Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18th, 2012 - Sour Cherry Storm Collaberation

Tonight I am pairing a beer and album for the the more experienced, adventurous, and open palate and ear.  I've paired Storm Corrosion (a collaborative side project of Porcupine Tree front man, Steve Wilson and Opeth front man, Mikael Akerfeldt) with Uinta Brewing Company's Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Ale, an interesting Crooked Line brew commemorating their 19th birthday.

Probably the most notable characteristic of the Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Ale is the color along with the subtle nose.  The color is that of a Zinfandel wine.  It pours a pinkish/purplish color with very little head that dissipates quickly.  The nose smells of summer fruit trees. The flavor is definitely cherry, but not really sweet.  Being a sour, it is definitely sour, but not overwhelming.  The mouthfeel is somewhat frothy and sharp.  I'm usually not a huge fan of fruity beers, but this Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Ale has a nice refreshing quality to it and goes down smooth with a subtle, tangy aftertaste.  It reminds me of a flavored tonic.  An interesting choice for a commemorative ale.

Storm Corrosion is a melancholy, dark, and beautiful album.  I chose to pair this album with this beer really for the juxtaposition - the hauntingly deep music with the almost whimsical nature of the beer.  Both are subtle in approach, yet both invoke and convey the mastery of the artists.  The album opens with the ominous "Drag Ropes," a song that really sets the tone of what is to come.  Akerfeldt sings "Now my dear friend/Now for your sins/You're to suffer/Here it begins" over foreboding strings leading into beautiful acoustic guitar, woodwinds, and keys.  There is definitely the Opeth/Porcupine Tree progressive and harmonious approach to the music, but like the Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Ale, this is something new, different, and inviting.  The rest of the album ("Storm Corrosion," "Hag," "Happy," "Lock Howl," and "Ljudet Innan") like "Drag Ropes" is mellow in terms of approach, yet profoundly heavy in subject matter and execution along with powerful, sometimes cryptic lyrics.  Quite different from Opeth and Porcupine Tree (two of my favorite bands), this album was not what I expected, but the collaborative efforts of Wilson and Akerfeldt have created a fantastic and profoundly deep artistic piece I have completely fallen in love with...  and check out that bizarre, creepy, and amazing cover art, a 1969 painting by Hans Arnold!

Check out Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Ale and all the other wonderful brews from Uinta Brewing Company at and do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Storm Corrosion from the Heavy Metal Shop in Salt Lake City, Utah today!

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