What’s the connection between craft beer and metal? We hear this question a lot. Well, specifically, we are asked this question a lot since our craft beer book, The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers, was published last November. For people who aren’t necessarily into both things, it’s hard to see the commonalities. On the most basic, simplistic level, it’s pretty much just a shared aesthetic. That is, the interest in something that is marginalized and on the fringes. Though there are more than 2500 craft breweries of varying sizes across the U.S. the amount of beer they sell pales in comparison to what what the mega-conglomerate brewers sell. And there’s (relatively speaking) an equivalently large number of metal bands doing their thing in the shadow of the mainstream music industry and its platinum sales. There are obviously many other forms of music that are also marginalized, but for some reason, craft beer seems to resonate with a growing number of metalheads.
Long digression aside, here we have a direct connection between the two. Original Trouble drummer, Jeff “Oly” Olson, who for the last several years has worked for Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine, has brewed a very special beer that is just about to be released. This beer, called Red Howes, is a big, 8.5% ABV imperial stout brewed with an impressive amount of cranberries and it will be available in bottles only at the Allagash brewery this Saturday, January 25, starting at 9 am. Doors open at 8 am, but you can’t purchase it until 9. Not only will Oly be on hand for a meet and greet, he’ll be performing “a set list from the music of Trouble, [and his current projects] The Skull, Victor Griffin’s In-Graved, and Retro Grave,” starting at 10 am.
Though Olson isn’t a brewer at Allagash, Red Howes is his creation and he had a hand in every step of the process (see video below). Additionally, the beer’s name is a tribute to his grandfather, a cranberry grower from Massachusetts. If you’re in New England and you want to meet a true metal legend and purchase very special, rare beer, get yourself to Allagash Brewing (50 Industrial Way, Portland, Maine 04103). You can see for yourself the connection between craft beer and metal.
And if you can’t make it to the brewery this Saturday, Allagash assures us that Red Howes will be “distributed nationwide on draft.” Olson will also be doing a meet and greet March 1 in New York City at Idle Hands Bar, from 8 pm to 11 pm, where Red Howes will be available on draft only.