Like beer, thrash metal can be an acquired taste. But when two giants of each genre combine forces and turn things up to 11, the end result tends to be a headbanging collaboration worth trying.
That’s the goal of Stone Brewing’s latest band-fused beer release with legendary power metal group Metallica. (Technically the brewery group is Arrogant Consortia, formerly known as Arrogant Brewing and a sub-brand of Stone, but let’s keep things simple.)
Enter Night Pilsner is a 5.7% ABV pilsner, a historical northern German style that Stone describes “as if it was played through a distortion pedal.” At 45 IBUs, the hoppiness is aggressively cranked up without sacrificing drinkability.
But Metallica’s a different beast. Not only are they one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, they’re also one of the most staunchly independent.
Lars Ulrich, co-founder and drummer for Metallica, described the partnership in a recent press release.
“The amount of ideals and outlooks that Metallica and Stone Brewing share are endless,” said Lars. "I’m always blown away about how similar our paths forward have been. Our view of the worlds that we each inhabit, of creativity and process, and sense of place in relation to our peers and ‘The Man’ are almost identical. This collaboration is beyond effortless and pure, and we can’t wait to share this incredible beverage with everyone out there."
Greg Koch — a.k.a. the “brewmaster of puppets” for this collaboration —recalls a quote from a magazine after Metallica’s The Black Album (officially titled Metallica) was released in 1991.
“On the cover was a quote that resonated with me to this day: ‘Metallica didn’t go to number one, number one came to them.’ I loved what that meant. Do it your way and never compromise your art. If you’re great at what you do people will come. I view that simple quote as one of the founding philosophical elements of Stone Brewing.”
Enter Night was released this past fall at select Metallica concerts followed by some limited distribution in California. Metalheads and hopheads across the U.S. can expect to see it on shelves in early 2019 and international distribution will commence in April.