What craft beer lover doesn’t enjoy a good bottle share? And what’s a bottle share without tunes? I’m about to take your share to a whole new level with… Beer and music pairings!
Invite some friends over for a lazy Sunday, pop a few bottles, and kick back! This playlist goes everywhere and so do the beers. So get ready to rock your share with a rollercoaster of tunes and flavors! Don’t worry, you don’t have to rush to finish each beer before the songs over – I’ve included a couple of filler songs to keep you in the groove as you mull over each brew.
Before you start your bottle share, make sure that everyone has water readily available (to clear your palate between beers and stay hydrated!) Your body will thank you for drinking water alongside your beers in the morning! Also, bring plain crackers (also to cleanse your palate), plenty of tasting glasses (in case you need a few more minutes with a beer and your buddies are ready for the next bottle), and a dump bucket/spit cup (for beers that aren’t meshing with your palate or if you want to only taste the brews). All ready? Hit play and let the party start!
Pairing #1: Poppin’ Bottles
Start the share off with FloRida’s “My House” – it’s inviting and a groover. Perfect to set the tone for a fun day on your porch with your buds! FloRida raps about poppin’ champagne, but we’re beer nerds and fancy bombers are our champagne! Pair “My House” with a brut beer such as Deus Brut des Flandres from Brouwerji Bosteels. What’s a brut beer you ask? These beers are carbonated and bottle conditioned using the méthode champenoise, which is the same process a bottle of champagne would go through. This means it undergoes “riddling” and “disgorging” to carbonate the beer. Ever wonder why champagne seems to have endless bubbles? Now you know! Riddling is the process of slowly working the yeast to the cap of the bottle over the course of a few months. When the yeast has settled on the cap, it’s frozen with dry ice into a plug. The bottle is then uncapped, releasing the frozen yeast plug with force from the carbonation. The bottle is then topped off with more of the same liquid, cork and caged, and left alone for a few more weeks to finish maturing. Don’t want to spring for a brut beer? Opt for a light saison, such as The Bruery’s Saison Rue; or maybe a spritzy cider, such as Argus Cidery’s 2014 Vintage Stellar Varietal or their Ciderkin.
Continue enjoying your brut and/or fancy beer to:
Oasis – “Champagne Supernova”
Chris Rock – “No Sex”
Well! After that bit from Chris Rock, I’m sure you’re ready for another beer! haha – let’s keep this party groovin’:
Pairing #2: CollaBEERations
This next pairing is all about comradery and collaboration. Don’t you just love it when two of your favorite artists come together to make an awesome song? Me, too! I also get that warm, fuzzy feeling of friendship when breweries work together. Collaboration beers are most often one-off brews and/or seasonal; so I’ll make a few suggestions of some that can be probably be found now in DFW: Rahr & Sons/Funkwerks 287, Jolly Pumpkin/Leelanau/Evil Twin/Mikkeller’s Hamajang, or Epic/Crooked Stave’s 2014 Elder Brett (yes, you can still find this in the Texas market – can you say “best shelf turd ever”?!) Sometimes breweries will pair with distillers, coffee roasters, farmers, etc. to produce unique flavors in their brews – Rahr & Sons and Abita both pair with local coffee roasters to produce Iron Joe (Avoca Coffee) and Bourbon Street Imperial Coffee Stout (PJ’s Coffee) respectively, and Adelbert’s pairs with Treaty Oaks Distillery for the gin barrels used to age their yearly Contemplating Waterloo vintages. Some of these brews will be harder to find because of their limited quantity, but if your local bottle shop is up to snuff, they’ll have at least one rad collaboration to hook you up with. Try your bottle with the following songs – if you find more than one collaboration you want to try, there are lots of backup tunes with this pairing:
“Nobody Speak” – DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels
“This Is The Way I Live” – Baby Boy Da Prince ft. Lil Boosie
“Doin’ It Right” – Daft Punk ft. Panda Bear (this album is loaded with featured artists if you need a little more time to enjoy your collab brew! “Instant Crush”, “Get Lucky”, and “Lose Yourself to Dance” are all phenomenal.)
