First released back in 2013, American Beauty is an American Pale Ale brewed with “granola and succulent wildflower honey which adds toasty, sweet notes to this hoppy ale.” The decision to use granola came after Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead “jointly reached out to their fan base with a call out for ingredient suggestions to incorporate into the recipe of the beer. Loyal dead heads and off-centered ale enthusiasts submitted more than 1500 ingredient suggestions, and after careful thought (and chuckles at some of the entries,) it was granola for the win.” American Beauty clocks in at 6.5% ABV “to commemorate the year the Grateful Dead was formed (1965).”
“After more than 50 years of performing in front of fans all over the world, folks remain fiercely loyal to the Grateful Dead due to the organically imaginative, creative and accessible culture they nurture across all artistic platforms,” said Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head. “We, at Dogfish, are inspired by their music, along with their unprecedented ability to bridge long-lasting, meaningful connections with fans for decades on end. We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Dead for a second iteration of American Beauty and hope fans of free-spirited music and independent beer will join in welcoming back this classic pale ale.”
American Beauty is rolling out this month and has plans to hang around through 2019. You can expect to find this “Occasional” Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Delaware and throughout the rest of Dogfish Head’s distribution area. Prost!
Vital Information for American Beauty (2019) from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Release – Limited/Occasional, December 2018 – December 2019 Style – American Pale Ale ABV – 6.5% Added Ingredients – Granola & wildflower honey Fun Fact #1 – “In addition to the beer release, Dogfish Head will be working with the official Grateful Dead archivist, David Lemieux, who curates and produces a series of rare and highly sought-after live Grateful Dead shows, known as “Dave’s Picks.” Dogfish Head will partner with Lemieux on a number of projects, including an immersive storytelling experience at their Rehoboth and Milton properties in early February.”
Fun Fact #2 – On the name of the beer: “This synergetic union brings fans a pale ale that shares a name with the popular 1970 Grateful Dead album, American Beauty, featuring hits like ‘Friend of the Devil,’ ‘Sugar Magnolia,’ and ‘Truckin.’” Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles Beer Finder – https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/fishfinder
Stone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced the nationwide release of Societe / Stone The Skedaddler IPA, a draft-only collaboration with Societe Brewing Company(San Diego, California)that represents both breweries’ commitment to freshness and independence.
On a mission to prove that “draft is the ultimate experience when it comes to hop-driven beers”, Stone Brewing’s Senior Innovation Brewing Manager Jeremy Moynier reached out to the folks at Societe Brewing Company – another of “San Diego’s foremost IPA cult favorites” – to see if they would be interested in “brewing a collaboration beer that would be shipped across the country exclusively in kegs.” They jumped at the chance and representatives from Stone and Societe “started down the long, temperature-controlled road” to brew Societe / Stone The Skedaddler IPA (7% ABV). Boasting a hop bill that features varietals from all over the world, this “massively hopped” West Coast IPA “is full-bodied yet dry on the finish, with vibrant citrus, stone fruit and tropical flavors on the palate; just what a craft-beer fan would expect from two companies renowned for their IPA prowess.”
“We consider Stone trailblazers of the craft-beer revolution. Their vision was so in line with ours that, in the early days of Societe, we reached out to them and they were kind enough to provide some useful advice that helped shape our company,” says Societe co-founder Doug Constantiner. “It was such an honor for Stone to ask us to brew a collaboration beer with them.”
“Independence is always in our battle cry, each year we release a draft-only beer in the summer months that reinforces our steadfast commitment,” said Stone CEO Dominic Engels. “Societe is the perfect partner for this occasion. The team maintains incredible allegiance to its fans and its dedication to delivering only the freshest beers. Like us, they’ll never sacrifice quality. Independence is our mutual guarantee to fans that these moral beliefs will never be compromised.”
Kegs of Societe / Stone The Skedaddler IPA are rolling out across the country this week and will hang around until the 4th of July holiday. You can expect to find this Special Release pouring on draft at craft beer-focused bars, restaurants and growler/crowler stations located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution footprint. Prost!
Vital Information for Societe / Stone The Skedaddler IPA from Stone Brewing & Societe Brewing Company
Release – Limited/Special, June 2 – July 4, 2018 Style – India Pale Ale (West Coast style) ABV – 7% IBUs – 70 Featured Hops – Mosaic®, Idaho 7, Galaxy, Citra, Magnum, Mosaic, Ella & Southern Cross Social Media Tag – #SkedaddlerIPA Availability – Draft Only Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready
Highland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially teamed up with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to create a special collaboration beer, Half Yüszch Pilsner, that will be featured at the band’s sold out May 11 tour stop at the iconic Asheville brewery.
Brewed as an homage to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ yüszch – or usual – tradition where they drink a beer and take a shot, Half Yüszch (a.k.a. the beer half) is a Limited Release Czech-style Pilsner that has Weyermann Pilsner malt supplying “a clean and elegant mouthfeel, while Saaz hops contribute mild earthy, floral, and herbaceous aromas.” Clocking in at a “crisp and crushable” 4.5% ABV, Half Yüszch promises to be the perfect pairing for “an evening of restless and soulful music.”
Half Yüszch is a brewery-only release that will be available in 12 oz. cans and on draft during the sold-out Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats show at Highland Brewing on May 11, and also on draft at the band’s sold-out shows in Charlotte, N.C. (May 8) and Raleigh, N.C (May 9). If you were unable to land tickets for those concerts, Highland Brewing has also scheduled a listening party of Tearing at the Seams, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ newly released album, on Thursday, May 10. Half Yüszch will be available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at the listening party as well.
