noughties present.
The beer itself must be pretty tasty, given that characters Sawyer and Jin are seen drinking the three-decades out of date lager, with Hurley noting it is "older than Rocky III, maybe even Rocky II."
DUFF BEER (THE SIMPSONS)
Undoubtedly the most illustrious beer to never exist (and then later exist), Duff Beer is a Simpsons staple, appearing in far more episodes than Comic Book Guy, Bumblebee Man and maybe even Millhouse.
Seldom out of the hand of loveable waster, Homer Simpson, Duff is also available in Duff Light and Duff Dry, and is fiercely marketed by musclebound, bikini-girl flanked mascot, Duffman.
Since making its way to the real world, Duff has been available in the UK and a number of countries since 2012, though was produced independently of The Simpsons brand and has resulted in a heap of court cases.
If you're in the market for genuineDuff Beer - you can purchase three varieties of the foamy lager near The Simpsons ride at Universal Studios, Florida. Otherwise, the entirely unofficial (but readily available) version can be purchased online here.
ENT DRAUGHT (LORD OF THE RINGS)
Despite its beery name, Ent-draught is more potion than it is lager, and is an invigorating water favoured by the Ents (otherwise known as giant living trees).
With varied magical properties, Ent-draught has been known to heal wounds, promote speedy hair growth and - in the case of Merry and Pippin in Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers - make lowly hobbits grow taller (though eager LOTR fanboys will be first to point out this is only in the extended cut of the film). Regardless, Ent-draught's raft of superpowers sound a shade more impressive than that of Stella Artois.
GIRLIE GIRL BEER (MARRIED WITH CHILDREN)
A oxymoronic ale favoured by Married With Children's patriarch Al Bundy (who'll be more familiar to anyone under 30 as Modern Family's Jay Pritchett), and is the official drink of his anti-feminism club, NO MA'AM. Well, until Yoko Ono became the club's official spokesperson, that is.
HEISLER BEER (VARIOUS)
You may not have heard of it, you definitely wouldn't have drank it, but unless you are sadly blind then you undoubtedly will have seen it. Heisler beer, created by Independent Studio Services, is a standardised prop for countless TV/film bars or beer coolers.
These include, though not excluded to (deep breath): American Pie Presents: Band Camp, Beerfest, Bionic Woman, Bones, Burn Notice, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, Dollhouse, Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, The Hulk, Malcom in the Middle, My Name Is Earl, The Pretender, Prison Break, The Rainmaker, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stealing Harvard, Superbad, The Shield, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Training Day, Two and a Half Men, Veronica Mars and Weeds . Oh, and New Girl. Duh.
LEOPARD LAGER (RED DWARF)
Said to be "The only thing that can kill a Vindaloo", Leopard Lager is the drink of choice for inebriated spaceman turned robot enthusiast, DJ and Coronation Street cabbie, David Lister (Craig Charles).
Seen in Red Dwarf whenever alcohol is consumed (essentially every scene, then), Leopard turns out to be a sort of Swiss army knife of the booze world, and used on separate occasions to: break open a weapons locker, put out a fire and defeat a monster. That must be what makes it 'Premium'.
In-part parody of Löwenbrau beer, in-part 'low brow' pun, Löbrau is a Futurama beverage available both in Fry's native 20th century and also modern day 3000s, and favoured by the flame-haired character for no other reason than, "It has dots on it!"
With the futuristic land spawned from Matt 'The Simpsons' Groening's meticulous mind, there are actually ample fake beer brands featured in Futurama, including Benderbrau Cold-Fusion Steam Beer (spoof of Anchor Steam Beer), Pabst Blue Robot (Pabst Blue Ribbon) and St. Pauli Exclusion Principle Girl Beer (not a clue).
NEWTON AND RIDLEY (CORONATION STREET)
A pretend bitter that's older than plenty an authentic beer brand, Newton And Ridley has been on tap in the Rovers since the show's inception in 1960.
According the Corrie folklore, the brewery of the same name was established in Weatherfield in 1781, and acquired the rights for a newly built public house, Rovers Return Inn, in 1902.
