Bands & Beers
If Music be the Food of love, what do you drink with it?
Band and beer collaborations are quite an established feature in the brewing world. Here at Bottles and Cans we thought we would give you the low down on some of the most well known combos. Some were short lived either by design as limited editions or by uptake. whilst others have become established favourites.
The almighty Queen decided to commemorate the 40th anniversary of rock classic, Bohemian Rhapsody, by launching a beer, the Queen Bohemian Lager, seeing as the late and great Freddie was well known for having the odd brewskis whilst on stage. Naturally the Queen Bohemian Lager is brewed in Bohemia (where else!) and the bottle is adorned with the Queen crest that Freddie designed as a student at Ealing Art College. The lager is a hoppy crisp Czech brew.
Perhaps one of the most successful combos is Iron Maiden and Robinsons, who together created Trooper. The beer is a tribute to one of the band’s most loved songs. Front man, Bruce Dickinson, really got into the whole brewing processes. The end result being a gorgeous golden brew full of citrus zing. Robinsons also worked with Lancashire band, Elbow, in 2011 to create a beer to launch alongside their fifth album, Build a Rocket Boys!
80s band Madness worked with Portobello Brewery in London, having been inspired by the pubs where they performed their early gigs. Gladness is a crisp, hoppy lager with hops and lemon overtones, again with the citrus hit.
The Super Furry Animals wanted to create a beer for a festival in Caerphilly and chose Celt Experience brewers to collaborate with. Together they brewed a Welsh ale called Fuzzy Logic - a reference to their 1996 debut. The beer has a sour tang and distinctive citrus aroma.
Motorhead didn’t hold back when naming their brew, Motörhead’s Bastards Lager and apparently it is ‘distributed straight from hell’ according to their website. Anything Lemmy approved has got to be a serious brew!
Mmmhops Pale Ale is the product of the Hanson Brothers Beer Company. The trio of brothers, Hanson, had phenomenal success with their 1997 hit Mmmbop - hitting the the number one spot in 27 countries. Unfortunately, they never experienced quite the same degree of pop success again. Not to be deterred, they turned to brewing with the Oklahoma City’s Mustang Brewery. Mmmhops (nice play on words, boys) is a citrusy pale ale with plenty of hops oomph.
Barenaked Ladies teamed up with Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, to create the limited edition “BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout.” It’s a real pity that this yummy brew is no longer available as it had a deep chocolate fudge body.
Long time rockers, Status Quo, launched their brewing masterpiece, Piledriver, which is an English bitter with some floral overtones. Meanwhile pop singer Rick Astley has been in development with Mikkeller on a “fruity Pilsner”. New Order named their beer, Stray Dog, after a song on their album, Music Complete. It is a golden ale that balances fruitiness and subtle bitterness. The Pixies put out a super limited edition IPA, Hey. The label features the same monkey from the album cover Doolittle. The legendary Def Leppard also launched a brew, Def Leppard Pal Ale, a beer that harks back to their Sheffield roots, using English malts and American hops to echo their Anglo American success.
In America, Dogfish Head Brewery have also worked with a large number of bands, including The Grateful Dead (American Beauty), Pearl Jam, Deltron 3030, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Guided by Voices (Beer Thousand).
One brewery that has made its name through its collaborations is Signature Brew, the Hackney hipsters, who have worked with a growing list of music superstars. The brewery believes in totally involving the band half of the collaboration in the whole process and their success has led to crowd funding to triple the size of their brewery to meet demand. The folk singer Frank Turner joined with them to create Believe, which is a Belgian wheat beer with a twist of spice and oranges. Another collaboration was created after The Rifles visited the brewery, getting stuck into the whole creation process, including the artwork. The result was The General, a wheat beer with super crisp attitude. Teaming up with the American metal group, Mastodon, Black Tongue was born ,a suitably heavy metal smoky double black IPA. Professor Green got in on the beer and band trend too with Signature, and Remedy Pale Ale was created. It is a Czech pils with a super special herbal aroma - you could be running through green fields as you sup!
Even the great Sir Paul McCartney has joined this long list of band and brewing collaborations, although you can only get you hands on his brew if you are friends and family. Using hops grown on his own land, he crafted Old Stinkhorn - named after a rather rude shaped mushroom found growing on his estate.