Two Turntables and Some Microfoam: Beer and Record Pairings

Like many things, Record Store Day is gonna feel a little different than usual this year. In the spirit of going with the flow, we reached out to our friends at Shake It Records and asked them to throw together a platter of records for us to pair some tasty beers with. Pair beers with? That’s right, certain beers and records, just…go together, somehow.  This is a pairing exercise you can easily perform at home: put on a favorite record and ask yourself “what is the ideal beer to drink with this record? Is this a record that gets me amped to go out, or is this a record I wanna stay home alone with? Am I gonna spin this multiple times, or is this a once-every-few-months type of experience? Does this sound like a Double IPA or a Barrel-aged Imperial Stout?” You don’t necessarily need a turntable, and it doesn’t have to be a beer we brew, of course—but intentionally matching a beer to a favorite album is be a great way to catch a new facet on a familiar gem. Read on to learn what Chris Shields, our Director of Education and host of our weekly Beer Talk on IG Live, paired with the fresh batch of wax that Shake It cooked up for us.

Jim’s pick: Lianne la Havas, S/T – Nonesuch, 2020

“Just right when you’ve had a bit of a difficult day, or when you want to put the top down and cruise on an exquisite sunny day. Brings to mind classic Ann Peebles and Erykah Badu. Chilled out soul with great grooves.”

Chris’ pairing: Nitro Luck, Irish-style Stout, 4.8%

“This album is smooth and emotional. Earthy guitars and Lianne’s beautiful, husky voice explores space and genre. This album is comfortable and unexpected… Just like Luck, our Nitro Stout. Smooth, creamy and comforting. This record has a stay at home vibe perfect for a contemplative evening. This album is about heartbreak, change, and reflection.”

Billy’s pick: Strand of Oaks (Tim Showalter), Harder Love – Dead Oceans, 2018

“A Brilliant, tossed-off collection of tracks done for about ten bucks and a pot of coffee. Tim Showalter *is* Strand of Oaks, and he spits both broken and complete modern pop with a natural easiness that has an immediate impact on the taste buds. “Dream Brother” is the get-out-of-summer-relatively-free song we might deserve?”

Chris’ pairing: Cheetah, American Lager, 4.8%

“Raw, unmastered sister to his 2017 album Hard Love. Straight early Springsteen vibes on this record. This is a record for going out and escaping. Harder Love fits any occasion as it ebbs and flows moods and energy. Cheetah is a beer for everyone; a beer for anytime. It fits in and feels comfortable.”

Travis’ pick: Mourning [A] BLKSTR, The Cycle – Don Giovonni, 2020

“A pulsing, hypnotic stew of the last thirty years of soul, R&B, and hip hop along with a healthy stew of Charles Mingus inspired horn accents, but not quite as bebop like with the harmonies. Three singers, prescient topical lyrics, and always groovy.”

Chris’ pairing: Space Vibes, West Coast Style Imperial IPA , 8.5%

“‘The Cycle’ is massive and immersive. Rooted in funk and soul this is 17 tracks from the Cleveland Ohio based collective that has been described as secular gospel. The vibe is collaborative (with multiple vocalists and both looped and live instrumentation) and quite spacey. So, of course I gravitated to Space Vibes our big Double IPA that is a collaboration with our friends Masthead Brewing in Cleveland.”

Chris’ pick: Sylvan Esso, WITH – Loma Vista, 2020

Chris’ pairing: Truth, India Pale Ale, 7.2%

“This new release is a special live double album from Sylvan Esso’s WITH tour. It is accompanied by a live concert film as well. Normally Sylvan Esso is a duo from my former home of Durham, NC; WITH recreates songs with a 10-piece supergroup featuring friends and members of Wye Oak, Mountain Man, Hand Habits and more. This is an expansive look at their catalog and brings even more dimension to their minimalist discography. This album is about seeing old favorites in a new light. That’s a little like Truth. Y’all have been supporting Truth during this mess, I hope, because it’s a true favorite of yours. Maybe some of you have rediscovered it. A beer brand that is over 7 years old is rare and special. We work as hard as ever to keep it great and this album celebrates that sentiment too. Plus, it’s about getting together with your friends and making memories – something we can all look forward to.”