Rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay. When Danny & the Juniors sang those lyrics back in 1958, rock was still new and no one could know how integral the medium would become. Rock is not only the soundtrack of the world, it’s inspired breweries to collaborate with musicians to create signature beers for bands carrying on the rock tradition.
Undoubtedly the most prolific brewery producing rock-inspired beers is Delaware’s Dogfish Head. Helmed by music lover and beer genius Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head has unleashed beers honoring such legends as Miles Davis (Bitches Brew), Pearl Jam (Faithfull Ale), The Grateful Dead (American Beauty) and, most recently, The Flaming Lips (Dragons & YumYums).
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne and Calagione united to create a beer and a song based on the dragonfruit and yumberry sour brew. The band is releasing the song on a special clear vinyl disc that’s actually filled with the beer-the release is on April 21-in recognition of Record Store Day. They’re producing only 100 discs-no doubt hotly sought by beer geeks, record collectors and Flaming Lips fans.
Another rock band that has a quaff with the same name is Iron Maiden. The Trooper, named for the band’s seminal song, is a traditional English ale from 180-year-old Robinsons Brewery, with the input of Iron Maiden’s singer, Bruce Dickinson.
“I’m a lifelong fan of traditional English ale,” said Dickinson on the brewery’s website. “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when we were asked to create our own beer. I have to say I was very nervous: Robinsons are the only people I’ve had to audition for in 30 years.”
Not to be outdone, Down Under band AC/DC lent their name and logo to Australian Hardrock, a German premium lager brewed under the mandate of the purity law of 1516. Originally a collaboration between the band and Germany-based food store ALDI, it’s now brewed by German brewery Karlsberg Brauerei.
Marketing juggernaut and rock mega-band KISS had its own beer, too. Brewed by Sweden’s Krönleins Bryggeri AB, Kiss Destroyer was a light European lager. The defunct beer got abysmal reviews and never really caught on.
Despite Freddie Mercury’s apparent love for Moët & Chandon, Queen partnered with British brewer RnR Brew Ltd. to produce Bohemian Lager, to mark the 40th anniversary of the much-loved “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The Czech-style hoppy lager was brewed in Pilsen, the heart of Bohemia, in keeping with the theme.
Even alt rockers Pixies have had a beer. The beer, Hey, was created as to accompany the exhibition “Where Is My Mind: The Work of Vaughan Oliver & the Pixies,” first shown at London’s Stephen Lawrence Gallery in 2016. Hey was a bottle-conditioned IPA brewed from a late-19th-century recipe; it’s been described as a lightly citrus, bitter ale with a very dry finish.
With all these beers based on songs and bands, any rock ‘n’ roll fan thirsting for a cold one will have little trouble finding something to tickle their fancies.