Music collaborations are nothing new in craft beer but that doesn’t make each one unique. This is an either way it’s cool statement – New Realm Brewing is releasing a beer with the band Blackberry Smoke. If you know the band, you’re already excited. If you’re not there yet, their music is in the tv show Yellowstone. In yet?
This collaboration comes from a mutual friendship between the band and New Realm Brewing that started back in high school. Here are New Realm, fresh cans of New Realm Blackberry Smoke Lager are being signed by Brit Turner, drummer. He greets me with a smile and a beard that literally says musican or craft brewer.
Blackberry Smoke, a rock/blues/country band formed in Atlanta, Georgia 21 years ago. “The best way to celebrate your 21st is with a beer!” Turner jokes. “But really though, it’s the best way I can see. it.” He always hoped there would be a full scale band inspired beer, but getting one is harder than you think. Brewery capacity and distribution is a complicated thing. Turner says there was a small scale “Smoke” beer made in North Carolina a few years ago, that was available at one of their sold out shows. The band hoped the rest would be available in distribution later. Their rabid music and beer-loving fans managed to drink it all that night and there was none left over.
“We knew a few of the New Realm Brewing folks as far back as high school,’ Turner says. We have basically have our own record label situation and making a beer with a craft brewer really made sense to us,” he adds. Blackberry Smoke started a year before the first iPod, a few years before YouTube and more than a decade before Spotify. “Our only choice was to tour,” say Turner. Craft beer has that “out of the garage” feel to it like a lot of rock bands.
In preparation for Blackberry Smoke Lager, Turner sat down for a tasting session with brewmaster and co-founder Mitch Steele. “A lager just makes sense,” Steele tells me. “We made it with a touch of pilsner malt on top of 2-Row, so there’s a little bit of Europe in this lager.” It’s crazy how many bands we’ve interviewed lean towards the lighter side of beer like a pilsner or lager. Almost every time their reasoning is that they want to drink a few on stage and still be able to play.
Over the course of a few hours with the band, Turner’s excitement was solely focused on what this beer means to their fans. Steele and Turner designed it with them in mind. “They got us where we are, and we wanted to do something for them,” Turner says. “I’m more excited to see them drink it then I am to have it.”
Mitch Steele himself is a guitarist and music fan, making it easy to put a little extra musical passion into it. Both brewing and music require emotion and passion if you want it to be good. New Realm Blackberry Smoke is about both.
Two decades ago Blackberry Smoke got together and started playing in bars. Not long after, they were performing with Guns N’ Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Church, ZZ Top, and Zach Brown Band.
Honestly, to Turner and the rest of the band, this might be more exciting.
New Realm Blackberry Smoke Lager is available in 16-ounce cans and draft where ever New Realm is sold.
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: Late May, 2022
Revolution Brewing La Gargola, a collaboration with Illinois based rock band Chevelle, debuts on August 1st.
The band is playing Lollapalooza on debut weekend in Chicago, and ahead of the hometown swing of the tour, Chevelle brewed a Helles lager with folks at Revolution Brewing.
This classic beer, inspired by the German Purity Law of 1516 (aka the Reinheitsgebot), doesn’t rely on weird adjuncts to drive the flavor. Only the 4 ingredients that beer is really about – hops, malt, yeast, and water.
“One thing that stuck out to me in talking with Pete and the guys was the comparison between making beer and making music.Finding out what works and what doesn’t is almost equally important, just like writing music.” –Pub Brewer John “Jumpy” Palos
Revolution Brewing La Gargola will hit taps at the brewpub starting August 1st, corresponding with Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago.
Style: Helles Lager
Availability: Draft only, Revolution Brewpub
Arrogant Consortia, Stone Brewing’s “arrogant” extension of their brewing operation, was always destined for a collaboration like this. Stone and Metallica have created a new pilsner rolling out nationally.
Musical collaborations are nothing new in the beer industry. Dogfish Head has created several musical releases with Pearl Jam, Guided By Voices, and The Flaming Lips. Dropkick Murphys teamed up with Magic Hat and Megadeth with Unibroue – that’s just the beginning of the list. Now musical hall of fame inducted Metallica has their own national release- Enter Night Pilsner.
Iron Maiden has their own successful beer and Metallica has taken notice. After launching “Blackened,” a Metallica inspired whiskey last fall, beer was an obvious next step. According to drummer Lars Ulrich, Stone Brewing’s name kept coming up while doing some research. Beer fans know how fiercely independent Stone is, and Metallica was drawn to Greg Koch and Stone for that mentality.
Metallica didn’t want to just “slap a label” on a beer, and Koch wasn’t about to do the brewer’s version of the same thing. The band dove head first together into the creation of this collaboration – Enter Night Pilsner.
Now, a lot of folks think a metal-inspired beer should be strong, black, barrel-aged, or be brewed with goat’s blood or something “metal” like that. Most musicians want something on the lighter side of the spectrum to drink before, during, and after the show. The guitar solo on “One” wouldn’t as epic if Kirk Hammett was shit-blitzed on barleywine. A pilsner became a perfect choice (plus Ulrich is from Europe originally and knows the style well).
