Beer and Metal: Pairings with the Meista
The Meista is the founder of Brews and Tunes, a metal-and-beer pairing blog. When we first met, we knew that we’d encountered a like-minded friend and that we’d get along awesomely. You see, the Meista loves beer, and we love beer. This can usually be enough of a foundation for a new, great kinship, but there was more to this relationship. If we can recall, he’d stopped over for a gathering of friends for a bottle share. In anticipation of trying some new, great brews, we arrived early. We had W.A.S.P. playing at the time, which of course got us talking about the almighty METAL. Beer and music go together, but beer and metal are almost meant to be—and that’s what we’re doing here! Now, of course, the Meista does the heavy lifting, and here we collaborate with one of Ogden’s most metal beer men!
Napalm Death’s Apex Predator – Easy Meat x Top Shelf IPA from UTOG Brewing Company
Apex Predator: The album is classic Napalm Death! A slow, mechanical churn opens this brutal, unforgiving, unapologetic and intense album. This brooding buildup quickly gives way to the fiery and vicious buzzsaw guitars and bass while guided by machine-gunfire blast beats. Lead singer Barney Greenway’s brutal growls surge through politically charged songs, barking on themes such as social injustice, capitalism, greed, violence, anger and seeking the ultimate truth, to name a few. Apex Predator – Easy Meat proves that ND are, once again, kings when it comes to grindcore!
Top Shelf IPA: 6.5% – This American Style India Pale Ale pours a clean, golden yellow with a frothy and firm, bright-white, two-finger-width head with great retention and lots of sticky, intricate lacing. Top Shelf emits aromas of grapefruit rind, orange and lemon zest, tangerine, freshly cut pineapple and mango. These fruity flavors are finely balanced by pine resin, fresh herbs, black tea and light toffee, killing it with flavors of pink grapefruit juice, orange, tangerine, pineapple, soft mango and melon, all while finishing with stone fruit, herbal tea, light pine, crackery biscuit and soft caramel. All of this is nicely delivered in a medium-bodied, modestly carbonated, juicy yet punchy, crisp, dry finish.
Overall pairing: Top Shelf IPA is characterized by citrusy crushability. This lure to consume is a preamble to its intensely hoppy and complex, malty flavors—all blending cyclonically, much like the fierce grindcore brutality of Napalm Death’s Apex Predator – Easy Meat!
Abbath’s Outstrider x Outer Darkness from Squatters Brewery (Utah Brewers Cooperative)
Season of Mist
Outstrider: The cold wind grazes the trees in opening track “Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane).” True to form and to the roots of Scandinavian metal, Abbath and his merry band of black metalists lay down eight tracks of harsh, fiery-fast, aggressive and blackened beauty. Both goosebump-inducing, eerie and supremely catchy, this black metal legend covers all the bases in the album’s lyrics with themes of war, death, desolate winter, mythology and, of course, paganism and Hell.
Outer Darkness Russian Imperial Stout: 10.5% – This traditional Russian Imperial Stout pours Satan’s hellish black with a thick and frothy, two-finger, dark-mocha head with retention sustaining as it sticks in layered lacing like rings in a tree stump. A larger amount of rings symbolizes the most wise or, likely, most inebriated. If you wonder what Outer Darkness smells like, close your eyes and welcome dark chocolate, sweet fruits like dates, prunes and figs all gathered up with fresh cream, marshmallow, burnt coffee and spiced rum. Like a strong cup of Colombian coffee, there are massive notes of dark chocolate and espresso paired with raisin and licorice root. This is all rounded out with alcohol notes of bourbon or cognac with a touch of smokiness. Outer Darkness is, overall, a low-carbonated, full-bodied brew with a lovely, creamy mouthfeel that finishes dry and boozy.
Overall pairing: Outer Darkness is a profoundly big and complex beer that demands not only attention and respect … but the black fucking metal of Outstrider. The boozy, rich and bitter flavors make it perfect for the infernal and dark styling of Abbath. The album’s cover art and bottle art are made for one another!
Sodom’s Partisan EP x Schwarzbier from Desert Edge Brewery
Partisan: Sodom are juggernauts! This EP packs in everything you love about this classic, German thrash metal band, featuring a blitzkrieg of four songs that are fast, aggressive and just angry as hell. Unlike the other two albums, there is no slow, ominous buildup—we get right to the massacre. The appropriately monikered Angelripper’s vocals are gripping and harsh while meshing perfectly with breakdowns led by fiery guitar work and Husky’s furious drumming. All of this, coupled with Angelripper’s thunderous bass, is the apotheosis of this classic thrash metal band! The lyrics focus on war, anger, hate, death, darkness, power, evil and violence.
Schwarzbier: 4.7% – This traditional, German-style beer pours a deep, dark ruby-brown (nearing black) with a creamy, light beige head with soapy lacing that clings to the glass. It showcases aromas of freshly baked multigrain bread, light coffee, hints of dark chocolate, light liquid smoke and soft caramel. This Desert Edge brew features flavors of dark-toasted, hearty bread, dark-roasted malts, walnut, light coffee, smoky oak and soft toffee. All of this is delivered in a medium-bodied and moderately carbonated brew; it’s toasty, smoky and crisp with a dry finish.
Overall pairing: This is that classic Sodom sound and, as such, requires a classic German schwarzbier! Angelripper’s harsh and gravelly vocals lend themselves well to the smokiness of the beer, while the meaty metal backbone is perfect with the maltier, toastier notes.
Hails and cheers!