It's no secret that a good pint is the first step towards loosening up and delivering an earth shattering sax solo, and studies have shown that one drink has positive effects on creativity. Alcohol and music have been entwined for millenia, and as a drummer, I've witnessed firsthand the wonders a swig of suds can work.
So, it felt a bit like destiny to receive Harpoon's Secret Alloy Ale, brewed in collaboration with famed cymbal-maker Zildjian, along with a pair of drumsticks. What's the connection between the two companies? From Harpoon:
"The cymbals are the voice-the personality of the drummer. Behind a locked door in the Zildjian factory in Norwell, MA lies the secret ingredient that creates the most revered cymbals in the world. 80% copper, 20% tin, and a little bit of silver-only a handful of people know that extra ingredient that makes it Zildjian. Each ingredient in this Pale Ale shapes its personality. Centennial and Equinox hops give a fruity aroma of mango and passion fruit. A nod to Zildjian's recipe, this beer is brewed with an 80/20 split of caramel malts giving the beer its golden copper color. The finish is smooth."
This bold 7.2% Pale Ale pours a rich bronze, with its fruity nose giving way to a full-bodied, malt-centric brew, certainly more than you'd find in the standard pale ale, and closer in taste to an amber. The rich body is tempered with a mild bitter backbone, combined with a crisp, tangy citrus kick.
Both beer and cymbals have unique personalities – they can have warm, rich overtones or powerful, dark notes. They can wash effervescently over your tongue or bombard your palate with untempered force. It's all in how you craft it. This beer, like the best cymbals, was small-batch, and made to exude personality – it was made while a Harpoon employee drummed in the brewhouse.
All in all, though I'm not "hammered", you could say this beer was a "sweet ride".