Rock N Roll and Beer: A Match Made On the Stairway to Heaven?…

I saw over at Beernews.org today that the Ithica Beer Company is brewing up a new IPA that they are dedicating to the band Phish.  This is not new territory for the band, as many of you are probably aware that Ben and Jerry’s has their delectable ice cream Called Phish Food.  This is a hopped up IPA and what a better tribute than to load the brew with Kronic’s kissin’ cousin.

This got me to thinking, how many other rock bands have tribute beers, or at least beers that could fit the bill?  Here are a few others I have come up with, I’m sure there is more and by all means chime in in the comments to add others you know about, or think go together well…

Metallica–Fade to Black

This was a tribute that Left Hand Brewing in Colorado brewed for a favorite band of theirs Metallica.  I love the artwork on this label, and I’ve heard great things about the beer.  There are actually two expressions of Fade to Black (Volume I, and volume II).  Volume I is a foreign style stout that is a Gold Medal winner at the 2010 GABF, and Volume II is a smoked Baltic porter.  Both befitting tributes to James and Lars and the crew.

AC/DC–Back In Black

A couple years ago 21st Amendment Brewing came out with Back in Black their Black IPA.  Man this is a brew that Angus and the boys can be proud to have associated with them!  It is a roasty, nutty treat for the senses.  Great label work on the can too, tie the whole concept together.

Rolling Stones–Rolling Rock??

This seems like too easy of an association to make and hardly a befitting tribute to the original Bad Boys of Rock-n-roll.  So I put on my thinking cap and came up with what I though was a far better tribute beer for blokes from Leeds.

Now that is a brew these gents from across the pond can get behind!  Remember to have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and most of all have some taste!

Led Zepplin–Ballantine?

I couldn’t do a post about Rock-n-roll and beer without including one of my favorite bands of all.  I remember I was about 5 when their fourth album came out, and I remember playing it over and over again until the vinyl and the needle wore out on my Mom’s record player.  But I was at a bit of a loss as to a beer that would fit their band.  Then I came across this story over at Beer Advocate.  Seems that the rings on the Ballantine label were the inspiration for John Bonham’s symbol that ended up on the album artwork.  What a fitting tribute.  Afterall there was nary a good brew to be had back then.

What are your thoughts?  What beers go with some of your favorite Rock Bands?  Let us know in the comments!

-Don

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43 Comments on “Rock N Roll and Beer: A Match Made On the Stairway to Heaven?…”

  1. BeerBanker
    April 21, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Ahem. Are we forgetting Lagunitas’ entire line of Frank Zappa brews ? and of course DFH did the definitely non-rock & roll Miles Davis Bitches Brew..And if you wanted to branch out to include comedians, there’s Schmaltz Brewing’s Lenny Bruce brews..

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 11:29 am #

      Good catch! I wasn’t really aware of the Lagunitas line of brews, but I did see Zappa in Concert, and what a wild and great show that was! Glad I got to see him before His Prostate got him!

    • April 21, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      I’d count the DfH tribute to Bitches Brew as a rock tribute. That album was more influential to rock musicians than 99% of rock music.

      • Don
        April 21, 2011 at 11:49 am #

        Good point Zac. There is a lot of cross over in the world of music. Kinda like the world of beer too. I can see it now…We are the World Wide Stout…

  2. April 21, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    As far as Zeppelin, what about Boulder Beer’s “Hazed and Infused”?

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 11:30 am #

      That is a good one too Will, and fits both Hendrix and Zepplin!

  3. April 21, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    I heard that Oskar Blues was doing a Tupac tribute brew, but the beer kept leaking out of the holes in the can…

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      Taking things too literally can cause problems on implementation…

  4. April 21, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    I did a Wowee Zowee DIPA named after the album by Pavement. My last big homebrew was a Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA called Big Black Bitter named after math-rock pioneers Big Black.

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Love the association of home brews with favorite bands. I thought the original math rock band was Rush? Although I just like what I like and don’t really follow particular genres.

  5. Joe
    April 21, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Not rock, but how about Stoudt’s nod to Sade with Smooth Hoperator.

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Sade is definitely not rock, but I do like that song! Haven’t tried the Stoudts either. Jim, make sure you pick this up and try it!

  6. April 21, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Yo Don!

    Great Lakes just released their seasonal Doppelrock (a doppelbock, http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/uploads/Beer/Profile%20Doppelrock.pdf). Have one in the fridge. Does this count as a Rock N Roll themed beer?

    G-LO

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Looks like a great brew! I don’t know what band it would go with though.. How about Jack Black’s Band Tenacious D? Dopplerock…School of Rock? Might go.

      • April 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

        Possibly. Or perhaps it’s an all encompassing tribute to Rock and Roll since the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is in Cleveland. I hope to drink it soon, so I’ll let you know how it is.

      • Don
        April 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

        Sounds great G-lo. Let me know if it is Hall of Fame worthy.

  7. April 21, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    My second batch of home brew is a saison dubbed “Farmhouse Eleven.” It’s a tribute to Spinal Tap’s “Sex Farm.”

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

      Cool. I wonder if all home brewers name their brews based on music? Seems to be a trend.

  8. April 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Abita does “Purple Haze”

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      Oooh, Good catch Tex! I knew I was missing a Hendrix tribute.

    • April 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      Totally forgot about that, and I was just in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago.

  9. April 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Elysian’s Loser is a tribute to the Seattle record label Sub Pop.

