Top Five Music Beers Made and Sponsored By Rock Stars
|Guess who's behind this bottle of suds...|
Beer has been associated with the rock music lifestyle for as long as anyone can remember. Love songs have been written about it, punk rockers swear by it's powers, and--along with Jack Daniels (and possibly some illegal drugs)--it is today an integral part of any musician's rider, fueling many a raucous set and groupie encounter.
Most of the music industry's beer consumption, however, remains in the cheap-and-effective category--with few giving much thought to the brand or flavor of their chosen libation. But what happens when the rock stars themselves start slapping their names on bottles of beer to sell at shows? Or better yet, when members of a band collaborate with a microbrewery to create a one-of-a-kind signature brew?Some companies offer a service where bands can choose a style of premade beer they like and pay to have a custom label (usually one with a punny name relating to a new album or song title) placed on it, But increasingly, these music-fueled beers are being made by well-known craft brewers not only in homage, but in affiliation with some of their favorite artists.
We drank through both basic and unconventional beers released recently in the name of music and found five that we thought best exemplified this indelible and growing connection. More than just beers that have a band or musician reference in the title (Auburn Ale House's ZZ Hop and North Coast Brewing's Brother Thelonious might top that list), this is a list of beers released by the musicians or labels themselves. They are brand-expansion projects, experimental beer concepts and soon-to-be fan favorites. Sorry ladies, Hanson's MMMHop IPA didn't make the cut.
|Mikkey Dee and a glass of Bastards Lager.|
Motorhead's Bastards Lager is a 4.7%ABV light beer that, according to the band testimonial blasted across their Drink Shop website is "distributed straight out of hell." While the beer is actually made in Sweden, we still like to think that a band that released an EP called Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers wouldn't skimp on their own brew's quality. Not much else is known in the States about this beverage's flavor, though, as it is part of a series of Lemmy-approved alcoholic beverages--that includes a shiraz and rose wine as well as a forthcoming line of vodka--that is only available in Europe.
|The palest beer we have ever seen.|
In the last few years, "Bawitdaba" singer Kid Rock (neé Robert James Ritchie) has been getting active in his hometown of Detroit, using his clout as one of the city's finest (besides Eminem, of course) to help restore economic glory to the city. Though he has donated songs to tourism offices and appeared in commercials advocating for the city, the Badass American Lager (aka "Badass Beer") is undoubtedly his most influential (and, dare we say it, "badass") move. Distributed only in Michigan under Kid Rock's own Made In Detroit brand, the light (like I-drank-a-lot-of-water-pee light) beer was being contract brewed at Michigan Brewing Company until last June when the brewery abruptly closed. A blog post on Badass' website promises an imminent comeback of the beer Kid Rock himself said that premium beer drinkers would hate. And until the beer returns, you can always purchase baby onsies and do-rags emblazoned with the Badass brew's logo.
|Baltimore's Lower Dens, the first band to participate in Stillwater Artisanal Ale's Sensory Series.|
3. Stillwater Artisanal Ales' Sensory Series v.1 featuring Lower Dens
Stillwater is a craft brewery run by Baltimore native Brian Strumke, a gypsy brewer who leases out and works with other brewers' equipment. Though he has made adventurous craft beers all over the world, Strumke always seems to make his way back to Maryland, where he continues to push boundaries and generate new collaborations in American craft beer. Last August, Stillwater announced its Sensory Series, which will see the brewery teaming up with equally-as-edgy music artists to craft ales based on interpretations of their songs. The first, featuring Baltimore chillwavers Lower Dens, was a spiced, hibiscus Belgian-style saison released in December. In true digital-age fashion, it is meant to be drunk while watching the music video linked via the QR code on the bottle's label.