Agrowing list of famous bands are lending their names to beers.
There’s an Iron Maiden beer, made in collaboration with the British metal act, and a Stone IPA brewed with members of Alice Cooper and the String Cheese Incident. The Colorado brewery New Belgium recently came together with the Maryland band Clutch to produce a wood-aged dark sour ale.
There have been Massachusetts band/beer collaborations — Blue Hills teaming up with local hardcore alternative rockers TREE comes to mind — but perhaps the biggest local band to jump into the beer game are the Dropkick Murphys, who along with Magic Hat are debuting a new brew just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
Dropkick members Tim Brennan (guitar), Ken Casey (bass), and Matt Kelly (drums) recently made the trip to Magic Hat’s Burlington, Vt., brewery to sample some brews and come up with a recipe for their own collaboration. They settled on Barroom Hero Pub Ale, a lower ABV (4.2 percent) English-style beer, which was released earlier this month.
“We kept coming back to a dark mild recipe we’d been playing with that’s got a lot of character,” says Robert Kuntz, Magic Hat’s head of brewing operations. “Once we settled on it, we took the band on a tour of the brewery and then put them to work helping us brew a batch.”
Neither the band nor the brewery wanted to make just another red ale or stout, and so Barroom Hero is full bodied with an aroma of roasted coffee and notes of caramel and chocolate. It packs in a lot of flavor for the ABV, without getting you sleepy before the encore.
“Barroom Hero is a beer you can have a few of throughout the course of a show,” says Kuntz.
The collaboration benefits the Claddagh Fund, Casey’s charitable endeavor. Cambridge tattoo artist Dave Norton, of Pino Brothers Ink, helped design a logo inspired by the Claddagh ring, which symbolizes friendship, love, and loyalty.
Magic Hat says the Dropkick beer is a limited offering, and should be available now through the summer, with a chance of lasting in a more regular rotation.
“It’s a great after-shift beer, and I can see us making it at The Artifactory (the company’s brewery) regularly,” says Kuntz.Gary Dzen can be reached at email@example.com.