Enter Night Pilsner is every bit a clean, crisp European style lager with just a touch of aggressive American hops. When Stone Brewing and Metallica say this beer “transcends genres, shatters preconceptions and challenges convention,” we tend to agree. They both have done that in their perspective industries and definitely in this beer. Enter Night is not like any pilsner you’ve had before.
Enter Night Pilsner is hitting shelves nationally in 16-ounce cans.
Crank The Black Album and get drinking.
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Debut (Nationally): Early 2019
5.7% ABV, 45 IBUs
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Creature Comforts STAY G-O-L-D, a collaboration with rap duo Run the Jewels will be available again on January 29th.
Chicago based Pipeworks, New York’s Interboro and Asheville, North Carolina’s Burial Beer Co. have all created their own versions of Stay G-O-L-D in the past.
Athens, Georgia has their own edition of these hit beer collaborations – Creature Comforts STAY G-O-L-D returns again at the end of January. STAY G-O-L-D is brewed with Citra, Mosaic, Chinook, and Strata hops.
“Stay G-O-L-D is a high impact, yet very drinkable IPA, We’re all big fans of Run the Jewels here at Creature Comforts so we were thrilled to have another opportunity to collaborate with them.” – said Co-Founder and Head Brewer David Stein.
Creature Comforts STAY G-O-L-D will be available on-site at the brewery in Athens, Georgia on January 29th. A limited amount will be available in distribution in both Athens and Atlanta after launch day.
Hops: Citra, Mosaic, Chinook, Strata.
Availablity: 16oz Cans
Latest Return: 1/29/19
Images: Beer Street Journal
Elysian Brewing and legendary band Def Leppard have a new musically inspired beer. Def Leppard Pale Ale debuts this summer.
The band is touring with another epic band Journey this summer, starting with Hartford, Connecticut on May 21st. Seattle, Washington is no stranger to music (or beer for that matter). In honor of Def Leppard’s Sheffield, England origin, the duo created an English-style pale ale brewed with English malts, and American-grown Pacific Northwest hops.
Def Leppard Pale is what happens when a mega British rock band collides with an American craft brewery. Both fanatics of their craft, Def Leppard and Elysian are excited to blend their worlds together, music and beer.
16-ounce cans of Elysian Def Leppard Pale Ale will be available in select tour cities starting on the band’s second stop on May 23rd in Albany, New York. The can design is a tribute to the 30th Anniversary of Def Leppard’s Hysteria album, known for epic songs like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Love Bites”.
Style: Pale Ale
Hops: Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Magnum
Malts: 2 Row, Munich, Carahell, Acidulated
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft
6% ABV, 27 IBUs
Highland Half Yuszch Pilsner debuts this month, a collaboration with the band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
S.O.B. (Son of Bitch) is the song that brought Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to national fame, selling out shows wherever they travel. This year, the band is currently touring and promoting their newest album, Tearing at the Seams with the hit single “You Worry Me”.
A few years ago, Highland Brewing teamed up with AC Entertainment and Orange Peel Events in order to bring larger music acts to play at the brewery. That move has brought Nathaniel Rateliff to play at the Asheville, North Carolina brewery this month. Highland approached the beer-loving Night Sweats about collaborating on their own craft beer, and the band was more than happy mash in.
Highland Half Yüszch is a Czech-style pilsner, named in honor of the band’s yüszch (meaning usual) tradition of downing a beer and a shot (presumably pre or post-performance). The pilsner is brewed with traditional Saaz hops and Asheville’s soft mountain water. The brewery says the result is “crisp and crushable”.
Half Yüszch will be available at the brewery on May 10th, as well as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats soldout show at the brewery on May 11th. $1 from each beer sold will support The Marigold Project, a foundation established by Nathaniel Rateliff to address issues of economic and social justice.
Malts: Weyerman Pilsner
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft
Distribution: Brewery Only
Debut: Early May 2018
Image: Beer Street Journal
Dogfish Head Dragons & YumYums, a collaboration with the band The Flaming Lips, has arrived.
Delaware based Dogfish Head is no stranger to musical collaborations. Previous releases include Bitches Brew inspired by Miles Davis, American Beauty with the Grateful Dead, and Beer Thousand with Guided By Voices. (Don’t forget the collaboration with Pearl Jam, Deltron 3030 as well.) The newest musically inspired creation by the folks in The First State is Dogfish Head Dragons & YumYums – a liquid tribute to The Flaming Lips.
Most everyone knows The Lips thanks to their 1993 hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly”. Their elaborate and over-the-top shows and known eccentricity makes partnering with the original “Off-Centered” folks at Dogfish Head.
Dragons & YumYums is billed as a “lip-smacking” tart pale ale brewed with dragonfruit, yumberry, passionfruit, pear juice and black carrot. This is no simple fruit ale. Per Dogfish Head “Us coming together to make, what might be, the world’s first vinyl record filled with pink colored beer… is somehow… perfect!!”
With a shared goal of making this collaboration an epic, sensory enveloping experience at the intersection of creative beer paired with creative music, both Dogfish and The Flaming Lips believe this is the first time a band has been so pivotal and deeply involved in the creation of the beer, the ingredients that were chosen, and the authoring of a song made specifically in tribute of the beer.
Expect Dogfish Head Dragons & YumYums will hit shelves ahead of Record Store Day 2018 – April 21st.