Thursday, July 26, 2007

Frank: The Beer


Take a diehard Zappa fan, add ownership of a brewery and what do you get? The above – Freak Out! Ale. And it really exists! No fooling.

But wait, there's more:

Now how much would you pay? (Hint: $2.99 to $3.99.)

Tony Magee of Lagunitas Brewing Company is responsible for the above potables, which you can actually buy and guzzle. Er, savor, that is.

Such commitment. And it gets better. Tony and Lagunitas plan to issue a commemorative beer for every official Zappa album, 40 years after their initial release – the next one after Kill Ugly Radio Ale will be Lumpy Gravy. That should look pretty appealing next to the Pabst Blue Ribbon on the supermarket cooler shelf.

And in fact, this is mostly about the album cover labels – a bubbly valentine for Frank fans, according to Tony. "The label sells itself," he says. "I just want the label to be out there in the world." And so it is!

For Freak Out! Ale, Tony put a lot of effort into the recipe – probably more than was necessary – which inspired many reviews and commentary. So for Kill Ugly Radio Ale (which should make Barry kinda happy), Tony simply went with good beer: "A big, really fresh-hopped pale ale," as he describes it. What more could a Frank fan want? (Well, come to think of it, maybe two things. See if you can guess what they are.)

Naturally, this wouldn't be possible without the Zappa family's consent. But Tony said Mrs. Z and the fam embraced the idea, and even had him over to their home! There, he met Gail, Dweezil (yes, that Dweezil) and Vaultmeister Joe Travers (arguably the world's most insanely amazing drummer – at least I've never seen anyone play like that).

So that's what you have to do to make the pilgrimage to Zappa Ground Zero - invent Frankworthy beer. But damn, it's been done.

For his next project, Tony is working on a whole line of Suzi Quatro-flavored beers. There's Stumblin' In Ale, Daytona Demon Pilsner... OK, I made that up. But the Zappa beer is real.

So, to tell us all about Lagunitas Brewing Company's Zappa-flavored beers, none other than Tony Magee himself will be my guest on Zappa's Grubby Chamber, Friday, June 27 at 10:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Meanwhile, how many Frank songs so much as mention beer? Two come to mind... I won't say which... tune in...



zapguz said...

nice website and fun stories

Anonymous said...

Tasty Beer , cool label
Raise a glass to Frank!!!
Howz aboutz a well balanced ripple for Wino man?
Stay off my front lawn!

cucumber187 said...

The Kill Ugly Radio brew was great! I loved it.....