Original header image: Sam Moqadam on Unsplash
You know some have their own planes, but did you know there are bands with their own beer? (And at least one have both – looking at you Bruce). We haven’t tried any of the brews on this list, but we would LOVE to (tap takeover, anyone?). Most of these beers are out of production or have very specific locales of availability, but we found it fascinating to research and find out which styles of beer our favourite bands have chosen for their brews.
This list is made up of beers created deliberately in limited batches (Foo Town, Pearl Jam), with some beers more or less in permanent production (Megadeth and Iron Maiden). The others are beers that are not committing either way – dipping gingerly into the business of brewing. Some of these beers have already failed in the tough brew scene.
We’ve looked up the beer ratings on Untappd and have included them in brackets after each beer name. The highest-rated beer on this list is the Cigar City American IPA brewed for Killswitch Engage, and the lowest is the Swedish lager made for KISS.
12 bands with their own beer
Karlsberg Rock or Bust Premium Lager (3.59/5)
This premium lager was brewed by German brewery Karlsberg (not to be confused with Danish brewing company Carlsberg) in 2015 to support the AC/DC album Rock or Bust. It’s brewed according to Reinheitsgebot regulations (the German beer purity law of 1516) and comes in at 5% ABV. “German beer, Australian hard rock”, indeed.
Belching Beaver Brewery Ohms Pale Ale (3.75/5)
This January 2021 limited-edition, dry-hopped pale ale is named after Deftone’s album Ohms. It’s not the band’s first collaboration beer; previously, they did a limited-edition DDHIPA, a Mexican-style lager (a clean, drinkable lager similar to a Vienna but using maize in the grain bill) and a brown ale.
Belching Beaver Brewery Phantom Bride IPA (3.89/5)
Phantom Bride IPA is a West Coast-style IPA, so it’s crisp and dry rather than juicy, with strong citrus and American hop aromas. It was released in 2016 but is now a staple on the Belching Beaver website, obviously having had some success.
Young Henrys Foo Town Lager (3.34/5)
Foo Town was made to celebrate the Foo Fighters ninth studio album and “Concrete and Gold” tour Down Under in 2018. It’s an “Aussie lager made with American hops”, which makes us think it’s a strongly hopped lager. I guess we’ll never know because it was a single run of only 60,000 cans, so you won’t find it anywhere except probably in collectors’ locked cellars.
Coors Light American Light Lager 25th Anniversary Edition (2.4/5)
It’s no secret that Dave Grohl loves a Coors Light or two before his gigs, and Coors made it official with a can design to celebrate the Foo Fighters’ 25th-anniversary tour. It’s still an American light lager though, which means it’s a drink to drink when you don’t want to think about your drink.
Robinsons Brewery Trooper series: Trooper Strong Bitter (3.37/5), Red ‘N’ Black Porter (3.6/5), 666 Strong Bitter (3.5/5), Hallowed Belgian Dubbel (3.48/5), Sun and Steel Pilsner (3.33/5), Light Brigade Golden Ale (3.31/5), Fear of the Dark Stout (3.49/5), Session IPA (3.43/5), Day of the Dead Strong Bitter (3.55/5)
Bodebrown Trooper Brasil IPA (3.88/5)
Nomad Brewing Co. Trooper Aussie XPA (3.46/5)
Iron Maiden has a tonne of beers. The lead singer of the band, Englishman Bruce Dickinson, is an ale enthusiast, and the collaboration line named “Trooper” started in 2013 at Robinsons Brewery doing mainly malt-forward, English-style ales, but it has since expanded to include two other breweries outside the UK.
Nomad Brewing Co. in Australia is doing a Trooper XPA. What’s an XPA, you ask? It stands for “extra pale ale” and sits in the blurry area between pale ales and IPAs. We don’t think you could reliably pick it out of a line-up, but anything with an “X” in the name sounds cool.
Cigar City Brewing Alive or Just Brewing American IPA (4.02/5)
We weren’t sure whether to include this one because we don’t know the (Grammy-nominated) band – shame on us – but we do know the brewery, so it’s in! This strong, 7.6% American IPA was brewed to honour the 15th anniversary of the album Alive or Just Breathing and is the highest-rated beer on this page – one to put on the bucket list. Here’s hoping it’s still brewing (and that we know some of the tunes) by the time we get to the States to check it out.
