Heavy rock and beer go together like condoms and casual sex. If you’re gonna regularly indulge in one, it sure helps to have a stockpile of the other. Okay, Ozzy once said, “Wine is fine, but whiskey’s quicker.” Nonetheless, there’s nothing like sipping a quality IPA, a hearty stout, an amber ale, a smooth lager or even a cheap but potent malt liquor with the speakers thumping. Even sh*tty groups sound better after a few beers. And who better to judge a good brew than dudes whose bands are supplied with cases of the stuff every night on tour?
Then there are the super-serious beer guys, like Khemmis drummer Zach Coleman, who works as the head brewer of metal beer producer TRVE Brewing in Denver, and super-metalhead and 3 Floyds brewer Todd Haug, who has worked with various bands to come up with cool signature products.
Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Mastodon, Kid Rock, and AC/DC are just a handful of major rock musicians to market their own beers. Other, far more mainstream entities, including the Grateful Dead Estate, Paul McCartney, Pixies, Elbow, New Order, Queen and, yes, Hanson have joined the signature beer sweepstakes. But seriously. Who’s gonna drink harder, rock harder, destroy more sh*t and puke more frequently than hard rock and metal bands and their fans? So, ignore those indie and classic rockers and get your micro-beers from dudes that know a Hefeweizen from a Belgian pale ale, or at least drink enough that, after a few, the differences between a Pliny the Elder double IPA and Pabst Blue Ribbon don’t mean a thing.
Every metal fan knows the guys in Mastodon love their drink. Guitarist and vocalist Brent Hinds is frequently photographed with a beer or 10 and guitarist Bill Kelliher suffered pancreatitis due to excessive drinking about a decade ago. So, it makes sense that Mastodon have, not one, but two microbrews in circulation.
The latest is Mastodon Black Tongue Double Black IPA, from Signature Brew in the UK. The drink has 8.3% ABV and is described in promotional materials as, “Rumbling smoky notes offset by the elixir of misbehaving punchy hops. Mosaic and Magnum hops to the front, with Carafa Special 3 Malt and Pale on the baseline.” Whatever the hell that means, Signature boasts that Black Tongue is the most powerful beer they’ve created yet, noting that the band wanted a “pallet crusher” that could be savored or chugged – depending on the needs of the consumer.
The art work on the bottle features a blocky skull with a serpentine tongue sticking out. Psychedelic rays of light, bulging red, yellow and orange eyes with pinprick black pupils and and other trippy color schemes grace the rest of the design. Mastodon’s other beer was a promotional item for their 2011 album The Hunter. But Black Tongue slays that original brew.1016Tip it or skip it?
For his entire career, KISS mouthpiece Gene Simmons has boasted about never drinking alcohol or getting high and has lashed out at former bandmates and others who have. Still, Gene and bandmate Paul Stanley know a good marketing opportunity when they see one, such as the infamous KISS Kassket.
KISS Destroyer beer comes with a black and silver label that features the band’s logo. It contains 4.7% ABV and is fully licensed by the band, which doesn’t really mean anything since Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the real beer drinkers, are no longer in the group. Nonetheless, the beer features a good head and a smooth, slightly bitter flavor.1422Tip it or skip it?
Maybe Eyehategod realized they might be limiting the clientele if they put the name of their band on the label of their signature beer, but it kind of defeats the point. Unenlightened consumers might think the legendary 3 Floyds Brewing Co. created a beer for a band called In The Name of Suffering, which isn’t a bad name for a doom band. It’s actually titled after Eyehategod’s bludgeoning 1990 full-length debut.
The brew is a New Orleans style black India pale ale loaded with hops and balanced with maltiness. It has a 7.1 % ABV. We’d buy it for the label art alone, which depicts a monster with human features and fangs chewing on tarot cards. The creature is surrounded by skulls and crossbones, serpents and more skulls. Stare at it while tipping a few back.917Tip it or skip it?
Like many of their peers, Chicago-based post-metal rockers hooked up with 3 Floyds for their custom beer. The Indiana brewers celebrated the band’s textural, climactic music with the a black India pale ale called Immutable Dusk, named after a track on Pelican’s 2013 album Forever Becoming. It’s a little unclear if the label art depicts an angry looking undead, gray fleshy creature or odd elephant with a small trunk raised in the air. No matter. Says the brewer: “This Cascadian Immutable Dusk-style ale is as unwavering in its dark and beguiling flavor as its namesake.” The hearty 7% ABV is a healthy start.613Tip it or skip it?