More than just an awesome collaboration, Half Yüszch also has a charitable cause as “$1 from each beer sold will support The Marigold Project, a foundation established by Nathaniel Rateliff to address issues of economic and social justice.”
For those keeping score at home, Half Yüszch basically serves as a junction that unites damn good beer and music with a great cause . . . and you simply cannot go wrong with that combo. Be sure to check out this Limited Release if you have the chance. Prost!
Vital Information for Half Yüszch from Highland Brewing and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Release – Limited; May 10 & May 11, 2018 at Highland Brewing Style – Czech-style Pilsner ABV – 4.5% Featured Malts – Weyermann Pilsner Featured Hops – Saaz Fun Fact – On the label artwork: Highland Brewing “worked with local poster artist Drew Findley with Subject Matter Studio for the can graphics.” Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft Distribution – None, brewery-only release
Written and compiled to act as “the ultimate listening party guide”, Booze and Vinyl was born from André and Tenaya Darlington’s memories of time spent “[flipping] records on their father’s Thorens turntable, surrounded by jovial guests and the warm glow of the amp.” The siblings – now food and drinks journalists – have recreated those feelings and experiences in this book by using eye-catching colors, striking photography, and gorgeous graphic design to showcase 70 iconic albums from the 1930’s through 2000’s alongside delicious cocktail recipes that properly convey the mood of the music.
The chapters of Booze and Vinyl are broken down into four genres/moods: “Rock”, “Dance”, “Chill” and “Seduce”. Each album then goes on to serve as its own mini-chapter with informative areas such as “Liner Notes”, trivia-laden background info on each artist/album (did you know Led Zeppelin’s IV “was recorded in a Victorian mansion where the band took breaks to roam the grounds with cups of tea in hand”?), and the “When to Spin” and “Before You Drop the Needle” sections that help you plan the perfect get-together.
Each album is then matched with two cocktail recipes, cleverly dubbed Side A and Side B. These cocktail pairings range from the more-than-obvious – such as Gin and Juice with Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle or a Brass Monkey with the Beastie Boys’ License to Ill – to the imaginative yet wildly appropriate – think a lavender-colored Fallen Angel with Prince’s Purple Rain or a Long Happiness to pair with Björk’s “Violently Happy” from Debut. Whether it was a band member’s favorite drink, references or originated in the band’s hometown, or just speaks to the overall soul of the band/album/song, it is quite clear that each cocktail pairing was laboriously thought out to ensure that it would enhance the drinker’s experience while enjoying the featured album.
Once you get beyond the beautifully arranged album and cocktail pairings that make up the bulk of the book, you begin to notice some subtly placed how-to and instructional sections meant to help you hone your skills as a host and at-home bartender. The authors throw in a handful of food recipes to enhance a few of the featured albums and corresponding cocktails – like Punk Rock Tea Party Sandwiches that you can put together while listening to Blondie’s Parallel Lines. Readers can also find a separate index that helps them easily track down two and three ingredient drinks, tips on “How to Host a Boozy Listening Party”, advice on “How to Host a Whiskey Tasting”, and a short final chapter that helps novice bartenders better understand things like working with eggs in cocktails, making simple syrup, and creating large batches of cocktails for a crowd. To put it simply, if a reader is left confused or has a question about a recipe in Booze and Vinyl, the book is set up so that he or she can find the needed answers somewhere in those pages. Every consideration has been made and there is no googling required.
All of that is well and good, but you do not really know much about a book of this sort until you put it to the test. Since everyone in this office tends to be in the mood for “Rock”, we thumbed over to that chapter, broke out our copy of Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses, mixed up some Rattle Skulls and held an impromptu listening party to do just that (recipe below is quoted directly from Booze and Vinyl):
A popular colonial drink that packs a wallop, this cocktail comes straight at you from revolutionary times to help woo that sweet child. Why chase your beer with a shot when you can just have them together? That’s the early-American logic of this drink that is hard to refute. Try it over ice or without — the taste is similar to a Cuba Libre (rum and Coke).
1 1/2 ounces rum or brandy (We went with some Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce brown sugar syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
Add ingredients to a chilled beer mug and stir.
The often shunned combination of beer and liquor nicely parallels the reckless reputation that Guns N’ Roses earned in the late ’80s, but the Rattle Skull comes together to produce a cohesive, nuanced experience that has stood the test of time . . . just like Appetite for Destruction. The added lime juice brings out Night Swim Porter’s citrusy hops while the Brown Honey Rum accentuates the beer’s more malty and roasty notes. Just as the recipe mentioned, the Rattle Skull comes across as a more balanced and dynamic Cuba Libre. This cocktail makes for the perfect drink to enjoy as you scream the lyrics to “My Michelle” (Track 7) or groove along to “You’re Crazy” (Track 10).
With that incredibly fun experience under our belts, we can now confidently declare that Booze and Vinyl is a cocktail guide that goes well beyond any previous experiences you may have had with cocktail recipe books. It takes the sometimes intimidating art of bartending and makes it incredibly accessible by relating it to something we all love: music. If a recipe proves challenging, the music – because you know it will be playing in the background – is always there to either draw out that calming, centering breath or pump you up with the confidence needed to totally crush one hell of a cocktail party. This unique attribute makes Booze and Vinyl much more than just another coffee table book. It can be read cover to cover or used as a quick reference guide for bartenders of varying experience levels. Beyond that, this book arms its reader with a wealth of cocktail/listening party ideas that can be employed during a casual Friday night in with friends or in planning full-blown theme parties. Just pick a genre or artist, stock the bar and fridge, fire up the turntable, and you are set. Above all, this book mirrors the joy that music provides by putting a smile on your face, conjuring up memories of the past, and offering you the fuel to make some new ones. It doesn’t get much better than that. Prost!