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Just went to Sub Pop’s web site. They have a gagillion bands…not one I’ve ever heard of. I guess that is why they call the beer Loser?…

      • April 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

        You’ve never heard of Nirvana? The loser thing has to do with a famous t-shirt they created during the Grunge period of the early 1990’s. Was that about the same time you were living under a rock?

        • Don
          April 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

          Missed Nirvana on the list. That would be why they are still a business, based upon the rest of the list. 😉

      • April 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

        Yeah, that’s where Nirvana got their start. If you pull out an old copy of Nevermind, you can still see the Sub Pop logo next to Geffen’s. As you saw, the label is loaded with bands. The Shins, Fleet Foxes, The Afghan Whigs, Soundgarden, Iron & Wine, Band of Horses…I could go on and on.

        You do realize that while corporate labels flounder and mega-concert tours for their stars lose money every year that indie labels make a steady profit. That’s a big reason I pair indie rock and craft beer in my blog. These are two sectors of larger industries that keep craft alive while continuing to make profits.

        • Don
          April 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

          Didn’t know that, But I’m pretty sure the largest grossing tour was AC/DC last year, and I’d be hard pressed to think that nay of the bannds I mentioned would lose money doing a tour. Now if you’re talking Brittany Spears or Lady Gaga I’d buy into the fact they lose money, but I think the classic rock genre is pretty lucrative still.

      • April 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

        Yes, and Budweiser pulled in a billion last quarter in profits.

      • Don
        April 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

        I’m not seeing the connection. So you are saying profitable is good, but really profitable is bad like Bud? Or perhaps there is some sort of wool being pulled over people’s eyes here? I could say that Shell Oil made a gazillion dollars in profit last month, and it is true, but how does it connect?

      • April 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

        You said that Sub Pop must be a bunch of “losers” because you’ve never heard of their bands. I pointed out that they’re quite successful. You compared that success to a band like AC/DC who is pretty accepted by the mainstream. My parallel is Budweiser. By your standards, AC/DC is successful in the same way Bud is successful. A label like Sub Pop is successful the same way a Stone or Dogfish Head are successful. There are parallels. Indie labels and craft brewers not only turn a profit, but they make quality product. Just because you haven’t heard of these bands doesn’t mean they aren’t successful. There are a lot of people who have no idea that some of the craft beer we discuss on this forum are as good as they are. Just because there was no one in the forest, doesn’t mean the falling tree didn’t make a sound. Or something.

        • Don
          April 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

          OK, gotcha. I do want to point out however that I like all the bands I mentioned and so do millions of other people, and they are successful because they are good, not because they somehow use underhanded corporate tactics to squeeze out competition. I’m not saying that all indie bands are bad, just I don’t listen to them, and in Idaho if it isn’t Classic Rock, its country and I’m not going to start listening to country or the Hippity Hoppity crap my kids listen to. Not much in the way of indie stations out here. However if you want to talk about Jam bands, We can talk String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, moe, or Les Claypool. I know, Les really doesn’t fit the Jam Band mold, but I like him a lot. Kinda like a modern day Zappa…only on Bass.

      • April 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

        I’d disagree on how good those bands are. Just because millions of people like Budweiser…er…I mean the bands you mentioned doesn’t mean they’re great.

        However, music is so much more subjective than beer. I don’t think individual bands squeeze each other out, record labels do. Major labels pay off radio stations to play their musicians. Indie labels don’t have that kind of capital.

        I know of a pretty great Idaho band that’s neither classic nor country: Built to Spill.

        • Don
          April 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

          They’re local, and I didn’t know they existed. I’ll have to watch for them. Their web site gives no clue as to when or if they will ever play again.

  10. April 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Just thought of another. Depending upon your definition of Rock, there’s Ska Brewing in Durango.

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      Maybe they should make a Reel Big Fish Farmhouse Ale?

    • April 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Good catch, Will! Ska counts as Rock in my book. Have you seen their Brew Masters parody? http://vimeo.com/20604077

      • April 22, 2011 at 10:32 am #

        Thanks for reminding me of that, I finally sat down and watched the whole thing; only saw a minute or two when it was posted some other site. I think it makes our point of Ska being tied into Rock! 🙂

  11. April 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    This one is a more of an interpretive stretch (but doesn’t call for any frightening leaps of logical faith):

    Surly Brewing’s Darkness…….. to a Jersey boy, that’s just shorthand for Bruce’s Darkness on the Edge of Town. I’m sure that’s what they envisioned but Capital Records nixed it. That has to be it. 😉

    BTW, Left Hand’s Fade to Black Volume II is a fantastic beer. The name doesn’t hurt but the brew holds it’s own.

    ~Cheers!
    @TheAlemonger

    • April 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Or, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Darkness_(band). I like your theory better. And +1 on the Fade to Black. Great stuff!

    • Don
      April 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

      I’d love to try any of the Fade to Blacks. Actually up on my wish list on Pintley, but alas they do not distribute to Idaho. I’d buy the Capital Records story. I love a great conspiracy theory.

  12. August 16, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Now that an AC/DC line of Australian wines has hit the market, sold under names i.e with Back in Black Chiraz, I nominate the removal of the 21st Amendment brand and replacing it with Freak Out Ale.

    http://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/get-your-freak-out/

    • Don
      August 16, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      Love Zappa, and the Lagunitas beers too, but BinB has to stay as the AC/DC beer. Nuff said.

      On the other hand, thanks for posting, because I think that this is going to be a great offering from Lagunitas, and I look forward to its release!

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