Rock ‘n Roll Beer – Five Bands/Five Brews

Dogfish Head Pearl Jam Collaboration

The days of shouting “sell-out” at your television while a Rolling Stones or Bog Seger tune play during a commercial are evidently over.

Furthermore, a popular band slapping their name on the side of a case of beer has not only arrived, but many bands are affiliating themselves with either extremely reputable breweries, extremely savvy marketing plans, or both.

Loosely translated: the “Beer is Good”

This does not typically mean the band’s beer is available at a venue they are performing at on a given night, but it can mean getting a case shouldn’t be that difficult.

I have compiled a list of some of the more popular and/or tasty brews.

1.) TROOPER ALE

Iron Maiden is known by most of their fans for vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s considerable pipes, or even their “mascot” Eddie, the enormous skeletal creature that typically adorns both their record covers and stage backdrops. Robinson’s British Brewery hatched these hops with Dickinson in tow, describing it as a “unique blend of Bobec, Goldings, and Cascade hops.” A deep golden ale, there is a hint of lemon as well. I would’ve gone with calling it “Eddie’s Ale,” as opposed to the name they did go with, but perhaps that’s more the Maiden fan talking than the beer fan.

2.) AC/DC

The Australian rock legends eschewed tipping their hat to any one song, opting instead of simply putting the band name on the can. They released it in partnership with the German brewery Karlsberg. Released in both cans and as a five-liter keg, the label design, however, was inspired by their 16th album, “Black Ice.” The band is quoted as saying, “This lager fires up your tongue like TNT (a nod to a hit of theirs) and is brewed in accordance with the Rock ‘n Roll manifesto of 1973 and the German purity law of 1516.

3.) STRUMMER

No to be confused with “Upright The Clash Beer,” this Clash-inspired brew is the concoction of Shortts Farm Brewery. Yes, the legendary punk rock outfit has inspired not one, but two different beers. There is a Facebook page for “Strummer,” but getting this particular beer is considerably more difficult than the others. A dark ale, it is indeed in stark contrast to the aforementioned gems. Even the Upright Clash beer, despite being an assertive, gently hoppy pilsner.

4.) FOAM

Fans of jam band Phish probably didn’t flinch in the least bit when the musicians sought a signature beer for its Phish festival. They turned to Sierra Nevada, a popular California brewery. The result was a refreshing German-style pilsner that boasts an herbal, spicy profile.

5.) AMERICAN BEAUTY

Delaware’s Dogfish Head is the biggest proponent of beer-band mash-ups, having created keynote ales for musicians both alive (Dan the Automator, Pearl Jam) and dead (Miles Davis, Robert Johnson). The brewery released the Grateful Dead-inspired American Beauty pale ale, which contains an ingredient suggested by a Deadhead – there were probably myriad Deadhead ingredient suggestions.

For beer snobs who hold steadfast in their belief that this is yet a marketing gimmick, allow me to share this one final tidbit: Iron Maiden’s Trooper beer crossed 3.5 million pints sold just one year after its launch, proving that bands and beer are a winning combination.

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