AC/DC just announced two signature beers, and the beer-loving community couldn’t be happier. Angus Young may smoke like a chimney, but not a single drop of alcohol has ever passed his lips… which is more than you can say for a lot of AC/DC fans. Fortunately, Angus’s personal feelings about the demon drink haven’t stopped the Aussie rock legends from dabbling in some very lucrative beverage ventures over the years. First, there was AC/DC Premium Lager Beer in 2013, and now there are two new craft brews to get excited over. Here’s what you need to know.
If You Wanna Rock Hard, You Need the Right Beer…
…. Or at least, that’s what the advertising slogan said when AC/DC released their first line of beers back in 2013. The first beverage to bear the AC/DC name was a 4,8% alc German Premium Lager. Like Angus Young, the new beer was pint-sized, containing just 568ml in total. Still, the best things sometimes come in small packages, and if AC/DC are to be believed, AC/DC beer is a great thing indeed, as capable of rocking your tastebuds as the band is of rocking your eardrums. According to the strapline, the lager “fires up your tongue like TNT, comes with a great beer-loving taste and is brewed in accordance with the Rock ‘n’ Roll manifesto of 1973 and the German purity law of 1516.” Hyperbole aside, it’s gone down pretty well with fans of bands and beer, with reviewers on beeradvocate.com giving it a respectable 73 percent approval rating.
Rock or Bust
Two years after their inaugural lagers were unleashed on the world, AC/DC were treating us to some new flavors with Rock or Bust Premium Lager. Available in a choice of big cans or mini-kegs, the beer draws its name from the band’s 16th studio album, its purity from the ancient German regulation “Reinheitsgebot,” and its malty taste from its fine combination of fermented corns and grains. Described by those who know about these kinds of things as “easy to drink” with a “crisp softness” and a “good head,” it’s proved just as popular as its predecessor.
The New Brews
If you’ve been hankering after a new brew, you’re in luck. This July, AC/DC unveiled the latest addition to their range – a duo of IPAs inspired by the 1976 album High Voltage and their newest record, Power Up. With an APV of 6,66 and 8,2 percent respectively, the lagers come with plenty of kick. The first, the PWR Up Juicy IPA (6.66%), is said to blend “the tropical hop punch of hazy IPAs with the balance of West Coast IPAs.” In case you haven’t got a degree in gibberish to hand, that basically means it tastes good. The combination of Australian Galaxy Hops and American Citra Hop combine to bring a fruity mix of “bright passionfruit, ripe peaches, and juicy mandarin” to the party. There are also elements of “new school vibes” and “old school cool” to wrap your lips around. Just how you do that is something you’ll need to ask the marketing department, but the flavor’s big, the head is good, and you’ll be on the floor after one too many…. which, when all’s said and done, is all we can ask of any beer. The second beer of the duo is the TNT Double IPA (8.2%). Described as a “modern take on a classic style,” its smooth, malty taste is achieved by blending Australian Cascade, American Cascade, and Simcoe. Aside from tasting like, well, beer, it’s also said to pack a big, fruity punch, with overtones of fresh pine (yep, it has a flavor), grapefruit, and sweet mango. According to The Music Universe, both beers (which are sustainably and specially crafted, natch) will be presented in 16 oz collector’s edition AC/DC cans and sold exclusively through the Reyes Distribution network to retail partners such as Raley’s and WholeFoods. Online ordering will also be available, depending on state legislation, but you’ll have to wait a while before international ordering becomes possible. The release date is currently pegged for mid-September and for once, no one’s expecting any COVID-related postponements.
Believe it or not, AC/DC doesn’t brew its beers in the band member’s basements. Instead, they get Calicraft Beverage Company to do it for them. It’s obviously something they’re pleased as punch to help out with. “Over the years, we’ve stood for collaborations that go beyond beer. As music enthusiasts, we could not be more excited to work with some of the most influential and groundbreaking musicians in history,” Calicraft Beverage Co’s CEO Blaine Landberg said in a statement. “Great music and great beer – there is no better pairing!” Joining them in the endeavor is KnuckleBonz, creators and manufacturers of officially licensed, high-end popular music collectibles. Speaking about the collaboration, KnuckleBonz’s CEO Tony Simerman said “We are beyond excited to be collaborating on a new line of craft beers for music superfans. Many of the bands we’ve worked with will be coming to the new beverage line. There’s not a better band than AC/DC to kick this off.”
The only thing that goes better with rock than roll is alcohol, at least judging by the armies of bands and solo artists that have got into the beverage game over the past few years. According to BeerAdvocate, the trend kicked off in 2011 when New Belgium Brewing Company teamed up with hard rock band Clutch for a collaboration. Fast forward to today, and the list of beers that have either been inspired by bands or developed in tandem with them is endless. The Descendents, Megadeth, Deftones, Iron Maiden, British Sea Power, KISS, 311, Motorhead, Millencolin, The Motet, Kid Rock, and Stereophonics have all put their name to a bottle. Not all have done it successfully, but some have done it better than others. According to loudwire.com, the ‘crown jewel’ of all metal and rock beers is Pig Destroyer’s ‘Permanent Funeral.’ Let’s see if AC/DC manages to topple their crown.