"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own..."

Brewery and Country of Origin: John Harvard's Brewing House of 33 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Date Reviewed: 6-30-14

In the United States, professional wrestling is highly regarded as more of a theatrical performance rather than a wrestling sport per se. This is in part, because the results of each match are widely known to be predetermined for entertainment purposes, but also, because of the general spectacle that takes place during wrestling matches. Often these events will incorporate the use of pyrotechnics, prop weaponry, emphatic and passionate speeches, and deliberate crowd raising. Those involved in the matches are just as equally showy, with (often) steroid enhanced bodybuilder physiques, bright colored clothes, and flashy costumes. One of the most famous and recognizable of these athletes was James Brian Hellwig. Born on June 16th, 1959 in the small steel mill town of Crawfordsville, Indiana (although it was billed that he was from "Parts Unknown"), Hellwig started his career as a bodybuilder who started lifting weights at the age of 11. Hellwig began professional wrestling in 1985, adopting the name "The Ultimate Warrior" in 1987. He joined the WWF in 1987, and won the Intercontinental Championship a year later. Two years after that he had won the WWF Championship, defeating Hulk Hogan in what was later known as "The Ultimate Challenge" (the main event for WrestleMania VI). The Warrior became the first and to date, the only wrestler to hold both the WWF Championship as well as the Intercontinental Championship at the same time. He went on to have a storied, but at times spotty career with the WWF (which would ultimately become the WWE), succeeding Hulk Hogan as the group's headliner. He temporarily parted ways with the WWF due to a contract dispute, and temporarily retired before returning in 1996, and then retiring again two years later. In 2013, he decided to come back to the WWE and on April 6th, Warrior made his first appearance on Raw in over 18 years, the day after he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and the day before he died due to a heart attack. His death marked the end of a legend within the WWE, which although it had a mixed relationship with the wrestler, recognized him as one of the greats of the group. Hellwig has left a huge legacy among American professional wrestling fans and had made a big mark on the company as well as his peers, both positive and otherwise. And as part of his lasting influence, John Harvard's Brewing crafted this limited production run strong ale which was as bitter and strong, as it was characteristic and memorable.
Date Sampled: 4-11-14 At: John Harvard's Brewing House, 33 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Beer Style: Imperial Pale Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 8.40%
Serving Type: Brewery Keg, 16 oz Tulip Glass
Rating: 3.34


Ultimate Warrior pours smoothly with a moderately low level of carbonation action, giving this brew a thick, somewhat creamy, full inch tall foam head with a moderate retention, a medium density, and a dark tan color. This is a mostly clear opaque beer with a black, very dark brownish color which gives off no shine and no glow in average lighting. There is a small amount of very fine sediment noticeable with no settling. This beer displays moderately full lacing.


This imperial pale is expectedly full of bitter deep hoppy aromas full of a soapy clean effect as well as a good amount of pine and somewhat citrusy notes. This beer is also slightly fruity with weak lemon notes. The aroma is complex with a good amount of deep dark roasted coffee and a bittersweet malty experience to balance. This is bold, sweet, and bitter all at the same time. This beer has a clean aroma with no metallic or alcohol tinge despite an elevated ABV. The aroma is of lower strength and fairly mild overall.


This is a medium full bodied brew with a high amount of weight and a matching thick viscosity, making this beer a heavy sipping beer best suitable away from the beach of Fort Lauderdale. This is a very smooth beer with no texture from the small amount of sediment and an average amount of carbonation. This ale finishes very dry with a small amount of alcohol bite and an associated warming linger. This beer offers very little in the way of refreshment.


With a massive IBU of 100 on the nose, this is a very hoppy and almost overwhelmingly bitter beer. This beer is bursting with a great amount of crisp and clean northwestern style hop notes, somewhat balanced with a solid presence of burnt bitter malt with a deep coffee espresso note and a very dark chocolate flavor. There are no fruity notes present. There is no metallic or alcohol tinge present. This beer's flavor has a slightly nutty, earthy undertone. This beer has a sour, citrusy aftertaste which lingers with a strong, bitter and dry finish.

Our Take

Affectionately named after the epynomous wrestler, The Ultimate Warrior is a strong pale which has a rather overpowering bitter presence. And though this is a strong flavored beer, this is not too unforgiving in any way. There is no alcohol induced tinge from the 8.40% ABV, and despite a rather hoppy inflection, this beer is somewhat balanced with a fairly malty undertone. This beer's aroma is also realistic in proportions, not clearing any nostrils or wartering any eyes. Yet, this is very much a hefty beer, with a sipping only stance, and a heavy weight. This would only be an appropriate beer with hearty fare, colder weather, or by itself in smaller quantities, but none of that makes this pale ale any bit less enjoyable. Those looking for a hop filled pile driver should give this beer a definite try (if John Harvard is still making it), becuase this will satisfy even those looking for the strongest of Imperial IPAs. Aside from this beer's exceptionally hoppy flavor, this is a solid pale ale which goes well with any meals equally as solid, and mellow cheeses to counter the bitterness.