Krönleins Bryggeri KISS Destroyer Lager (2.4/5)
This Swedish beer was brewed by Krönleins Bryggeri, marketed as “an easy-to-drink beer in the best German tradition”, and was available back in 2011 in Europe and Australia. It must still be around; it’s been recorded on Untappd as late as January 2022, but it’s not getting stellar scores from drinkers. We think the beer’s tagline – The Hottest Beer in the World – is not very well thought out. Not to worry though – see if you can pick up a bottle of KISS Cold Gin, the “world’s most rock ‘n’ roll gin”.
Mahrs Bräu The Hunter Kellerbier (3.71/5)
Signature Brew Black Tongue Double Black IPA (3.61/5)
Mikkeller Ancient Kingdom Czech Pilsner (3.34/5)
Mahr’s Bräu Kellerbier came first, circa 2012, as the head brewer is a rabid music fan and befriended the Mastodon band members (how does one even do that?). Then, the year after, the band teamed up with Signature Brews in London to create a black IPA. Ha! Yeah! is a black IPA made here in Hong Kong by Citibrew, if you’re looking to try one.
Now, Mastodon has a run of beers with Danish brewery Mikkeller, which makes awesome beers. They’ve recently opened their second bar in Shanghai (when are you coming to Hong Kong, guys?).
The Mikkeller series started in 2015 with Mastodon Mother Puncher, a farmhouse IPA with passion fruit. Then, in 2017, they released an imperial stout called Sultan’s Curse, which was brewed by Mikkeller at their San Diego brewery. Ancient Kingdom is the third in the series, a Czech Pilsner released in 2018.
Unibroue À Tout Le Monde Session Saison (3.65/5) and Saison 13 Saison (3.62/5)
Megadeth began their Belgian-style beer line with Unibroue in Quebec, Canada, back in 2016 with their 4.5% ABV Saison, and in 2019, they added a stronger and more hoppy version called Saison 13. A saison is an interesting choice – obviously a favourite beer style of the band. It’s very crisp and dry, highly carbonated and generally has a spicy yeast characteristic that may be an acquired taste.
When the band visited Hong Kong back in 2017, lead singer Dave Mustaine was spotted enjoying a beer at Hard Rock Cafe in Lan Kwai Fong! Oh, how we wish we were there to show him some spots to enjoy fresh local brews.
Arrogant Consortia Enter Night Pilsner (3.44/5)
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and the brewers from Arrogant Consortia (Stone Brewing) met in Copenhagen in 2018, and not long after, a collaboration was born. Lars is Danish, so of course the beer had to be a Pilsner, with the drinkable pale lager being the most popular beer in Denmark (in fact, Danish brewery Carlsberg was the first to breed a pure strain of lager yeast that was named Saccharomyces carlsbergensis). It’s a sneaky 5.7% ABV though, so if we ever get our hands on it, we will treat it with some respect in order not to fade to black…
Camerons Brewery Road Crew Session Pale Ale (3.28/5)
Ale Asylum Road Crew American Pale Ale (3.61/5)
Camerons Brewery in the UK teamed up with Motörhead in 2017 to create Road Crew, an American-style (hoppy) session (lower alcohol; this one is 4.5%) pale ale. It’s named after the song from the Ace of Spades album that was written as a tribute to the team of roadies who support the band.
There’s also a hopped, American version of the beer brewed by Ale Asylum, unveiled in 2020 to mark the 40th anniversary of Motörhead’s seminal album.
KettleHouse Brewing Co MPS Pool Ale (3.75/5)
In this collaboration last year, Pearl Jam teamed up with KettleHouse Brewing Co in Montana, USA, to release a limited-edition 5% American pale ale called MPS Pool Ale.
What’s a pool ale? Well, it’s not really a thing. This beer is called MPS Pool Ale because a portion of the proceeds is being donated to a charity called the Montana Pool Service (MPS), which was founded by one of the band members to fund skate parks in isolated communities – a worthy cause.
RnR Brew Ltd Queen Bohemian Lager (3.2/5)
This collaboration was widely reported in 2015 as a lager brewed in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Czech Republic (hence the Bohemian Rhapsody connection). It’s apparently brewed in the Czech Pilsner style – hoppy and golden, using soft water and elegant Saaz hops – with an ABV of 4.7%.
Curiously, the brewery RnR Brew Ltd does not have a website. All very interesting for such a big-ticket collaboration item…
Did we miss any big ones? Email us!
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