Day Block Brewing takes the relationship between music and beer one step further by making the musicians the brewers
It’s no secret that we at The Growler believe wholeheartedly that beer and music go hand in hand. So when we heard about the Bands That Brew series at Day Block Brewing Company, we wanted to know everything.
The series invites local bands with homebrewing experience—or at the very least a lot of enthusiasm for the brewing process—to create a beer in collaboration with Day Block to be released when the bands perform at the brewery. The idea came from Jared Blair, Day Block’s music curator and creative director. “It’s the perfect bridge between the worlds of music and beer,” says Blair, who worked as a bartender at Day Block before transitioning into his current position.
Blair is also a musician and worked as a manager at Pizza Luce in downtown Minneapolis as well as a liquor store in Minnetonka in past lives. He says all those things helped prepare him for building Bands that Brew to where it is now.
This month marks the series’ fourth installment. It took a while to find and coordinate bands for the first month or two, but as soon as word got out things fell into place. The rest of the year is booked out and bands are coming out of the woodwork asking to participate.
The process is simple: Bands meet with Day Block’s head brewer, currently Dan Banks, to talk about their musical style, favorite beers, and other important factors that may define the band. Once all that is out, a discussion takes place about what type of session beer might serve as a good complement to everything.
In May, for example, the band at the helm was The Federales, who bill themselves as “classic country for the modern world.” After sitting down with the Day Block team and discussing music styles, favorite summer beers, local ingredient options, and how they all combine, lead singer and guitarist Ben Miller says the group zeroed in on one of their songs for inspiration for their beer. The chorus of “Under Your Gun” is: I’m calling your name / Through the pines and through the fields / I’m under your gun / And underneath your wheels. That second line, “through the pines,” struck a note and led to the creation of The Federales Mild, an English mild ale infused with locally foraged pine growth.
This month, the band manning the fermentation tanks is The Lone Crows. The foursome—Tim Barbeau (vocals, guitar), Andy Battcher (bass), Joe Goff (drums), Julian Manzara (guitar)—has known each other since their teenage years and have played together for almost as long. When asked to define their sound, Tim, Andy, and Joe (Julian was not present for the interview) took turns piecing together this description: “funky blues rock with influences of jazz and R&B plus retro rock with thrash breakdowns and psychedelic stuff.”
They came up with a description for the beer they brewed, too: “Belvarian.” Turning to the actual brewer for a more thorough explanation, Banks explained that the beer will be a traditional German hefeweizen but with a “Belgian-yeast twist.”
Joe, the homebrewer of the bunch, says the beer choice came about for a couple reasons. One, he’s particularly fond of Belgian beers. But mostly, it boiled down to the fact that while on tour in Europe, the guys got the chance to taste what true Belgian and German beers tasted like—and fell for the styles. “We had a lot of really good beer in Germany and Belgium,” he says. “So this is the perfect fit for our band.”
The collaboration beer will be released at 5pm on show day, Friday, July 17, and remain on tap until the kegs run out. The Lone Crows take the stage at 10pm. See more from Day Block and The Lone Crows about their Bands that Brew collaboration in the video below.