California traditional metallers (and recent Decibel cover stars) Haunt and veteran Baltimore craft brewery heroes Oliver Brewing Co. have teamed up on a beer inspired by the title track of Haunt’s latest LP, Mind Freeze. The limited edition 9% ABV double IPA collaboration will debut at dBMBF Philly on April 3-4 at the Fillmore, and we caught up with Oliver head brewer Steve Jones to talk collaborating with metal bands, our Metal & Beer Fests and extra special bitters.
What’s the secret to a good collaboration (you’ve done so many great ones)?
Steve Jones: “I don’t think there’s a “secret” to a good collaboration, it’s just driven by a love of music and a respect for the artist. I can scarcely believe that so many incredible bands that I love have got on board with the collaborations that we’ve done at Oliver Brewing Co. and have allowed us to represent them on a beer can! These are the bands that drive and inspire me personally so of course I want to represent them as best I can. I can’t even describe the feeling I get when I see the can art come together, as we speak we’re putting the finishing touches to the Haunt collaboration and I’m texting with [Haunt founder/frontman] Trevor [William Church] about it and it blows my mind! I’m gonna be cranking Mind Freeze out on my drive home as I often do!”
How is dBMBF different than other beer fests? What kind of feedback have you gotten from fans at these events?
Jones: “dBMBF is the pinnacle of beer fests, as far as I’m concerned. I say it all the time, beer and rock and roll is what it’s all about and this festival is all that and more! The metal scene has a real sense of community about it as does the craft brewing scene so it’s a natural fit. Also, there are too many venues with a piss poor beer selection of beer so being able to sample beers from such an incredible list of breweries while watching some of the best bands in the scene is priceless.”
One of the other breweries is brining an ESB (extra special bitter), which is cool. Oliver knows pub ales in and out — why aren’t more people working with those styles?
Jones: “I would kill to bring an ESB so you can bet I’ll be seeking that out as soon as I get there! Unfortunately, for me at least, the craft beer scene is very much customer/sales driven these days and the customer in the larger craft beer market is not seeking an English ale such as an ESB, it’s a really niche market for a beer of that type. You therefore have to be big enough that you can brew whatever the fuck you want because your reputation carries it or you have to be able to have the support in the market for niche products because if you make the liquid, you have to sell it!”
If you wanna sample Midnight, you’d better get moving, because the “Metal & Beer” ticket option that entitles attendees to pours from all 19 breweries at the festival, is down to just 30 single-day passes and all two-day passes are sold out! Don’t abstain—get your tickets below!
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