The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2012, No. 10: Bands, brewers team up for music-themed beers
(Through the end of the year on Soundcheck, we're counting down some of the top local music stories of 2013.)
In just a few short years, Tampa has become as hot a craft beer destination as any place in the country, thanks to the advent of award-winning breweries like Cigar City, Cold Storage, Rapp and Cycle Brewing. That beer craze has benefitted local musicians, as breweries have begun partnering with local, regional and national bands on several noteworthy beers.
In May, St. Petersburg's Rock Brothers Brewing announced a partnership with Cigar City and Bradenton's Have Gun, Will Travel to create High Road Ale, a beer so popular it won a National Grand Championship at the United State Beer Tasting Competition.
Rock Brothers, Cigar City and Green Bench Brewing followed that up with Nare Sugar Brown, a collaboration with JJ Grey and Mofro. Grey himself played an acoustic set at MacDinton's in St. Petersburg to mark the release of the brown ale.
This summer, Cigar City and Port Richey homebrewer Rob Chalmers teamed up with Virginia shock-metal outfit Gwar on Gwar Beer; Gwar frontman Oderus Urungus himself came down for the release party.
"A lot of bands are starting to do their own beer, lots of bands have done their own wines, there's even some bands that have done their own liquors, and of course you know that GWAR is always motivated by wanting to be cool," Urungus told tbt*. "But basically, what we get out of it is all the free beer we can drink forever — not that that wasn't the case before."
And then in December, Cigar City launcheed Alexander and the Grapes Double IPA, brewed with muscadine grapes. The Tampa band even released a 7-inch to commemorate the collaboration.
Rock Brothers isn't slowing down; they eventually hope to launch band-themed beers in every state. Cigar City, which has done limited releases themed around Tropical Heatwave and the Skatepark of Tampa, always seems to be on the lookout for local institutions to honor. And let's not forget Dunedin Brewery, a venerable music venue in its own right, which produces a Dropkick Murphys beer and a fabled beer named for a defunct musical group, Leonard Croon's Old Mean Stout.
So this could just be the start of something big on the local beer and music scenes.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*