Friday, 7 February 2014

Beers and bands

We all know that many people in the music industry enjoy a good drink. Rock stars are famed for their overindulgence causing them to throw TVs out of hotel windows, and are sometimes sadly victims of addiction.

Over the last couple of years a trend in the UK beer industry has started - musical artists collaborating with breweries to create a beer that relates to their band, more often than not it shares the name with one of their albums or songs.

The first I heard of this was that a company called Signature Brew popped up and their whole deal is that they're essentially gypsy brewers (for the uninitiated, this means that they don't have a brewery but instead go to other people's brewery and wreak havoc) -  who solely work with musical artists to specifically create a beer with them. I mean, they've worked with some pretty diverse and high profile artists like rapper Professor Green with whom they created a hoppy pale ale (very delicious), to folk/punk singer Frank Turner which was a wheat beer and now one of my favourite heavy metal bands Mastodon which brought a double black IPA.

What Signature Brew are doing is great. They're bringing music and beer together. They're trying really hard to get their tasty beers that are brewed with love and care, by them and the artists (yes, the artists actually have a lot of input into the beer) into music venues.

The problem is that now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and they don't always offer good results. Robinson's had brewed a beer with Elbow previously, then they recently brewed a beer with my favourite heavy metal band of all time - Iron Maiden. It was called The Trooper, which is named after one of their singles and I REALLY wanted to love it but I didn't. I didn't hate the beer; it's bland and you can't really hate blandness. I just kind of expected more, even from Robbies, considering Bruce Dickinson is a beer fan and apparently quite knowledgeable on the subject. Maybe he likes that kind of thing, who knows, but it just wasn't what I expected from a heavy metal band!

We then had ska band Madness collaborating with Growler Brewery (previously Nethergate) and now we've got Wychwood collaborating with Status Quo, which I'm assuming they did solely because Status Quo are headlining Download Festival and Wychwood always have Hobgoblin there.

I'm bored of it.

Additionally, the publicity seems great for the beer industry on the face of it but is it a good thing that a lot of people, even those who generally claim to not like ale are buying it purely because they like the band regardless of how shit the beer is? These people, they won't touch a beer at any other time and I know this for a fact, still kind of being in the scene and I know people who only drink Carlsberg and Tuborg are buying it, drinking it and saying they love it. I'm betting you could give them the exact same beer with a different label and they'd say it it's disgusting.

Is it really good for the beer industry if people are buying a beer purely for the brand, even if it's not any good?

Personally, I don't think so.

What are your thoughts on this?

Nate

4 comments:

  1. For beer & music, I need look no further than Revolutions Brewing of Castleford in West Yorkshire. Not brewed WITH bands, but inspired by them and named after great songs and albums. All beers have an abv that corresponds with older musical formats (3.3% = 33 1/3 rpm for a vinyl album, 4.5% = 45 rpm for a vinyl 7" single, 6.0% = C60 for an hour long tape cassette...zzzzzz)

    Wouldn't work unless the beers were damn good, which they are. Try a bottle of Manifesto Stout and see!

    Another excellent post buddy!

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    1. Ahh man, they're really high up on my hitlist! I really like that concept.

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  2. I am told Bruce Dickinson is actually a fan of the traditional robust, meaty English Best Bitter and that is exactly what Trooper is. I think some people were expecting it to be some kind of raging hop monster and were disappointed when it wasn't.

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    1. I wasn't quite expecting that, but at least something with a little more oomph.

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