Though ownership of the pub's exchanged hands endless times since, you can still get a pint o' Newton in the pub today. Well, you can't - it's made up - but the characters on The Street can.
OLD DUSSELDORF (MAGNUM P.I.)
A moustachioed, rug-chested, Ferrari driving, gun-toting mountain of a man, Thomas Magnum is the epitome of masculinity. And, as such, has an altogether manly appetite towards beer. His grog of choice? Seldom anything other than Old Dusseldorf, in a long-neck bottle of course.
Though sadly fictional, Magnum P.I. bigwigs could've done worse than rushing through a replica lager, given that Ferrari sales increased by up to 400% when the show was at its peak. Still, at least Tom Selleck's career has gone from strength to strength. Right, guys? Guys?!
PAWTUCKET PATRIOT (FAMILY GUY)
Though arguably more proficient in its offering of LOLs in recent years, Family Guy is still The Simpsons' younger cousin when it comes to beer.
Pawtucket Patriot references are rife within the show, with Peter Griffin working for (and at first, stealing from) the brewery, as well as regularly sinking beers at the Drunken Clam in his quest to quench his insatiable thirst.
There's even Pawtucket Pat - the brand's eccentric Willy Wonka-esque owner, but Pawtucket Patriot will forever be in Duff's shadow, and unlike its Simpsons counterpart, is yet to be made in the real world.
ROMULAN ALE (STAR TREK)
Previously illegal from the early 2280s through to the 2370s, Romulan Ale is a highly-intoxicating blue beverage which - much like brandy - is believed to have certain medicinal benefits, but potent enough to make the seasoned drinkers such as Klingons, "instant drunk."
Despite its name, the fermentation process (and colour) suggests Romulan Ale isn't actually a beer. Though having said that, it almost certainly isn't an energy drink either - which is what Romulan Ale was created and marketed as when manufactured to promote JJ Abrams' 2009 movie.
SAMUEL JACKSON (CHAPELLE'S SHOW)
A sketch on the hugely underrated Chapelle's Show, Samuel Jackson is a fictional send up of Samuel Adams beer and the mighty Samuel L. Jackson.
The skit sees a pirate-styled Chapelle shouting slogans at drinkers, such as "It'll get you drunk!" "How's it taste, mothaf*cker?" and "Mmmm mmmm b*tch!"
Yeah, turns out it never won an Emmy Award, but did make us want to drink one. Through fear, mainly.
SCORPION BEER (CASA DE MI PADRE)
Like, love or loathe the man, you can't question Will Ferrell's dedication to his craft. And just in case his efforts to tap into the 'lucrative' Mexican cinema market by creating a Spanish speaking comedy wasn't enough, the man known as Big Willy (by no-one, we made it up) also filmed a two-minute fictional beer advert to promote the film's release.
Featuring Will Ferrell and co-star Efren Ramirez (Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite) bromantically cruise the desert upon horseback accompanied by an eagle, the ad is for Cerveza Escorpion or 'Scorpion', with the catchy slogan "Cuando estes tomando mas de docem," which translates as "When you're having more than 12."
If only effort equated to earnings, as the dead horse of a film limped to a box office loss. Poor Willy.
Given that Shameless' workshy, chain-smoking, shower-shirking patriach Frank Gallagher is a man of many vices, it befit Channel 4 to - in the absence of a alcohol brand willing to attach their name to the poster child for excess - create their own lager for the grimy, council estate drama.
Stelberg, which word fans will note sounds coincidentally similar to a Stella and Carlsberg lovechild, is presented with all the class of something found in an off licence reduction cabinet, with the word 'Special' in equal parts oxymoron and nod to the super-charged streetwalker favourite, Special Brew.
VÄN DER BRÄU (DON'T TRUST THE B---- IN APARTMENT 23)
As niche gags go, naming a beer after Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek rates pretty high, so credit to the Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 team. Granted, they can never be forgiven for their terribly named sitcom (ahem, or storylines), but adorning a beer bottle with the actor - who plays a fictionalised version of himself in the show - sporting a lion's mane, is pretty inspired.