Dark Side of the Moon – The Flaming Lips (this entire album is one big collaboration from the nature of the album itself as a cover of the famous Pink Floyd record, and every song on the album has featured artists. It’s awesome!)
Pairing #3: Hometown Love
For a few years now, Martin House has released a beer named after songs written by Fort Worth’s own, The Toadies, in conjunction with a concert/beer release at their brewery. This year, they’ve out done themselves—at the concert on June 26th, they released two beers. That’s right, two new Martin House beers! Hooray! The beers are named for the song “Hell Below/Stars Above”. Hell Below is a strong, black ale, while Stars Above is a refreshing sour ale brewed with raspberries. These contrasting styles can be enjoyed separately or mixed together to create an entirely different flavor. So I guess technically we’re getting three new Martin House beers!
Below are a few of The Toadies’ songs to enjoy this new release to:
“Hell Below / Stars Above”
“I Come From The Water”
Pairing #4: The French Connection
What’s better than sipping on Prairie’s Vous Français? Listening to French pop along with it! This brew from Prairie is named for the bacteria added to give it tart, lightly phenolic flavors—brettanomyces bruxellensis and is mainly utilized by a handful of French winemakers (otherwise it is considered a major flaw in wine), hence the name!
Enjoy this brew with some French pop:
Yelle – “Je Veux Te Voir”
Booba – “Validée”
M83 – “Do It, Try It” (M83 has lots of songs that are great jammers – try “Go!” and “Midnight City” if you need a little longer with that Prairie!)
Pairing #5: Local Favorites
Well folks, this is the time in the bottle share where decisions must be made. The proverbial road is forking and you’ve got to choose your own adventure… to shotgun or not to shotgun? Haha! The following songs and brews are local favorites and if you’re like me, you’ve got a lot! The Texas beer scene is exploding and we are lucky to be witness to such an exciting time in beer! I have paired an artist and beer from the three corners of the Golden Triangle – choose your favorite or chug all three, it’s up to you!
Leon Bridges – “Coming Home” with The Collective Brewing Project’s Urban Funkhouse
Tum Tum – “Caprice Music” with Community’s Mosaic IPA
Neon Indian – “Deadbeat Summer” with Audacity’s Sunset
Pairing #6: Love at First Sip
We all have that one beer that turned the lightbulb on — that made us smile and think, “Whoa, beer can taste like that?” For me, it was Harpoon IPA. When I was barely 21, I was taken to Lucky Lou’s off Fry St. in Denton for their weekly pint night. At the time, I was a strict Bud Ice and Boone’s Farm kind of gal and was skeptical of my friends’ eager demeanors as they put a pint of light amber liquid in a glass with flowers printed on it into my hands. I took a sip – it was ok. My friends urged me to take a few more sips — that it would grow on me… I still just wasn’t getting it. Why would I want to drink something that tastes so bitter? Feeling somewhat vexed, I sat back in the booth and began to ponder the flowers surrounding the brand’s logo on the glass… and it hit me like a ton of bricks. This beer wasn’t supposed to have the cloying sweetness of Bud Ice – it’s sweetness was balanced by a bitter flavor that tastes like, like…hmm… like – flowers!! I took another sip, the lightbulb that had just been flicked on in my mind exploded and suddenly, my palate had been opened to a whole new array of flavors. Makes me tear up thinking about that epiphany! Anyway, this pairing is about the beer that stopped you in your tracks, made you question everything you thought you knew about drinking, and fall in love with craft beer. For me, it was Harpoon IPA – what beer was it for you? Share this beer and your story with your friends – hell, ask them to bring a bottle of the brew that gave them their epiphany and share their story, too. Below, I’ve given a few songs about love at first sight for background music as y’all tell the stories of how you fell in love with craft beer!
