While visiting Atlanta to promote his new liqueur, Purple Haze (a violet-hued beverage fused with exotic berries, vodka, and Cognac), Cali music legend DJ Quik swung by the world-renowned beer bar, The Porter, to taste some brews with our Southern suds correspondent, Ale Sharpton.
Quik’s foray into the craft-beer realm shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the multi-platinum artist/producer knows no boundaries, teaming up with everyone from Jay Z, to Tupac Shakur, to Whitney Houston. We figured his palette would be just as broad as his musical tastes, which is why we asked Quik to compare the character of a handful of select beers to producers and emcees he respects.
The man’s observations didn’t disappoint. The complexity of one barrel-aged stout had him reminiscing about Biggie, while another floral lambic brought up memories of Marvin Gaye. Quik was throughly impressed: “This is some grown-up shit!” Here, Ale and Quik talk shop about seasonal brews, Miles Davis, and the unbeatable combo of Eminem and Dre.
Lindemans Kriek Lambic
DJ Quik: “Ooh, it comes with a cork? Baller, baller! If my mom knew I was down here drinking beer, she would be like, ‘Son, bring me back some of that shit!’ Okay, it looks like champagne and the taste is…wow! Like a champagne and fruit mix—sweet and super crisp. This is like an everyday drinking beer.”
Ale: “Yep. We’d call it ‘sessionable’ due to the light alcohol.”
DJ Quik: “Let’s pick a producer first: We are going sweet, unassuming, yet goes hard at the end, so Quincy Jones because he started doing jazz first. As for an artist, Marvin Gaye, because it is super sweet, floral, smooth. If he was here, he would dig this too. This is dope.”
Creature Comforts Tropicália IPA
From: Athens, GA
DJ Quik: “West Coast is the IPA king, right? I just don’t know much about them. [After a spirited Ale Sharpton breakdown, Quik gets to tasting.] It’s cool; stronger than what we had before, effervescent, and more traditional to what I would think a beer would taste like. I love how fresh it is in a can. I got fancy beer in my mouth man! It’s aggressive and still extra smooth, so this is Eminem. The producer is Dre because they go together; it’s hard and soft at the same time.”
Starr Hill Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter
From: Charlottesville, VA
DJ Quik: “Ooh! This looks like a dark stout. It doesn’t taste like it looks though; it looks strong but it’s actually super subtle. I get squash. That’s wild. This is definitely something I have been missing out on with all these flavors. It tastes seasonal. This is fall. Okay, this is Old Dirty Bastard—kinda gruff from the outside but soft in the middle. Pussycat-ass n****. He was a nice dude. On the producer side, Pete Rock. I worked with him. He makes cool, regimented beats that are straight hip-hop. This beer is like that.”
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin
From: Easton, PA
DJ Quik: “I love the color; like honey. I can drink this every day. This is like a white t-shirt. Hella floral, spicy…what spice is that?
Ale: “Good call. They have a gang of spices in this including cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and nutmeg.”
DJ Quik: “Ah! See, nutmeg. That’s the comfort-food spice. Man, we have a burger joint in Cali called In-N-Out and guess what they put in their burgers? Nutmeg for a subtle hook. Anyway, I get the spices first and then the pumpkin. It’s strong but I can drink it every day since I have a high tolerance. It’s like liquid gold. I want to pair this with someone I work with, so this reminds me of Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné! because he has a hidden complexity; he writes all the music and he is very complex. And as for a producer, since it has so much alcohol in it, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. [Quik goes on to tell how he was mesmerized during one of Grohl’s shows because Grohl was suspended over the audience playing a plexiglass guitar.]
Ale: “I am not surprised you are picking such a diverse lineup. You are a music genius yourself, so there it is.”
DJ Quik: “I appreciate that. For real.”
2012 Dogfish Head Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew
From: Milton, DE
DJ Quik: “Oh my god, look at this bottle! You had me at hello, Ale.”
Ale: “Yeah man, I knew you would bug out on this. I had to pull this out of the cellar for you. This is a 2012.”
DJ Quik: “This bottle is crazy. And 2012? So this is like a wine, huh? Wow. You don’t fuck around. And look at it—it’s like fucking oil, man! It’s sticky and everything. This is a beer? I never smelled anything like this. And the taste? It’s a lot. It’s like a bottle of the best p*ssy I ever had. What’s in it?”
Ale: “The chocolate and coffee flavor from the roasting of the grains is fused with honey and gesho root. Phenomenal.”
DJ Quik: “This is some grown-up shit, bro. This is Miles Davis, from his skin color right off the bat—he was a chocolate-toned cat. This is also everybody he worked with. This brew is jazz from artist to producer, man.”
SweetWater Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
From: Atlanta, GA
DJ Quik: “Another badass bottle. This is like beers I saw in Europe. And the taste? Whoa! This is definitely the strongest of the bunch. At the end I get that woody, oaky flavor. It took on the barrel perfectly. Reminds me of a bourbon. Wow. And I see what you are doing with the order of beers, Ale, because if I would have had this first, I couldn’t tell you shit about the other beers!”
Ale: “Right on. And this beer just came out as one of SweetWater’s Cork and Cage series of gangster beers. This is one of the best they’ve ever made.”
DJ Quik: “SweetWater, huh? This tastes like it would go with anything saucy, barbeque, and even chocolate. If I wanted to get fucked up and look good doing it, I would drink this. As an artist, this is [Notorious] B.I.G. No one is complex like this nowadays. Big, cacophonous. I don’t know who could produce [something] this rich. This is dark and heavy—Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards from Chic. Both of them together were light and dark, from the big bass on the bottom, to the guitar for the foamy head. This was an awesome experience man. At first I thought you were just going to have me drink a forty at your house. Ha!”