Craft Beer and Metal Collaborations – Are you ready for GWAR’s Impaled Ale?

Photo Credit: Jamie Betts

If you’re a fan of craft beer (of course you are, you’re here, right?) and you’re a fan of metal (and if you’re not, you should be!), you may have noticed that a lot of craft breweries are collaborating with metal bands to make some pretty interesting beers. 

Three Floyds Brewing is a leader in the craft beer and metal movement, and they’ve already collaborated with quite a few metal bands. They recently worked with Richmond, Virginia’s grindcore kings, Pig Destroyer, to create Permanent Funeral Pale Ale, which was just released last month. They’ve collaborated with New Orleans-based sludge metal masters, Eyehategod in the past and are currently working with Municipal Waste on their highly anticipated Toxic Revolution Stout.

CCB logoSo when I heard that an actual metal/craft beer collaboration might be brewing in my own backyard, I was skeptical but hopeful. Sure enough, the movement is coming to Florida – and it’s going to be epic. Cigar City will soon be contract brewing Impaled Ale for the 4th annual GWAR B-Q music festival being held in Richmond, Virginia on August 17.

For those not familiar, GWAR is a satirical heavy metal band well-known for their elaborate science fiction/horror inspired costumes, obscene lyrics, and graphic stage performances, often featuring political or pop culture mock executions. And blood… lots and lots of blood, among other bodily fluids. But anyone who’s ever been to a GWAR show knows it’s all in good fun.

This metal/craft beer collaboration started three years ago when GWAR fans and homebrewers, Rob and Deidra Chalmers, brewed the first batch of Death Piggy Ale as an homage to the band. 

Rob Chalmers with ACB's Jeanna MalinesRob then contacted Dave Brockie, the lead singer of GWAR, via Facebook for permission to use their artwork, and his friendship with the band began. Rob, along with the help of his friends and fellow brewers at Barley Mow and Sunburn Brewing, brewed a few more 20 gallon batches of his ale for the band, perfecting what would become Impaled Ale. In November of 2012, Rob was contacted by GWAR’s drummer, Brad Roberts, who asked if he’d consider brewing the ale for their 4th Annual GWAR B-Q. And that’s where Cigar City came in.

Rob contacted President and Founder of Cigar City Joey Redner and pitched him the idea of a contract brew, and they both felt that it was a great match. “Rob is somewhat of an infamous figure in the Tampa Bay area; we know his love for GWAR,” said Travis Krueger, sales and marketing rep for Cigar City. “And having seen GWAR in the past and knowing their tendencies to take things over the top, they seemed like the perfect fit for a brewery that has always liked things over the top as well, when it comes to the beers we produce and the flavors we like to coax out of our recipes.”

Impaled Ale labelRob and Deidra, along with GWAR’s Dave Brockie, will begin brewing with the Cigar City team in late June or early July. Currently, they are estimating brewing between 15 and 30 barrels of Impaled Ale, which will be available for planned Cigar City pre- and post-events, but most of which will be kegged and canned for consumption at the GWAR B-Q.

“Once again, we blow the horn of war and set into motion the gears that grind us towards the greatest GWAR B-Q yet,” said Brokie (AKA Oderus Urungus). “We will be shoving a wealth of GWAR products down your throat… not only our new GWAR B-Q sauce, but our very own beer, Impaled Ale. Eat and drink yourself into a diabetic stupor, then puke it all up in the slam pit! It’s gonna fucking rule!”

Is it okay to admit that I can’t wait to submit myself to GWAR’s on-stage onslaught and to finally get Impaled? As a huge fan of both GWAR  and Cigar City Brewing, I know that this will be a metal celebration that shouldn’t be missed and a collaboration to die for…. 

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