With the new digital age seeming to take more and more out of a rock bands earning potential, many are looking into new ways to make money – I think business people call it ‘diversifying income streams’, or something.
Strangely enough, one of the most popular ‘extra-curricular’ activities for bands at the minute is to put their name to a beer. Whether this is a purely synergistic marketing decision (the majority of a rock bands audience could easily be lumped into the ‘likes-his-beer’ category), or a conscious rejection of new-fangled technology in favour of something a bit more traditional and tangible, is up for debate.
Whatever the reason, custom beers are becoming a must-have accessory for rock bands – and below I’ve listed the top 10 rock band beers currently on the market, listed in a purely democratic alphabetic format….
AC/DC – Australian Hard Rock
Legendary rock band AC/DC partnered with German brewery Karlsberg for premium beer ‘Australian Hard Rock’ (5%). The beer is available in cans as well as a 5 litre keg, and the label design is inspired by the bands 2008 album ‘Black Ice’. Here’s how the band describe the beer:
“This lager fires up your tongue like TNT, comes with a great beer-loving taste and is brewed in accordance with the Rock`n Roll manifesto of 1973 and the German purity law of 1516.”
Ed Harcourt – Dark Heart
Brewer Signature Brew describe Dark Heart as a “a big 6.8% punch of brooding, smoky, oaken flavours – not a beer for the faint of heart.” Just 1,000 limited edition bottles of Dark Heart were brewed, so it’s become a bit of a collector’s item in the world of rock band beers.
Here’s a video Signature Brew put together about the brewing process with Ed:
Elbow – Charge
The newest beer on this particular block is Elbow’s Charge beer, brewed by Marston’s to mark the release of Elbow’s new album ‘The Take Off And Landing Of Everything’ (it’s named after one of the albums tracks).
Elbow frontman Guy Garvey said of the beer:
“With the help of the good people at Marston’s we’ve created a craft beer with a spicy American feel that still retains the class of a traditional British real ale. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the album.”
Frank Turner – Believe
Signature Brew’s second entry on this list comes with Believe, a 4.8% traditional wheat beer made in association with singer-songwriter Frank Turner. Apparently Believe “has a crispness that will refresh and subtleties to engage the palate”.
Watch the accompanying video below:
Iron Maiden – Trooper
A list of beers by rock bands wouldn’t be complete without Iron Maiden, whose frontman Bruce Dickinson is known as a real ale aficionado. Trooper is brewed by Cheshire-based brewery Robinson’s and is named after the Maiden’s 1983 single ‘The Trooper’.
Mastodon – Black Tongue
Hard rock titans Mastodon have typically gone big with their entry to the rock beer pantheon, creating an 8.3% headbanger with those guys at Signature Brew. As is the way of Signature Brew, they’ve got a video to go with it:
Motorhead – Bastard
A beer by Motorhead called Bastard has to be included purely on the basis that it’s by Motorhead and it’s called Bastard! This 4.7% lager is brewed by Swedish brewery Kronleins and is named after Motorhead’s 1993 album of the same name. The bottle also carries the name of Motorhead’s 1980 EP ‘Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers’.
Reverend and the Makers – American Brown
Sheffield band Reverend and the Makers have a home brew in their ranks in the shape of guitarist Ed Cosens, and this is their second custom brew with Thornbridge. American Brown features caramel and chocolate flavours mixed with Thornbridge’s own trademark fruity bitterness. They describe it as “incredibly drinkable” beer – which is good!
Status Quo – Piledriver
Like Iron Maiden, Status Quo are a band that seem to already be synonymous with ale. Piledriver is a new beer made in association with Wychwood to celebrate the Quo’s reissue of their 1972 album of the same name. Piledriver is a classic English ale with a “bold fruity hop character”.
Super Furry Animals – Fuzzy Logic
Fans of the Welsh rockers will recognise this beer is named after their 1996 debut album. Fuzzy Logic is aptly referred to as a ‘psychedelic wild Welsh beer’ and at 8.5% APV it packs a decent punch.
It is brewed by Celtic Experience Brewery and only available in select pubs in Wales and London.