15 Beers Inspired by Famous Musicians


The craft beer market has gotten crowded these days, with all manner of IPAs and double bocks vying for space on the grocery store shelves. Breweries have begun differentiated themselves not only with zany ingredients — passion fruit! coffee! saffron! — but also with clever names and interesting pop culture referring titles. Recently, there’s been a wave of music-inspired suds, giving the nod to storied jazz greats or amping up a favorite new indie band. From Wilco to Frank Zappa to Outkast, seems like everyone has a beer these days. We’ve rounded up fifteen music inspired microbrews for your perusal, after the jump.

Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew

Released in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’ iconic album, this beer is one of Dogfish Head’s signature crazy-sounding but delicious-tasting brews, mixing “imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root.”

Lagunitas Brewery’s Wilco Tango Foxtrot

A seasonal brew released in March, Wilco Tango Foxtrot is a chocolate-tinged imperial ale that’s perfect for sipping while listening to some alt-country.

21st Amendment Brewery’s Back in Black IPA

A hoppy, rich, and in your face kind of beer seems pretty appropriate for the AC/DC inspired label.

Voodoo Brewery’s Wynona’s Big Brown Ale

A play on the Primus song “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” Wynona’s Big Brown Ale is, according to Voodoo’s press, a hearty American ale with lotsa malt. And no Primus aftertaste, we hope.

Angel City Brewery’s Lester Young Porkpie Hat Dark Lager

Angel City, a Los Angeles-based brewery, has a sort of sub-specialty in pop culture-titled beers. They also have one for Che Guevera, and another named after jazz saxophone great Charlie Parker.

Flat Earth Brewing Company’s Cygnus X-1 Porter

A serious old English-style porter that shares its name with both a black hole and a Rush song. Perfect.

Lagunitas Brewery’s Zappa Series

The folks over at Lagunitas are such enormous fans that they released a whole series of Zappa-inspired brews (Kill Ugly Radio, Ruben and the Jets Imperial Stout, Freak Out, Lumpy Gravy, and We’re Only In It For the Money), each a seasonal beer. The line has since been discontinued, at the request of Zappa’s widow.

The Clipper City Brewing Company’s Smoke on the Water Porter

A meaty smoked porter that took its inspiration from a Deep Purple song, the Smoke on the Water Porter packs a pretty hard punch at 8% ABV. We have a feeling Ritchie Blackmore would approve.

Purple Moose Brewery’s Dark Side of the Moose

Welsh brewer Purple Moose made this Pink Floyd-devoted concoction using several types of dark malt.

Ninkasi Brewery’s Sleigh’r

Ninkasi’s slightly metal annual winter brew tips its hat to Slayer with its Christmas twist on the rock band’s name. Plus, it’s totally brewed with evil. We swear.

Abita Brewery’s Purple Haze

A delicious, sweet raspberry-infused wheat ale from Abita that is indeed hazy, thanks to being unfiltered, and purple, thanks to its fruit infusion.

Fullsteam Brewery’s Lost in the Trees Ale

A North Carolina brewery’s tribute to their hometown indie band, Lost in the Trees. Aww.

Northern Brewery’s Brother Thelonious Abbey-Style Ale

A tribute to Monk that packs an almost 10% ABV wallop, the Brother Thelonious Ale also benefits a foundation in the jazz great’s honor. The deluxe version even includes a CD.

Asheville Brewing Company’s Moog Filtered Ale

A limited-edition pale ale, the Moog brew was produced in order to help the Moog foundation’s fund-raising efforts.

Terrapin Brewery’s So Fresh and So Green, Green Ale

A super hoppy, sticky green beer named after the song by Georgia natives Outkast — seems appropriate. Next up, a T.I. beer you can just name “King.”