What Sweet Music Is This Beer?

Hanson made a beer. And the thing you think it’s called is actually its real name. I’ll give you a minute.

Yes. Mmmhops. It’s called Mmmhops.

I’m bugged by this. Not because I begrudge them success or because I’m critical of being a child act that’s still around. Hell, some of our best, brightest people survived the gauntlet of childhood fame (see: Wilson, Mara and Patrick Harris, Neil). No, I’m bugged by Hanson brewing a beer because it’s a preposterous combination of things. And you’ve gotta understand: as a writer, every time Nancy Reagan sits on Mr. T’s lap or Lance Bass considers becoming a Lass Basstronaut, I have one less over-the-top piece of hyperbole I can use to express my utter dismay at something. For instance:

“Discuss my crippling agoraphobia with my concerned family? Sure. I’ll get to that when Hanson starts marketing beer.”

So thanks, Hanson. You’ve made this Thanksgiving one for the ages, guys.

Seriously though, this beer could actually be A-OK. The name and tagline of the beer are, actually, “Mmmhops, from the guys that invented Mmmbop.” That’s pretty hysterical. And at least they’re going with a pale ale. For once, I’m going to update my outlook from “STRANGERS ARE OUT TO GET ME!” to “Cautiously Optimistic.”

But they’re not the only musicians to get into the beer game. Hell, beer and musicians go together like beer and musicians. So what other notable brews are borne of the spirit of catchy tunes? Here’s a flight for you to sample:

K.I.S.S. Destroyer

This picture could have been taken in any year from 1973 to 1983 or 1996 to yesterday.

This picture could have been taken in any year from 1973 to 1983 or 1996 to yesterday.

I should warn you that I have something of a bias against KISS., but just because they’re boring, old and depressing, and even at their peak, their music was bland platter of adult contemporary music, which was a complete misrepresentation of their silly demon makeup. And if that last sentence moves members of the KISS Army to battle, that’s fine. I’ve fought septuagenarians before. Won’t be my first rodeo.

Now then, let’s see what KISS has to say about their own line of beverages:


These show-stopping vintages capture the fierce style and flavor of KISS. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons sum it up in screaming style, “This stuff will set your taste buds on fire. If you love beer and wine, this one is for you.

Let’s go ahead and break this down one play at a time.

Looks like a 1991 lo-cal beer marketed to women.

Looks like a 1991 lo-cal beer marketed to women.

1) Can a beer be a vintage, or did KISS’s marketing intern just throw a fancy word on the latest embarrassment publicly condoned by a group of 60-year olds with cat makeup?

2) What exactly is the “fierce style and flavor of KISS”? Cold cream? Ageless mediocrity? Or does it just mean these overly marketed drinks deliver all the punch of a dribbly European shower* (*not a euphemism**)(**I think).

3) Ratebeer.com gives it a 45. Yes, out of 100.

4) “If you love beer and you love wine, this one is for you.” Count that again. “If you love these two things, you’ll love this one thing.”

5) Were they literally screaming this quote when they summed it up in screaming style? I’d absolutely watch a press conference where Gene Simmons screams “THIS STUFF WILL SET YOUR TASTE BUDS ON FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRE!”
*expensive fireworks explode*
*people are still hungry in 3rd world nations*

6) Setting one’s taste buds on fire is just about the least appealing sounding flavor in the world. That’s what happens when you drink corn mash liquor once you realize you’re out of beer, and the only option left is Uncle Gus’s “No-no” cabinet. “How does it taste?” “Augh! Like my taste buds are on fire!” “Oh my God, do you need a doctor?” “I don’t know! The flavor is so fierce! Blarghl!”

But, at the very least, you can’t purchase it in America. So there’s one for the good old US of A.

Our Alternative Punny Names: “Stout it Out Loud” or “Rock and Roll All Night and Double IPA.”


I love Motörhead, even though I don’t really have a right to. I mean, I LOVE Motörhead, but I really only know “Ace of Spades” and Lemmy and Lemmy’s mole – sorry, “beauty mark.” But, something i can get behind is “Bastards Lager,” because that’s probably a perfect name for a Motörhead beer. Funny enough, it looks like Bastards was brewed by Krönleins Bryggeri, which is both a crippling viking STD, and the name of the same Nordic profiteers what did the KISS beer. Now, it’d be presumptuous to assume that these guys are just slapping rock logos on crappy beer and raking in the caribou skulls, or whatever they use for currency up there, right? Right. I’m being silly. Chances are, they’re staying true to these brands identity. Heck, I bet if they’re responsible for any other Motörhead beverages, it’s probably some kind of spiked black gin or someth–

What in God’s name is this.

Rose Shiraz. Motörhead Rose Shiraz. No matter how many times I say it, it doesn’t make sense. “Motörhead Rose Shiraz.” Just the feel of those words in my mouth…it feels like you’re vomiting wet cinnamon. “Motörhead Rose Shiraz.” My God. What horror hath we wrought?.

Look, so far as I’m concerned, “Rose Shiraz” was the name of a veteran stripper from Decatur that showed the boys the time of their lives in ‘87. I’ll accept no other theory.

Our Alternative Punny Name: “Bomber.” Although, that’s really more of a serving size.

Iron Maiden’s Trooper Beer

Well...there ya go.

We kind of expected any beer with Eddie on the label to be at least twice as high in ABV.

Quick note: my girlfriend just complained that every entry on this list was a rock and/or metal band, and that “none of them are like Hanson.” But that’s not my fault. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say STEP UP YOUR GAME, DANITY KANE.

Bruce Dickinson apparently designed this beer when he wasn’t flying planes, wearing weed pants, hosting a radio show, or leading one of the more notable musical acts of all time. My favorite part about The Trooper’s marketing, though, is that Bruce Dickinson is described as none of these things. Rather, he is noted as a “real ale fan and history aficionado.” So, two more for the resume.

Of all the beers listed so far, this seems the most appealing. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for how charming and British it is. After all, Dickinson remarks: “[The brewer’s] magic has been to create the alchemical wedding of flavour and texture that is TROOPER. I love it.”

DOESN’T THAT SOUND TASTY. The website also tosses around words like “whilst” and “stockists.” Tee hee! I bet they drink their beers pinky-up too!

Our Alternative Punny Name: “Slumber Of the Yeast.”

Clash Upright Beer

Brewery can't fail.

Brewery can’t fail.

Clash beer! You guys, they made a Clash beer! They took two of my favorite things and turned it into one thing! It’s like if drinking a punky portmanteau! Aw, man, I’m so excited. The only issue is, for the life of me, I can’t find a good reason why this is a Clash beer. I get the feeling like it was brewed up by a bunch of fans who liked Joe Strummer et al, and decided to slap their likeness on a bottle. And you know what? That’s ok. We’ve been snarky enough today. Let’s just celebrate this one as being a neat idea. And even better – it’s only available in odd numbered years…why…like right now!


Our Alternative Punny Name: “London Porter Calling,” “(White Ale) in Hammersmith Palais,” “HitsPils U.K.,” and my personal favorite, “Grain in Vain.”

Now, I can’t say that I’m leaving this list satisfied. There is so many potential awesome music and beer crossovers that simply have never happened. IPAC/DC, Bockman Turner Overdrive, Naughty by Nature’s “You Down with H.O.P.”, Brewtie and the Blowfish…hell. The possibilities are endless.

Ah well. In the meantime, there’s always KISS beer and poison.
– Brian Cullen, Man Cave Daily


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