Beer Cranked to 11: A Field Guide to Music-Inspired Brews

From Professor Green's signature ale to a German lager built for heavy metal, these beers truly rock.

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  • The Brewer's Art Ozzy. Brewer's Art, a cultish brewpub in Baltimore, dedicated this Belgian-style pale ale to rock legend Ozzy Osbourne. The brew has a "world-class" rating from Beer Advocate's Alstrom Brothers, and you can buy it in 750ml bottles. (Photo:
  • Mahrs Bräu Mastadon Lager. Perhaps one of the most pedigreed music-beer collabos yet, this unfiltered lager was custom-made by Mahrs, a centuries-old brewery in Bamberg. It marked the release of The Hunter album by heavy-metal band Mastadon. (Photo:
  • Stillwater Sensory Series. Gypsy brewer Brian Strumke is teaming up with musicians for this high-concept brew series. The first release is a collaboration with the Baltimore band Lower Dens, inspired by their track "In the End Is the Beginning." (Photo:
  • Dogfish Head Positive Contact. Another ground-breaking release from the Dogfish camp, the concept for this slightly sour Belgian-style ale—brewed with Fuji apple cider, cayenne, and cilantro—came out of discussions with producer Dan the Automato. It was released in a box set with a 10-inch vinyl EP of four new Deltron 3030 remixes, plus pairing recipes from the likes of Mario Batali. (Photo:
  • Lost Abbey Box Set Series. For each month in 2012, this Calfornia brewery released a limited-edition beer "inspired by classic rock anthems invoking Heaven and Hell." Track #5, whose label is pictured here, was a sour-cherry homage to Motley Crüe’s "Shout at the Devil." (Photo:
  • Sepultura Weizen The heavy-metal band Sepultura is getting ready to celebrate 25 years of shredding with this special-edition wheat beer, brewed by Bamberg Bier. (Photo:
  • Motorhead's Bastard Lager. This is surely a money-making scheme, especially given the prior release of Motorhead Shiraz, but we'd still love a bottle as a collector's item. (Photo:
  • Pearl Jam Twenty Faithfull Ale. As part of its ongoing music-beer series, Dogfish Head crafted this blackcurrant-infused Belgian ale for the 20th anniversary of the Pearl Jam album Ten. It was hopped to 20 IBUs (a measure of bitterness) and included 10 additions of black currants. (Photo:
  • Professor Green's Remedy. The U.K. rapper teamed up with Signature Brew—a company devoted to exploring music-inspired beer collabos—to create a British ale, released to coincide with his single, "The Remedy." (Photo:
  • AC/DC Beer. By most accounts, this branded German pilsner is pretty middling, but don't pretend you wouldn't love to clutch one of these tallboys while headbanging to "Helle's Belles." (Photo:
  • Flying Monkeys BNL. Ontario brewery Flying Monkeys teamed up with local heroes the Barenaked Ladies to make this imperial chocolate stout, released last fall to coincide with the band's “Symphony Barenaked” tour. (Photo:
  • Sugar Hill Golden Ale. This brand is an ode to musical heritage of Harlem. Though it's currently contract-brewed, founder Harlem Brewing Co. founder Celeste Beatty is working on opening a fully operational brewery and tasting room in the neighborhood. (Photo:

Beer and music—clearly two of life’s twin pleasures, but how much more awesome is it when the brew you’re drinking actually connects to the tunes on the speakers?

That’s the idea behind the burgeoning trend of music-inspired ales and lagers, from Sepultura’s brand-new weizen to Lost Abbey’s barrel-aged odes to classic rock anthems.

Dogfish Head has been a trailblazer in the genre, crafting quaffable homages to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and bluesman Robert Johnson. But these days, more and more artists and breweries are spearheading projects that combine beer and music in interesting ways.

Click through the gallery above to see 12 of the coolest music-beer mashups.


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