Advanced Cicerone Adam Zuniga of @SixMostMetalBreweries lists the seasonal goods that bridge the worlds of craft beer, metal music, and the spookiest time of the year.
It’s the most wonderful time of year – Halloween – and while our favorite pagan occasion might look a bit different for 2020, there’s no shortage of craft beers to drink through the hole in your homemade ghost costume. Beer is the perfect social or anti-social beverage, so here’s a list of the ten most rock and metal inspired breweries to pair with horror flicks six feet under in the basement or six feet apart at the neighbor’s backyard party. No tricks, just treats arranged from lowest to highest alcohol content because we need you lucid at the start of All Hallows’ Eve…
Unibroue x Megadeth – À Tout Le Monde Saison, 4.5% ABV (Canada)
Lest we forget live music, Megadeth performed Youthanasia on its 25th anniversary for Halloween 2019, including this beer’s namesake song À Tout Le Monde. Saison means ‘season’ but as the lightest, most sessionable brew in Unibroue’s lineup, À Tout Le Monde is offered year-round as a gift from The North. If you prefer grapes for wrath, Dave also has House of Mustaine vineyards, and with a new Megadeth album on the horizon, we defy you to find a better costume than Vic Rattlehead.
Wayfinder Beer – Terrifica Italian Style Horror Pilsner, 4.7% ABV (Oregon)
If the witches from Suspiria had a taste for German Noble hops instead of virgins, it would be this beer; think light golden body with spicy aromatics and you get the picture. A collaboration between the unholy trinity of Wayfinder Beer, Heater Allen and Modern Times in Portland, OR. And not to get political but voted one of the best beers in America by Bloomberg News. Like Wayfinder always says, maybe partying will help.
Kings County Brewers Collective – Marble Of Doom Blackberry Pomegranate Sour, 5.5% ABV (New York City)
Doom Metal never looked so colorful, like Black Sabbath meets Deep Purple (see what I did there?). Pours blood red, tastes better than beer flavored gushers with a sweet, tart and satisfying finish. If you’re not an acid head or prefer bitter to sour, KCBC also resurrected Nightmare On Troutman Street Red IPA at 6.66% ABV. They will even deliver to your door while celebrating Halloween in NYC. Again, no tricks just treats.
Wake Brewing – Crossbreaker Hazy India Pale Ale, 7% ABV (Illinois)
Rest in Power, Riley Gale. To commemorate the life and death of Power Trip’s frontman, Wake Brewing is releasing Crossbreaker Hazy IPA on Halloween day and donating part of the proceeds to www.dallashopecharities.org. With notes of grapefruit and pine, Wake makes a hazy IPA that still tastes like beer rather than smoothies or unfiltered fruit juice, and to quote Riley’s lyrics, Crossbreaker is the pain reliever.
Belching Beaver Brewery x Deftones – Phantom Bride India Pale Ale, 7.1% ABV (California)
The west is the best given Deftones roots in California with Belching Beaver. Phantom Bride is a West Coast IPA named for the song from Gore with Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops; classically bitter, brilliantly clear and perfectly balanced like a guitar solo by Jerry Cantrell. If you prefer a full album rather than a single, try to find the last of Belching Beaver’s limited release with Deftones dubbed White Pony IPA.
3 Floyds Brewing x Amon Amarth – Sköll Imperial Porter, 8.5% ABV (Indiana)
Beer for berserkers inspired by Amon Amarth’s most recent album and one of the closing tracks Sköll and Hati. Sköll is an Imperial Porter named for a mythical wolf, aged on oak chips with honey (nectar of the Gods), cocoa nibs (food of the Gods) as well as guajillo and chipotle peppers (wrath of the Gods). In other words, Viking Metal. Best paired with 3 Floyds Hati Hazy IPA to complete their collaboration with the band.
Author’s Note: You’re now six beers deep, if you need a shot, we recommend Evil Twin Rye Whisky from Anthrax and Hillrock Estate Distillery. Scott Ian isn’t sober anymore, keep up!
Brash Brewing – PeanvtBvtterWolf Imperial Milk Stout, 9% ABV (Texas)
If you’re like me, you throw most Halloween candy away just to get to the peanut butter cups. Try the big bad Wvlf instead – Brash makes PeanvtBvtterWvlf Imperial Stout with lactose milk sugar and 2.5 pounds of peanut butter in every keg you drink. The result is what they call a palate wrecker, enough temptation to make all the religious protesters outside Brashland Headquarters in Houston say can’t we all jvst get along?
Soundgrowler Brewing – Plague of The Locusts Brett Beer, 9% ABV (Illinois)
Another plague is upon us, and thankfully, it’s better than Corona. Brettanomyces is a strain of yeast that ferments more sugar than regular ale yeast, yielding a bone dry beer and aromas like a haunted barnhouse. With Plague of The Locusts, Soundgrowler ages their brett beer in port wine barrels with fresh blackberries for a lush and tangy finish. Drink this with the Al Pastor from their taco window and behold, a miracle!
Nightmare Brewing – Crucifixion Double India Pale Ale, 10.6% ABV (New York)
Nightmare is the brainchild of brewer Billy Powell, a dungeon master with encyclopedic knowledge of torture and talent for making Double IPA as drinkable as standard IPA. Watch out. Crucifixion is named for the gladiator uprising in Ancient Rome and a style of torture later popularized by another Superstar. As such, it’s brewed with a mix of citrus and tropical hops as well as communion wafers in the grain bill. No gods, no masters.
Adroit Theory Brewing – Dia de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, 13.7% ABV (Virginia)
For the first time, Adroit Theory is canning one of their biggest, blackest, booziest beers to celebrate Day of the Dead. Historically, Imperial Stout was brewed to higher strength in order to survive the voyage to Russia but now Adroit Theory will ship to you wherever possible. Tastes like all the flavors in life we love to death; dark chocolate, roasted coffee and burnt caramel. Note the label art and story highly reminiscent of The Crow circa 1994. In fact, I once made a beer parody of The Crow with Adroit Theory. Don’t believe me? Youtube and Vimeo never lie…
Want more metal beers to drink for Friday the 13th in November? Send us your pics, recs and
Adam Zuniga is an Advanced Cicerone® and creator @sixmostmetalbreweries