Rock It: Bands’ newest collaboration is branding booze

Posted on November 13, 2013

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Rock It: Bands’ newest collaboration is branding booze

By Rachael Mattice

Bands of all makes and genres are promoting a different kind of side project – producing and branding beer and other alcohol.

One could say heavy metal and beer complement one another, a natural pairing stemming from Viking-style drinking wherever heavy music takes influence.

British metal veterans Iron Maiden recently announced the release of the upscale English ale “The Trooper,” named for their popular song. Many others have looked to booze branding to earn more income and support the activity adored by fans 21 and over.

Many American bands and breweries also have hopped on the bandwagon. Munster, Ind., houses Three Floyds Brewing, which is known to partner with heavy metal bands.

As easy as it may sound to support your favorite band through a winery or brewing company, it is often difficult to order the specific vintages, lagers and liquors. Band popularity alone usually sells out the product, and it’s usually given higher pricing that keeps average drinkers away.

Each country and state has its own shipping and selling restrictions; Indiana is among the most difficult, not allowing shipment of outside alcohol into the state.

If overcoming these obstacles is not too ambitious for a fan like you, make sure to purchase extra for your collection. Here are a few groups that have indulged their dense, rich and sometimes acquired taste in music with their own adult beverages.

* Iron Maiden – “The Trooper” is set to be on shelves in early May. Crafted at Robinsons Brewery, the ale is described as having “malt flavors and critic notes from a blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops that dominate the deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon.” Iron Maiden also has “Eddie’s Evil Brew,” a Chilean Merlot available only in Europe.

Three Floyds makes at least three heavy metal brews in addition to hosting a drinking carnival day – Dark Lord Day. Two of them include:

* Municipal Waste – “Toxic Revolution Stout Ale” – The signature oatmeal stout is a described as a “black liquid wall of death in your mouth.” Its release was announced last week for regular distribution.

* Pig Destroyer – “Permanent Funeral Pale Ale” – “The wolf inside this pale ale is trying to walk upright,” Three Floyds wrote of its newest release, which it calls a “bright and aromatic beer.”

* Tool/Puscifer/A Perfect Circle – Caduceus Cellars – Frontman Maynard James Keenan set out with his company Caduceus Cellars to produce a multitude of wines in an Arizona vineyard. Though his wines are produced in the United States, they are tediously challenging to land in your own hands, coming from personal experience. Cauceus is releasing its 2011 Caduceus le Cortigiane ONESTE, a 50/50 blend of Barbera & Merlot from Luna County, N.M., this weekend.

* AC/DC – “AC/DC Premium German Lager” – According to the promotional material, the 5 percent alcohol by volume lager is “brewed in accordance with the rock ‘n’ roll manifesto of 1973 and the German purity law of 1516.” AC/DC also has “Thunderstruck” chardonnay and “Highway to Hell” Cabernet Sauvignon, all unavailable in America.

* Corrosion of Conformity – “Corrosion of Conformity Imperial Porter” – After making aggressive punk music for more than 31 years, the Raleigh, N.C., band decided to up the ante with Georgia-based Burnt Hickory Brewery to produce a rum-barrel-aged imperial raisin porter. The beer has technically been out for a few months but is extremely limited, even in Georgia. Fans can try the porter at the brewery itself.

* Motörhead – “Bastards Lager” – Motörhead’s lager is brewed in Sweden. It contains a smooth 4.7 percent ABV, but is available only for the Swedish market. The band’s Shiraz and rose wines and vodka are available only in Europe as well.

* Slayer – “Reign in Blood Wine” – As expected, one of the founding big four of thrash coughed up a dark 2010 California Cabernet Sauvignon with the title that matches one of the supreme heavy metal albums of all time. It is another one you can buy only in Europe.

* Clutch – “Lips of Faith Dark Sour Ale” – This is a New Belgium dark and heavy blend that is 80 percent stout and 20 percent dark sour wood with a 9 percent ABV. This is probably one of the only alcohol choices available in Indiana outside of Three Floyds. D&R Market in Lafayette carries Lips of Faith Vivant, but not the band’s signature ale.

* Sepultura – “Sepultura Weizen” – A joint effort between Bushido Brazil and Germany’s Bamberg, the Bavarian-style wheat beer is said to be surprisingly light for such a heavy band. The packaging resembles a Marshall amp with the band’s spiked “S” logo. There is no word if the Brazilians’ beer will hit the U.S.

* Marilyn Manson – “Mansinthe” – The eccentric star famously advertises his love for absinthe, so he marketed his own from Switzerland’s Tempus Fugit Spirits. The nearest distributor, bar or restaurant that sells the absinthe is in Illinois.

* Pearl Jam – “Faithfull Ale” This is a limited edition ale for the band’s 20th anniversary and its debut album “Ten.” The Belgian-style golden ale is hopped to 20 IBUs, 7 percent ABV and “fruit-forward from 10 incremental additions of black currants over a one-hour broil.” The closest location to the maker’s Dogfish ALe Craft Brewery beer is in Illinois.

All from Wines that Rock with the Mendocino Wine Company backing them, these can be ordered online, but not to Indiana.

* The Rolling Stones – “Forty Licks” merlot

* Grateful Dead – “Steal Your Face” red wine blend

* Pink Floyd – “Dark Side of the Moon” cabernet sauvignon

* The Police – “Synchronicity” red wine blend

Mattice is a producer at the Journal & Courier. She can be reached at rmattice@jconline.com.

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Posted in: "Rock It" Column