MUSIC: Sounds at the Brewery #1

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

Beer and music were made for each other. In Sounds At The Brewery, we'll keep you posted on what Goose Island employees are playing around the office (or while brewing). —INGRAIN, Winter 2018

STORY / Marc Drucker, Goose Island Brewer

First, let me say that there is no better pairing in this world than attending a live show with a 312 Dry-Hopped in hand. (Cans only, please! It’s a concert, and we don’t want to spill while letting the body dangle.) When I can’t hit the concert scene, my most played album while at work is Live in Athens (Emancipator). It’s one of the best live recordings to groove to while ranching yeast (“harvesting” yeast from one batch of beer to use in a new batch) around the cellars. It doesn’t matter what we’re brewing, but when the workload starts to pile up and I have to grind out a tough shift, Doug Appling (aka Emancipator) will help keep the beer flowing. His music transcends quality expectations, which for me means happy yeast and pumping out delicious beer.

Appling, a Portland-based producer (and a Russian collaborator and violinist), sends you—and the yeast—on an emotional journey filled with melodic, downtempo, electronic-focused jams. If you like Thievery Corporation, then Emancipator’s track “The Way” will be your gateway into this artist. Feeling like listening to a sneaky drum ’n’ bass section? Check out “Anthem” from the Live In Athens recording. The best part: Emancipator’s style is appropriate for all shift hours in the brewery, whether you’re starting at 6 a.m. or finishing up at midnight.

Other notable artists who pop up on my playlists include STS9, Bonobo, Lotus, Manic Focus,and The String Cheese Incident. If you don’t see me crushing a 16-ounce can of 312 in the taproom, you’ll find me noodling around at the Emancipator Ensemble show October 5 at the Riviera Theatre.

STORY / Bjorn Johnson, Goose Island Brewer

Here's a little story. I remember driving back to the city after visiting a friend in the burbs and hearing Sharon Van Etten’s “Your Love Is Killing Me” on the radio. A few seconds into the song, I knew it was my jam. Sad lady music? Perhaps. Regardless, it was my jam.

I instantly Shazamed it, only to find that Sharon Van Etten was the artist we were collaborating with on a beer for Pitchfork. I begged to be part of the collaboration. When it came down to formulating the recipe, I insisted on listening to the album (Are We There) while we jotted down notes. I even went so far as to lock the door to the office where we have our music stash in order to play the album on repeat until the recipe was complete. How else can you capture the essence of an artist in a beer? Not everyone appreciated my stance (I explicitly remember a co-worker holding their ears and asking me to stop).

If only I would play something else? NO! The answer was NO! In my mind, you can’t write a beer recipe for an artist without listening to their music.

Check out what else we're jamming to in Sounds at the Brewery #2.

Ready for even more music recommendations? Head over to our Music section.