The Descendents have covered an awful lot of cultural ground in their 30 something years of existence. Their energetic spark has inspired countless fans to start bands of their own, to get the Milo logo tattooed on their flesh, and even to pursue that biochemistry P.H.D. they’ve been thinking about. The Descendents are complex like that.
Their silly, sweet, tight and potent pop-punk songs can be about getting old, everything sucking, food tasting good and generally being fueled by coffee. It make perfect sense that when lending their celebrated brand out to embody a liquid/promote their new album they team up with the brewgods at Mikkeller’s San Diego camp. The result is Feel This - a 7.3%ABV coffee tinged beer named after the 75-second first track off The Descendents' latest from Eptitah, Hypercaffium Spazzinate. Their 1987 song "All-O-Gistics" proclaimed “Thou shalt not partake of decaf.” And 1996’s "Coffee Mug" stated “I Don't need no booze or drugs I just chug-a-lug- my coffee mug”... oh… um…. Maybe that’s not the best caffeinated lyric to cite here... Umm…. Moving on!
Mikkeller has earned diehard fans due to their extremely creative small batch brews and is one of the few breweries that - like the Milo character from The Descendents lore - humans get tattooed on their bodies thanks largely to the expert design sense of their staff arty guy Keith Shore. Their San Diego outpost is the brainchild of two world-renowned breweries, (Gypsy Brewing innovator extraordinaire) Mikkeller and (So-Cal heroes) AleSmith. Their Mikkeller fingers are in the proverbial beer-scene pie all over the world, but the mission statement of San Diego's branch is to marry big West Coast hoppy beers and classic European styles. In this case, the hurdle of achieving a coffee IPA is bold and admirable. I have great faith that the distinct bitterness of the hops working with the acidity of the coffee in Feel This will work together in a much more complex and complimentary and nuanced way than the one-note joke of Buzz Beer from The Drew Carey Show.
The third arm of this mega-collaboration comes from Chicago’s boutique coffee roasters Dark Matter who made a fresh roast appropriately dubbed Hypercaffium Spazzinate. This earns Feel This its third-wave caffeine cred making it an unholy combo all around. Punkers! Brewers! Roasters! I can’t wait to try this beer!
Mikkeller’s brewmaster Bill Batten, who may or may not have some skate board injuries on his shinbones comments: “Having grown up in the punk rock and skate punk scene, it was an honor to be given the opportunity to create a beer for the Descendents to celebrate their recently released album.”
This is the epic band’s first album in 12 years, and it is just as vital and fun and dorky and fast and whatever as ever! The craft beer world mirrors the punk scene in a lot of ways. DIY ethics, an emphasis on remaining independent by not selling out, and a general envelope-pushing aspiration of fun. IT WORKS! There’s a ton more to the band’s story than just being some old dudes with distortion pedals, and to that end I’d recommend the new documentary Filmage.
The beer is out in California right now in snazzy 22 oz bombers as part of San Diego Beer Week and will be sent out to ALL 25 states in which the brewery distributes, while supplies last. Score.
Has anyone out in San Diego guzzled a bottle yet? Mixed it with a shot of espresso? Cheersed it high in the air while singing "Clean Sheets"? Mug. Mug. Mug.