Go ahead punk, make my beer
First Posted: 3/6/2015
Collaboration efforts are quite common in the music industry, as well as the craft beer industry, so the combination of the two worlds seems like a no brainer. Many craft breweries have begun brewing beers with the collaboration of many beloved punk bands or have simply used their love for the genre to inspire some phenomenal beers.
While the idea may initially come across as a marketing ploy one sip of the beer and that idea quickly disappears. Neither the brewery nor the bands are interested in whoring their names out to make a quick buck, unless you’re Gene Simmons.
The collaborations and music inspired beers have been quite successful. Here is a short list of some great punk inspired beers that should be enjoyed:
1. Neshaminy Creek- Blitzkrieg Hops: The brewery’s latest DIPA release features a blitzkrieg of English malts and hops that find perfect balance with one another and leave a dry finish on the palate. The 9 percent ABV is well hidden in the notes of grapefruit, pine, citrus and crisp Maris Otter malts. The results make for an easy drinking DIPA that features artwork inspired by the Ramones donning wonderful hopheads.
2. Champion Brewing- Stickin’ In my IPA: A true collaboration beer between Champion and well known punk band NOFX. The name is inspired by the bands beloved song Sitckin’ in My Eye and the artwork most definitely fits perfectly alongside any NOFX record. The beer itself is a rye IPA with a hefty dosing of Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight hops that provide a wide hop spectrum in aroma and taste. Most definitely a dank IPA that hopheads and punks will love.
3. Cigar City- GWAR Beer Killsner: Certainly the most limited in availability of all the beers on this list, GWAR Beer Killsner from Cigar City is brewed each year to celebrate the always debauched GWAR B-Q in Richmond, Virginia. The beer is only available for a limited time in the area each year. This year’s brew was a 5.55 percent ABV American Pale Ale with strong tropical fruit notes within a veritable hop bouquet. Very well balanced and most certainly a collector’s item.
4. Neshaminy Creek- The Shape of Hops to Come: The highly influential Swedish band Refused released “The Shape of Punk to Come” in 1998 and forever changed the hardcore punk landscape. The Shape of Hops to Come seems to be doing much of the same in the DIPA category and has quickly become one of the most sought after beers on the market. The solid malt backbone is balanced against a hop onslaught of epic proportions but maintains an easy drinking quality and stacks up strong next to Heady Topper, Pliny the Elder, or any other hugely popular DIPA. The label artwork is also a take on the cover of Refused’s album artwork and makes this beer even more enjoyable.
5. Champion Brewing- Black Me Stout: Champion was not happy with just a collaboration beer with NOFX but also brewed a magnificent American Stout with Against Me! The collaboration led to a stout that is smooth, full-bodied and that lies somewhere between a dry stout and an imperial stout. Made with wheat and chocolate malt for low bitterness and round mouthfeel.
6. BrewDog- Punk IPA: While not necessarily inspired by punk music or a specific band, BrewDog’s ethos has always been in the punk aesthetic with a middle finger pointed toward many popular trends. Their Punk IPA was released in 2007 to much fanfare and the beer has garnered a loyal following ever since. The 5.6 percent ABV makes this an extremely easy drinking American IPA with strong hop presence that maintains great balance.
Punk has always been firmly rooted in the counterculture movement since its inception and the idea of becoming part of popular culture has always led to the dreaded “sellout” tag. However, the meeting of craft beer and punk seems far from “selling out” and instead seems a natural move for both to make. The results are beers that are delicious and make you want to put on some of your favorite punk records and party.