Music and beer have long been wedded at the hip. Music festivals, concerts, and even the jukebox at your local dive sound better with a beer in hand. So it’s not suprisinging that bands like to co-brand with breweries and lend their names to beers…And for fun we’ve decided to grade some of the latest releases.
Rock band beers happen for all kinds of reasons, but more times than not they’re released in conjunction with special dates like Dogfish Head’s annual celebration of Record Store Day and increasingly they serve as tour announcements and are sold on the band’s tour as well.
And if you think that these ‘collaborations’ are actual collaborations and that band members are working the mash tuns you’re dreaming…No matter the spin the brewery or band is putting on these collaborations this is MARKETING 101 at its most straightforward. But that doesn’t mean that these beers can’t be decent…and in some case they’re even better than that.
Dogfish Head (with The Flaming Lips) Dragons & Yum Yums
In the world of music/brewery collaborations there are few breweries as savvy as Dogfish Head…Not only are their musical alignments light years beyond most breweries but the beers themselves are never the obvious.
Brewed to celebrate Record Store Day as well as the musical instincts Oklahoma’s psychedelic The Flaming Lips and its frontman Wayne Coyne, Dogfish Head’s latest collaboration is, like the band, an amalgamation of styles.
Though it’s described as a Pale Ale this 6.5% ABV limited release drinks like a fruit hybrid. Brewed with a combination of dragon fruit, yumberry (is that even real?), passionfruit, pear juice and black carrot juice and Dragons & Yum Yums is a refreshing flurry of fruit flavors that are only slightly toned by hops… Rock Band Beer Grade – A+
Belching Beaver (with Deftones) Digital Bath
Sacramento’s Deftones made their first band beer “Phantom Bride’ with Belching Beaver in 2016 and it was a huge hit for both the alternative medal band and the Oceanside, California brewery.
And now the band and brewery has released its fourth beer as co-headliners. Belching Beaver/Deftones Digital Bath is a very solid, 6.5% ABV New England-style IPA that takes its name from a killer track on Deftones’ 2000 release “White Pony.” Rock Band Beer Grade – B
Elysian (with Def Leppard) Def Leppard Pale
A collaboration between Elysian Brewing and British metal arena rockers resonates in so many ways.
After all, Seattle’s Elysian lost many of their core followers when they sold out to the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2015. And in a similar fashion Def Leppard earliest heavy metal fans abandoned them after the enormous success of 1983’a Pyromania turned the band towards Pop and into a household name.
But sellouts (or not) both Elysian and Def Leppard remain competent and talented at what they do. And the beer they produced together, a delicious 6% ABV British-style Pale Ale that doesn’t suffer from hop overkill is a timely reminder of that. Rock Band Beer Grade – B+