Music and beer. There is something mystical about both of them. Savored and reviewed by connoisseurs and idiots alike, beer and music have been a plausible pair since before the dawn of man. Here is a list of my favorite beer and song combos.
Southern Tier’s “Choklat”/David Bazan’s “Heavy Breath”
This is a Blackwater Series Imperial Chocolate Stout and it is fucking great. This is hands down one of the best stouts I have ever had. It’s a rich beer you’ll want to savor every last drop of. It has caramel malt, barley flakes and even bittersweet Belgian chocolate. I paired it with “Heavy Breath” for a few reasons. This song is one of my favorites off of “Curse Your Branches”, an album with dense lyrical concepts about religion and the existence of God. This song opens with bass, melotron strings and tambourine setting the bed for a harmonized electric guitar lead. It’s beautiful and hopeful. This here is a perfect pair for a snowy winters eve in the city.
Peekskill Brewery’s “Eastern Standard” / Good Old War’s “Window”
The Peekskill Brewery was home to me up until recently when I moved to Astoria. It was where I developed a love affair with craft beer. Early on I had no idea how spoiled I was having the filet mignon of craft breweries in my back yard. “Eastern Standard” is PB’s house IPA. This beer will stop you in your tracks. It’s super flavorful and loaded with Simco and Citra hops grown at Carpenter Ranches in Granger, WA. It’s one of only three market beers that the brewery distributes. It clocks in at 6.8% ABV, which is slightly more boozy for a session brew but no one’s complaining. I paired it up with Good Old War’s “Window” off of the record “Only Way To Be Alone” because within seconds of the track you’re hooked. Plan for the first day of spring: Step 1: Get yourself a hammock. Step 2: Pick up a growler of Eastern Standard. Step 3: Listen to Good Old War’s “Only Way To Be Alone”. You’re welcome.
Maine Beer Company’s “Mean Old Tom” / Sharon Van Etten’s “Give Out”
Ahhhh “Mean Old Tom”, one of my favorites. It’s an American style stout aged on organic vanilla beans. It’s light and easy to drink with hints of roasted coffee, maple and mocha. I had it for the first time at Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME while touring in the dead of winter last year. Our two-tone blue 1985 Dodge Ram 250 broke down after our show at The Empire and so we spent a few days in Portland. That winter I was really into Sharon Van Etten’s “Epic”. Lately I can’t stop playing “Give Out” off of her 2012 record “Tramp”. There’s something oddly familiar and comforting about this record yet it’s completely her own. Her lyrics are potent and relatable. These are gems. Get into it.
Captain Lawrence – “Smoked Porter” / Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s – “Coonskin Cap”
Located in Elmsford, NY Captain Lawrence Brewery has amazing beer, great grub and an outdoor picnic area complete with bocce ball. I’ve been enjoying their “Smoked Porter” for a long time now. It’s fairly smoky, a little sweet and finishes really strong. These subtle notes of caramel linger on your tongue and keep you coming back. I paired this beer with “Coonskin Cap” because they were both instant classics. Most Margot records took me a few listens to get super into but “Cookskin Cap” off the Rot Gut Domestic record stood out to me right away. It’s charming, accessible and has it’s own Margot eccentricities that make it Margot. Every album they’ve put out is different and brilliant front to back.
Singlecut Beersmiths’ – “Bon” TNT Pale Ale / Paul Simon’s – “Graceland”
This mouthwatering pearl of a beer is a dry-hopped Pale Ale made with Aussie and New Zealand hops. The first time I walked into Singlecut, It was the end of last summer and I was with one of my best friends. We sat down with our beers and the bartender started spinning Paul Simon’s “Graceland” on vinyl. I grew up listening to that record and I get super nostalgic when I hear it. It brings me right back to the passenger seat of my father’s car red Jeep Wrangler. A few minutes later my buddy asked me to be his best man. It was a swell day.
Side Saddle is folk-pop artist, Ian McGuinness, who is gearing up to release a debut EP titled, ‘The Postcard.’ The EP drops March 25, and in the meantime, you can check out Side Saddle’s new single “Don’t Wait For Him” below, and purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.
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