Back in the mid ’80s, long before every outdoor structure was skateboard-proofed, a bunch of California skate punks turned the urban landscape into their own skate park. This was the birth of street skating, where everything from concrete walls to empty pools to parking medians were fair game for pulling off some sick move. This wasn’t about extreme air or McTwists, it was about total creativity. You saw a staircase railing or concrete bench or whatever and you figured out a way to pull a trick off it.
What does this have to with craft beer or extreme music? Well, it goes a little something like this: Back in the day, one of the street skating masters went by the very metal name of Natas Kaupas. Dude didn’t look like a metalhead, but that name was killer. And it was his given name. Even though he grew up in Santa Monica, CA (aka Dogtown), he was of Lithuanian descent, and apparently naming your child “Natas” is a-OK in that culture.
And the craft beer connection is this: Three years ago, DC Brau and Stillwater Artisanal Ales collaborated on a brew called NATAS, which was a tribute to one of the skate heroes of their youth. This was a “Belgian-style Imperial Porter” (whatever the hell that is) and they have decided to bring it back. It’s currently available for growler fills at DC Brau and should be available in cans in the DC area as you read this.
Here’s a sample of Natas’ incredible skills. The soundtrack isn’t exactly extreme, but the skateboarding is.