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Beer – can you hear the music?

On 26/07/13 by Gareth Barrett

With Robinson’s new Trooper by Iron Maiden now selling out across the world, joining Elbow’s Build a Rocket Boys in their stable of brewing bands, the increasing interest in brewing and beer from the creative community only continues to grow. The recent production by the Growler Brewery of Gladness by Madness is yet another example of this creative partnership between artist and artisan.

In the UK, USA and Australia an eclectic collection of musical brewers from AC/DC to Pearl Jam, the Grateful Dead to Tony Hadley, even Hanson and Kid Rock have all produced beers which they helped to develop and firmly endorse. That these high profile celebrities not only back beer, but are prepared to attach their own carefully guarded public image to these brews adds a real reputational advantage to the sector.

Indeed it can certainly be argued that beer is now very much rock & roll. As the art and craft of brewing has taken a more central role in beer’s image, so the creative community have suddenly recognised that they want to be part of the movement.

The sector’s links with musical celebrities does have some historical precedent. In 1953 the Brewers Society (which is now the BBPA) hired ‘The Stargazers’, the first ever British band to get a number one single, to produce the track ‘Good Wholesome Beer’, as a B-side to their hit song ‘The Man with the Banjo.’ Slightly odd as that may seem, it was a ground breaking piece of marketing and brewers were looking at new ways to market beer even in the 1950s.

Times do change however, the developing image of beer becoming something more embracing, more a product of art and science. In the 1950s brewers sought out bands to make music that said something about beer. In the early 21st Century bands sought out brewers to make beers that said something about their music.

This dramatic flip tells us something - for those who enjoy a rich variety of music there’s a whole world of flavour out there in beer – and the two are very much complementary.


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