REVIEW: Year End Albums And Brews

I suppose I will humor myself and make one of these year-end lists. To be honest, I’m kind of disappointed at how I really wasn’t as on top of new releases as I usually am. However, to make up for the lack of new music I listened to, I tried a LOT of beers I haven’t had before. So with each of my top records from 2012, I will pair a beer I tried in 2012 for the first time. Enjoy!

Alabama Shakes- Boys and Girls

This record has been in heavy rotation since it came out. It’s the perfect record for sitting back with a tasty brew and relaxing. The band is young in the age of the members (lead singer Brittany Howard is 23) as well as the band itself (formed in 2009), so it’s exciting to see what they have in store for the future after having so much success this year.

THE BEER: Sixpoint Brewing The Crisp

A record like this deserves a beer that’s clean, tasty, and drinkable. The Crisp, brewed in Brooklyn, NYC, delivers. It also comes in a can- really accessible, literally. I’m glad to see the abundance of good, craft beers in cans that I saw this summer, just like I’m glad to see this young band garnering lots of great press.

The Sword- Apocryphon

The Sword just plain rocks. Sludgey, psychedelic rock with the sweet vibes of Austin, Texas. Enough tasty riffs to satisfy your rock and roll hunger.

THE BEER: Founders Breakfast Stout

Like this record satisfies my hunger for rock, this beer satisfies my hunger, period. This beer has perfect rating on BeerAdvocate for a good reason. It’s an incredibly well-made stout, and pairs great with this well-made record.

Jimmy Cliff- Rebirth

Jimmy Cliff is a classic. The title of his first record in 8 years really says it all- he works with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong as a producer and it really adds a new vibe to his classic reggae sound.

THE BEER: BrewDog Punk IPA

I was looking forward to trying this beer for a long time, admittedly because I loved the name. The Scottish brewing company boasts “hardcore beers for punks”, which is why I wanted to pair it with this punk-rocker produced reggae record. This is a clean, easy-drinking IPA that’s not overly hoppy. It also has a fairly low alcohol content, so you can have more than one while you kick back and listen to the sound of Jimmy Cliff.

High On Fire- De Vermis Mysteriis

I still haven’t listened to this record enough. So heavy, so awesome, and it was produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge, whose record “All The Love We Leave Behind” is definitely worth a nod for great releases of 2012.

THE BEER: Widmer Brothers SXNW

A record as dark as this requires something equally dark with crazy flavors. I tried South By Northwest this fall, which is one of Widmer’s limited edition releases. Brewing with cocoa nibs and green chiles gives sweetness with a spicy, unexpected finish. High On Fire’s latest is heavy and sludgy like this beer’s initial taste, but with a lot of interesting notes that add color to it.

Rush- Clockwork Angels

I had to put this one in. Rush is an unrelenting, hardworking band that has been consistently putting out great records for over 4 decades. Their latest is nothing short of awesome.

THE BEER: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

There is really no legitimate reason behind this pairing; I just felt that I had to put this beer in. It’s incredibly interesting and combines two of my favorite things- beer and bacon. Since Rush is also one of my favorite things, I’ll say this is a good pairing. This beer is so complex, and some might argue that it’s almost too much. But why not? It’s worth trying if you can find it.


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