Author: Ariel Landrum
The seventh season of Game of Thrones has brought more blood, fire, and ice to its fans than ever imagined. Those who fell in love with the franchise via the book series now enjoy being shocked and awed as the show has surpassed its source media. Still, with all the show’s success, it’s not enough for some superfans. Thus, the wonderful people at Drink Company collaborated with Ommegang Brewery to bring Westeros to life through a Game of Thrones pop-up bar in our continent. These are the same genius minds that earlier in the year paid homage to Stranger Things and Super Mario, all via their own unique pop-up bars.
Found in Washington DC, the 3,000-square-foot pub consists of four bar sections themed after various dynamic moments in GOT and includes one photo-op space with the Iron Throne. As with their previous pop-up bars, visitors only have a limited time to enjoy the space: August 27, 2017. Though it is open seven days a week, they close early on Sundays so patrons can make it home for the next fresh episode.
Almost every day since its opening, rain or shine, guests wait in line for hours to be able to enter the space. People of Con decided to check out the Seven Kingdoms and were treated with a surprise; the bar was doing a “virtual line” due to “inclement weather.” This meant we just had to give our titles to a man in a “Lord Commander” T-shirt and then were able to saunter off to another bar for an hour and a half to avoid the harsh weather, or in our case, light rain. The fine folks of DC were prepared with umbrellas, but for Cali natives, standing out in a sprinkle equates to suffering through a storm.
The time passed quickly as we found refuge at Right Proper Brewing Company around the corner, and before we knew it, The Old Gods summoned us via text. We walked through the threshold and were amazed at the beauty and detail of each space. Replicas of scenes, noble houses, and even the soundtrack from the show were played all night. To top it all off, even a fantastic cosplay group showed up and showed out.
The first space brought winter to The Capital with a sprawling Godswood honoring The North. The craftsmanship of the giant arbor was both beautiful and meticulous. Each red leaf was perfectly placed on the branches, an intricate weeping face etched into the bark, and even the detail of a three-eyed raven was not amiss.
The next space represented Meereen through a mural depicting Daenerys’ adventures, masks worn by Sons of the Harpy, and not to mention a giant dragon head with glowing eyes spewing smoke. The Khaleesi’s dragon was brought to life by artist Andrew Herndon, who constructed distinct features that brought both the appearance of danger and delight in the creature’s expression.
Anyone who wished to be No-One could do so when they walked the expanse of The House of Black and White. These walls displayed a variety of mounted faces, just like in the sacred space where Arya cultivated her assassin skills. Take a good look at the bartenders, as you may find their likeness in one of these faces. The company reported that the facades were created from plaster molds of employees, friends, and families. Customers can even find a windowed space in the corner of this room to stick their heads as if part of the Many-Faced God’s collection for a unique photo-op.
The last space, The Red Keep, features an armory adorned with banners of the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms. Anyone who wishes to pledge allegiance to their desired house may shoot a photo next to the corresponding banner. The more sadistic of the bunch could even pose as a flayed man on a crafted custom piece by The Strong Oaks Woodshop displayed perfectly under the Bolton banner.
Of course, the room that everyone was the most excited about, which also involved a virtual line, was that of The Iron Throne. The fine folks at Drink Company even provided attendees with a large fur coat they could adorn themselves with as they were crowned Protector of the Realm. Not only was it fun to create regal poses on the royal seat, but this was also the area where fans cheered others on, creating camaraderie. People would bend their knee or cry Mhysa to all who sat.
Complementing the spaces were the spirits. Those who drink and now know things could leave an open tab at any of the bar spaces and didn’t have to return to the same spot – they gave their name, and the barkeep could locate their tab. There were a variety of GOT-themed refreshments, many in specialty glassware like The North Remembers served in a wolf beer stein or The Lady Mormont served in a honey-bear-shaped glass.
Others came with trinkets that could be taken home like the coin inside The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors drink or the dragon inside the Dracarys. Ommegang Brewery even created a new golden ale brew dubbed Bend the Knee for the traditional beer drinkers, adding another blend to their already popular Game of Thrones brew line. However, one of the more memorable beverages was Shame: the orderer was not given their tequila and grapefruit tonic mix without a public shaming, complete with bell ringing.
Any fan of Game of Thrones needs to stop by and experience this pop-up bar, and although Drink Company has not announced their next pop culture idea, we hope that, like Jon Snow, they will resurrect this theme in the future.