We’d cover this story for the beer’s label alone, but we‘ve got to admit that this band is doing interesting things in the UK with their Trooper line of beers…
Most band beers, are more co-branding exercises than they are a reflection of a real passion for brewing (at least on the band’s part), but what Iron Maiden is doing is different.
And that difference probably comes down to Iron Maiden’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson whose very-much a renaissance man, a pilot and seasoned brewer himself, who has been chosen to make a keynote address at the 2019 Craft Brewers in Denver.
In 2013 Dickinson personally designed and developed Trooper, a collaboration between Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery, a partnership that still continues, that went on to become an international success.
That beer led to many serious brewing projects including the amped up Trooper 666 with its 6.66% ABV and 2017’s Hallowed a 6% ABV Belgian Ale that took its name from the song Hallowed Be They Name, which first appeared on the band’s bestselling 1982 album The Number of the Beast.
Iron Maiden’s newest release, Sun and Steel is a 4.8% ABV pilsner-style lager that’s double fermented lager using saké yeast, and one of the most complex beers that Robinsons has ever produced.
According to the Drinks Business, Dickinson was “inspired to come up with the unusual hybrid brew two years ago after meeting Maiden fan George Yusa, who owns a 300 year old family run saké brewery, Okunomatsu Saké Brewery in Fukushima, Japan.”
The yeast used in Sun and Steel was supplied by Yusa and cultivated by Robinson’s head brewer Martyn Weeks, who had to secure permission from the Japanese government to use it.
Dickinson said the “crazy idea” to make a saké infused lager had been an exciting project to work on…
“I know Martyn and the team at Robinsons have had to become mad scientists to make this work but the end result is a really unique hybrid beer that tastes fantastic. Trooper fans have been asking for a lager, and here it is. I bet you would never have guessed we would do it like this though.”
Sun and Steel, which will be available in May, is named after an Iron Maiden song from 1983’s Piece of Mind album, a track inspired by the life of Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi.