Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2nd, 2013 - A Serving Of Sour Apple 'Umble Pie!

Hey there!  The Meista here with another pairing for you my friends.  Tonight I'm going with Humble Pie "The Best of Humble Pie - 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection" and a Sour Apple Saison from Epic Brewing Company.
As the 1960s closed out, the overall rock and roll sound of the time shifted from pop-driven singles to darker and heavier album-based writing.  Probably a reflection of the socio-political landscape.  During this time, former Small Faces frontman, Steve Marriott put together a soul and blues-based hard rocking outfit called Humble Pie.  With roots and influence in the African-American blues and soul of Motown along with a healthy dose of English hard rock in the tradition of Cream, the Yardbirds, and the Rolling Stones, Humble Pie (along with Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin) would help define the early 1970s heavy (proto-metal) rock sound.  Now I prefer to post actual studio albums or live albums rather than "best of " or "greatest hits" compilations, but damn it, Humble Pie's entire catalog is oh so very good!  I just couldn't narrow it down to one album... thus my choosing "The Best of Humble Pie - 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection" for today's pairing.  I won't go into great detail about each song, but know this my friends... Humble Pie is one of the greatest hard rock bands to emerge from the 1960s and the song "30 Days In The Hole" alone is the holy grail of English hard rock!!  The original band lineup featured vocalist, harmonica-player, and guitarist Steve Marriott from the Small Faces, vocalist and guitarist Peter Frampton from The Herd, former Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley, and a seventeen-year-old unknown drummer by the name of Jerry Shirley.  Frampton would leave the band in 1971 (right before they hit it big with two releases that year, "Rock On" and the live "Performance Rockin' the Fillmore.")  He would be replaced by Colosseum guitarist and vocalist Dave "Clem" Clempson who would help the Pie move towards a heavier and grittier boogie-rock sound emphasizing Marriott's blues and soul roots.  Here is the AMAZING track list from "The Best of Humble Pie - 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection:"
  1. Natural Born Woman
  2. Big Black Dog
  3. Stone Cold Fever
  4. Shine On
  5. Rollin' Stone
  6. Four Day Creep
  7. C'mon Everybody
  8. Hot 'n' Nasty
  9. 30 Days in the Hole
  10. Black Coffee
  11. Ninety-Nine Pounds
  12. I Don't Need No Doctor
    If that isn't sheer perfection, then I don't know what is!! 
      In 1975, the band performed their 'Goodbye Pie Tour' before disbanding.  Various versions of "reformed" Humble Pie bands would exist throughout the late '70s and early '80s as well, but nothing that would match the spirit and intensity of the early years of the band.  Sadly, Marriott died in a house fire in 1991 at the age of 44 and Ridley died in Alicante, Spain of pneumonia in 2003 at the age of 56.  Shirley has continued to play music, most recently drumming for the Deborah Bonham Band.  Clem has also continued to play, mostly as a sessions and guest player.  And of course Frampton went on to huge solo success.

      I'm pairing the Pie with Epic's Sour-Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #19 today because I needed something big and bold that would both compliment and compete with the huge wall of sound from the crunching guitars and Marriott's powerful voice!  Served ice-cold, the Sour-Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #19 pours a cloudy and pale golden-amber in a frosted glass.  The head is thin, white, and bubbly and dissipates rather quickly.  The nose is full of fruit ester notes: banana, pineapple, lemon, and Granny Smith apple.  There are also some nice spice notes as well: cinammon, coriander, nutmeg, and clove.  Like a white wine, the flavor is very dry, rather sweet, and very tart, but with a nice spicy finish.  There are notes of lemon, white grape, spiced apple, anise, and ginger.  The Sour-Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #19 is brewed with Weyermann Pilsner as a base malt and then finished off with Briess Flaked Oats and Muntons Wheat Malt, which gives it a very complex and well-rounded flavor.  Epic employs Saaz and Tettnang hops and plenty of spices: ground Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Anise Seed, Grains of Paradise, and Coriander to give this Farmhouse-style Saison and huge boost of flavor!  Stylistically speaking, this Saison reminds me of Humble Pie's musical approach.  Tasty and sweet, but with a big, sneaky kick!  The Sour-Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #19 is very drinkable with a very clean finish, but it packs a punch hidden under those sweet ester notes... 9.8% ABV... just like Steve Marriott... a short, little guy whose voice could knock you on your ass from 100 yards without amplification!  :)
      Check out Epic Brewing Company's Sour-Apple Saison-Style Ale at as well as all their other fine, craft beers and pick up a copy of ANY Humble Pie album for an evening of straight-ahead rocking fun!!

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