You may remember a few years back that a group who was a little bit folksy and a lot less than rock n’ roll launched their own craft beer called “Mmmhops.” That band was the sibling pop trio Hanson, who had contracted with Oklahoma based Mustang Brewing to lend their brand to the release sounding like their No.1 hit song.
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Contract craft brewing is on the rise in both the U.S. and Canada, and musicians with a taste for the better beer varieties have become more than just interested in that model. Since Hanson released Mmmhops in 2013, we have seen band and beer collaborations including Iron Maiden, Megadeth, NOFX, Bayside, The Lights Out, Jimmy Eat World and Reel Big Fish.
As it turns out, there may be a new band and beer collaboration in the works. I caught up with the Toronto based rockers Silverstein to learn about their recently released album Dead Reflection, and I discovered there was a whole other story brewing.
Dead Reflection is Silverstein’s eighth full-length record, and the band is currently playing selections from it on the Vans Warped Tour. I asked Silverstein guitarist, Josh Bradford, what the newest album means to the band.
“We’re so excited, we put together what I think is our best record,” said Bradford “We took a really long time before we even entered the studio, just tearing the songs apart and putting them back together, fine tuning every little element of them. It’s one of the most polished records we ever made.”
In the course of our conversation, Josh also let it out that he is a dead serious craft beer enthusiast. Even though he was seen downing Miller Light during a recent Warped Tour charity bowling tournament, don’t be fooled. When he’s touring, Bradford takes advantage of every opportunity to sample and experience the best craft beers from around the globe. He likes sharing what he tastes on Instagram, too.
While touring and enjoying beers in Copenhagen, Bradford posted “I’m starting to think Copenhagen is heaven.” One international beer he really enjoys drinking is Tyskie Gronie, a Euro Pale Lager from Poland.
During this year’s Warped Tour, Bradford became fast friends with Dave Witte, the drummer from Municipal Waste, while bonding over beers.
“He’s a beer guy so he’s always coming by. Us beer guys got to stick together,” said Bradford. “A lot of people like beer but don’t want to talk about beer. We have that connection going; it’s nice.”
Being a seventh time Vans Warped Tour veteran, Bradford makes himself comfortable in the lounge area behind their trailer and often enjoys a good craft beer after his set. But since life is all about balance, Bradford also enjoys a good workout while on tour.
“We are taking our fitness seriously; we have worked our every day since the beginning of this tour,” said Bradford. “We do kettle bells, it is once piece of equipment that doesn’t take up a lot of room and you can do a lot of different things with it.”
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Bradford’s favorite styles of beer include IPAs, funky barrel aged stouts, sours and Black IPAs.
“Bayside has a black IPA, which is actually one of my favorite styles [and] is often poorly executed,” said Bradford. “When it’s well done, it is one of my favorite styles of beer. Sometimes it doesn’t taste great because something went wrong during the brewing process; it’s tricky to dial in just right. I have not tried the Bayside one yet, but I would really like to. Basically, if it’s good we like it. If it tastes good it goes right down the hatch.”
Josh recently posted photos of Ontario’s Great Lakes Brewing Harry Porter, an American style porter with chocolate, espresso and a hint of smoke and Citraddiction XPA, an American Pale Ale hopped with Citra. Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast, an oatmeal stout flavored with chocolate and gourmet coffee is also one of his favorites, along with the ever classic Pliny the Elder Double IPA from Russian River Brewing Company.
Some beer and band collaborations have involved little input from the band, while other artists work hand in hand with brewers to create a beer that reflects the personality and sound of the band. Drinking beer and listening to music are both sensory experiences. Research even shows that there is a correlation between the areas of the brain that process sound and taste. Listening to a specific genre of music might enhance the taste of beer and vice versa. Since Silverstein is known for having heartfelt, emotionally driven lyrics, I would not expect anything less if they get to release their own beer.
With that said, it is official that Silverstein is highly interested in working with a brewery to create their own craft beer.
“Bands love beer; I think it makes sense to collaborate. Bands and beer, it’s like a hand and glove type of thing. I would love to collaborate with a brewery and do our own,” stated Bradford.
Hopefully in the near future you’ll be able to rock out to your favorite Silverstein album while drinking one of their beers. To make that more of a possibility, Brew Studs agreed to help facilitate the would be collaboration. So, if you’re a Canadian or American craft brewery who is interested in making a beer with Silverstein, fill out this form. A list of interested breweries will be submitted to the band for their consideration.
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“A lot of times we were just feeling things out as we recorded them. This allowed us to really get all the parts nailed down how we wanted them then we could focus on really good performances that have life to them and character to them, the best take. Something that makes you feel something. I feel something every time I listen to all these songs. We also tuned our guitars to a few different tunings that we never used before, some different sounds going on that are a little foreign to Silverstein,”