A musician’s reputation for partying becomes a vital part of their mythos. The stories of debauchery told by acquaintances of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and Motley Crue are legendary. But if you’re really good at partying, you can apparently have your own line of booze.
Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan and Dave Matthews each own their own wineries. Sammy Hagar brought the world Cabo Wabo Tequila. But the largest number of music and alcohol collaborations are in the world of beer. For every beer and music project that makes sense (The Hold Steady’s IPA brewed with Hanging Hills called Massive Nights), there is a real head scratcher (Rick Astley’s Northern Hop Lager from Mikkeller).
Here are a handful of the weirdest (and best) beer and music collaborations.
Made by Krönleins Bryggeri AB
It’s certainly not odd for Kiss to lend its name to products. After all, this is the band that sold lunchboxes and dolls in the 1970s and currently hocks caskets to its aging fanbase. However, it is somewhat surprising that Kiss’ straight-edged bass-playing demon Gene Simmons agreed to lend his band’s logo to a bottle of beer. He even told the LA Times that “I literally never drink, privately or publicly. I don’t like the taste or smell of alcohol.” But that personal creed isn’t stopping him from selling his fans Destroyer, a Swedish-brewed Pilsner.
GWAR: Oderus Ale
Made by Cigar City Brewing
A band largely inspired by Kiss, the shock rockers GWAR worked with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing to produce a beer with the aroma of “gooseberry and sauvignon blanc.” Not exactly the description you’d expect from a band that includes a member named Pustulus Maximus. GWAR performs indescribably grotesque acts on stage while playing brutal heavy metal. But perhaps the aromas of gooseberry and sauvignon blanc are just what you need after such a show?
Flaming Lips: Dragons & YumYums
Made by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Anything that Flaming Lips’s frontman Wayne Coyne touches is tinged with a bit of weird. The band creates lush soundscapes defined by themes of fantasy and sonic experimentation. So it makes sense that its signature beer would follow that trajectory. Brewed with dragon fruit and yumberries (yes, those are things), it’s a robust, fruity beer unlike any you’ve tasted before. The band even released a 7-inch single with songs inspired by the collaboration. The psychedelic sounds are the perfect accompaniment to the beer’s luscious fruit flavors.
Iron Maiden: The Trooper
Made by Robinsons Brewery
Members of the hard-partying Iron Maiden certainly deserve to have a beer named after them. The weird thing about this beer, however, is that it’s fairly traditional, and quite tasty. The band worked closely with the brewer to create a classic malt-forward English-style Pale Ale with notes of citrus and a crisp bitter finish.
Mogwai: Mogwai Beer Satan
Made by Signature Brew
Signature Brew’s identity is built upon pairing beer and music. Working with acts like Frank Turner and Mastodon, they have a roster of beverages designed to appeal to music fans. Mogwai, the progressive Scottish band formed in the mid-90s, is an interesting and inspired choice. This particular beer, based on the seminal 16-minute track “Mogwai Fear Satan” is billed as a “concept beer.” The flavors start out with tropical IPA tastes of mango and pineapple and slowly accumulate heat thanks to chili additions, designed to build intensity in the manner of its namesake inspiration.
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