The Monkees – “I’m a Believer”
The Doors – “Hello, I Love You”
Ronan Keating – “When You Say Nothing At All”
Pairing #7: The 90s Are Alive and Well
There are only a handful of breweries that survived when the craft beer bubble burst in the 90s – New Belgium is one of the few. Their flagship brand, Fat Tire, is still a crowd pleaser and wonderful example of its style. To celebrate their 25th year of Fat Tire production, New Belgium partnered with 5 badass breweries across the country – Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, ME), Avery Brewing (Boulder, CO), Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA), Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR) and Rhinegeist Brewery (Cincinnati, OH) – for the project. Pick up this 12pk if you can find it (I offer it as a 6pk at The Sleepy Panther), or celebrate with Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, Anchor Steam Beer, or Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, and Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA are all great examples as well. The songs paired with these brews are ones that, like these iconic brands, have stood the test of time… well, at least for this girl who never quite left the 90s! I couldn’t choose just three, so sit back and show those OG brews some love!
TLC – “Waterfalls”
Nirvana – “Smells like Teen Spirit”
Sunshine – “LEN”
The Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
Chumbawamba – “Tubthumpin”
Lauryn Hill – “Doo-Wop (That Thing)”
Madonna – “Vogue”
The Verve – “Bitersweet Symphony”
Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy”
Pairing #8: Experimental
Experimentation is a huge part of both brewing and music. Classic techniques are always valued in both, but it is often experimentation that sets you apart from the crowd in these crafts. Below, I’ve chosen three quintessential experimental rock songs to pair with Firestone Walker’s Luponic Distortion. Luponic Distortion has a pretty cool back story in my opinion. Firestone’s brewmaster and my brewing hero, Matt Brynildson, has made amazing hop contacts over the years. So much so, that he has his finger on what experimental hops are coming out before they even have a name! Matt takes 6 experimental hop varietals and uses them to make a completely unique flavor for each batch of Luponic Distortion. This brew will change every three months to a new recipe – Batch 001 is out now, but Batch 002 is slated to drop before the end of summer. Maybe if you’re lucky, you can snag both and check out how Matt’s recipe has changed!
CAN – “Oh Yeah”
Sonic Youth – “Bull In The Heather”
Jimi Hendrix – “My Friend”
Paring #9: That Diggity Dank
Ever had an IPA whose flavor took your mind back to sneaking J’s with your buddies behind the bleachers? Yeah, me neither, haha – but, if you have ever had a dank and resinous IPA, you know what flavor I’m talking about. When you describe a beer as “dank,” you are tasting some of the similarities between hops and its cousin, cannabis. In an ode to this beautiful hop flavor, I’m suggesting pairing Six Point’s Resin, Independence’s Stash, or Cedar Creek’s Dankasaurus with these quintessential reggae hits:
Bob Marley – “One Love”
Peter Tosh – “Legalize It”
Michael Franti & Spearhead ft. Cherine Anderson – “Say Hey (I Love You)”
Last Pairing: Turnt Up!
You’ve been groovin’ and sippin’ all afternoon and the time has come to give your liver a break! Don’t let the party fizzle – grab one last easy-drinking light lager with your buds while they wait for their Ubers. Pick your favorite (my personal go-to’s are Rahr & Sons’ Blonde and Community’s Texas Helles) and jam out with your buds out for just a little longer. I’ve added some hip-hop for y’all to dance around to and act like the drunken fools you probably are at this point:
Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
DeJ Loaf ft. Big Sean – “Back Up”
DJ K ft. Young Thug – “Free Gucci”
Schoolboy Q – “Man of the Year”
M.I.A. – “Y.A.L.A.”
Run The Jewels ft. Zack De La Rocha – “Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck)”
Joey Bada$$ – “Piece of Mind”
Earl Sweatshirt – “Chum”
I hope this playlist helps you to create a fun atmosphere to try some new brews and that you learn just a little bit about your palate – Cheers!