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Iron Maiden, Robinsons Brewery Deploy Trooper Beer

(Issue 20)
Robinsons originally believed Iron Maiden lacked an “authentic story” for a collaboration beer, but it quickly became clear that Dickinson was an enthusiastic beer expert – even sending pictures of his beer collection to Robinsons to convey his passion.
Robinsons originally believed Iron Maiden lacked an “authentic story” for a collaboration beer, but it quickly became clear that Dickinson was an enthusiastic beer expert – even sending pictures of his beer collection to Robinsons to convey his passion.

When Bruce Dickinson, the stentorian-voiced lead singer of massively popular metal band Iron Maiden, approached Robinsons Brewery of Stockport, England about a collaboration, the company was unsure.

David Bremner, director of marketing at Robinsons, knew the company was wary of a collaboration beer after an unsuccessful previous venture with British rock group Elbow.

“There’s a few key ingredients when you’re doing any collaborative beer,” Bremner explained. “You need an authentic story, you need to work with the right people, you need a truly collaborative approach, and most importantly, you need a fanatical fan base with a huge social media following.”

Though Elbow are critical darlings, the group didn’t have a truly rabid fan base that it engaged with on a regular basis, and the group also didn’t have a collaborative approach to making the beer.

Robinsons originally believed Iron Maiden lacked an “authentic story” for a collaboration beer, but it quickly became clear that Dickinson was an enthusiastic beer expert – even sending pictures of his beer collection to Robinsons to convey his passion.

The head brewer was dispatched to London with 10 beers to meet with Dickinson. “They took the labels off and he blind tasted them,” said Bremner. “Bruce knew six out of ten beers blind. He knew the hops that were in them and he knew the malts that were in them, and we knew then that we had a really authentic story all of a sudden – far more authentic than anyone could’ve hoped for.”

While blind tasting the beers, Bruce made it clear that he wanted to make a beer in a traditional English style, so they settled on Trooper as a strong bitter. “Robinsons didn’t want to make a beer that was on-trend for the market, they wanted to make a beer that Bruce would like to make for the fans, a beer that he could create and deliver,” said Bremner. “You could make a tastier beer, you could make a more pungent beer, but we wanted a beer that people could come back to time and time again.”

The response to Trooper has blown away the folks at Robinsons, but it wasn’t that surprising. Bremner remembers going to Disneyland three years ago with his kids and queuing up to get on the Finding Nemo ride. While waiting, he saw “three blokes of different ages, not together, all wearing Iron Maiden shirts.” He knew then that this beer could turn into a phenomenon.


Iron Maiden Eddie the Head Beer Connoisseur Trooper

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