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Anyone who has been to a Queen concert when Freddy Mercury was still alive will know that he liked to sip a pint of beer on the stage to quench his thirst and take a breather between one piece and another. But the widest consumption of various beer varieties was among his fans and, generally speaking, among concert audiences: fresh, effervescent, low in alcohol and highly popular, beer reigns supreme at music events.
They sipped it in 1969 in Woodstock in front of the Who and Jimi Hendrix and they continue to drink it today in fields and stadiums throughout the world. With such an eclectic public, from young teenagers to parents accompanying their kids to a concert, it is a welcome treat with a musical beat. Even the celebrities have caught on and, for some time now, it has been adopted by certain bands and artists as a merchandising product on a par with T-shirts.
It was the Queen’s turn this summer to celebrate an important anniversary – 40 years from the release of their single Bohemian Rhapsody – with a fine lager: drawing inspiration from the song itself, with a 4.7% alcohol content this beer is actually produced in Bohemia, the land of great fermented barley and malt beverages. To pay a tribute to the deceased lead vocalist who passed away in 1991, the Queen have chosen an early drawing by Mercury himself. This is not, however, the band’s first experience in the ambit of alcoholic drinks: in fact, they had already tried their hand at vodka in the past, the Killer Queen, dubbed with the same name as the track which, in 2014, celebrated its first 40 years, as well as a red wine, the Argentine Malbec Millionaire Waltz in honour of the eponymous song dated 1976.
Musicians turned producers of alcoholic drinks, beer in particular, have now become plentiful, above all among the protagonists of rock and hard rock music: what they have in common is a keen attention towards the choice of manufacturer, the malts employed, the packaging and the decision to dedicate their products to certain albums or particularly successful tracks. This has been the case of the kings of heavy metal, the Iron Maiden, who created The Trooper, a beer dedicated to their successful piece of the same name, with front man Bruce Dickinson personally engaged in the creation of the drink and its design (as shown in the video below). The Madness, on the other hand, chose to pay a tribute to the drink that inspired their first steps, when they used to do gigs in London pubs: their Gladness is a craft-brewed lager on sale in English pubs.
The Grateful Dead have dedicated American Beauty to one of their successful albums dating back to 1970: the ingredient that makes the difference to this special beer is muesli, the band’s favourite breakfast cereal. In the meantime, the Australian hard rock band, the AC/DC, has been producing an eponymous lager for some time now, even in maxi cans for those who love…. to overdo it. While on the subject of eccentricity, the Brazilian band Sepultura have created a special pack with a weiss beer in the form of an amplifier. And Pearl Jam, whose vocalist Eddie Vedder generally goes on stage clutching a good bottle of Italian red wine, have given their name to the Faithfull Ale, produced in Delaware and especially conceived for the 20th anniversary of the release of their album Ten. What makes it special? It is aromatized with fruit. Beer and wine also go hand in hand for the Kiss: since 2011, they have been producing a German beer, the Destroyer, along with a Californian Zinfandel wine with a high alcohol content.
So, in actual fact, the list of vocalists and bands with a passion for alcohol and liqueurs does seem to be potentially unending, even among those who have sprung to fame in recent years, from rappers to pop musicians; whether business acumen or an authentic pursuit, their products arouse curiosity and interest, above all among their fans. And so the Hanson, as soon as they became of age, lost no time in launching their beer, Justin Timberlake his tequila, Jay-Z his cognac and Marilyn Manson… well, in his case, it had to be something exceptionally strong: an absinthe!