Texans anxious to see reggae-rock band 311 during its statewide run of concerts this week have more to look forward to than just a live performance.
The band is debuting its original craft beer, 311 Amber Ale, across the Lone Star State in tandem with its Houston, Dallas and Austin shows. It will be available at all World of Beer bar locations in Texas as well as Lone Star Taps and Caps in Lewisville.
Show attendees in Dallas can also try the beer during the concert Saturday, August 1 at South Side Ballroom where a limited supply will be available. (311 is playing Houston's Bayou Music Center on July 31 and Austin's Moody Theatre August 2, but the beer will not be served there.)
The 311 Amber Ale is the product of a collaboration between Rock Brothers Brewing Co. out of Tampa and Nebraska Brewing Co., which is located near the band's hometown of Omaha, Neb. It was brewed to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary and launched in select markets over Fourth of July weekend.
When devising a recipe, the style was an obvious choice — because amber is the color of your energy, whoa-oh! Per a press release, it's an easy-drinking 5.5 percent ABV brew with roasted caramel malts and Equinox hops that's citrusy on the nose and palate.
The beer will be available year-round exclusively on draft. In 2016, Rock Brothers co-founder Kevin Lilly hopes to have it in cans as well.
Craft beer is becoming an attractive second business for many bands, as proven by the long list of musicians that have recently invested in an original brew. In 2014, Texas country legend Robert Earl Keen launched a craft beer, as did alt-rockers The Toadies. Later this fall, boy-turned-man band Hanson will launch its craft beer, Mmmhops, in Dallas during a special two-night concert.
According to Lilly, craft beer not only provides an additional source of revenue for bands, but also enables them to flex their creative muscles. For example, 311 was involved in every step of the process, from recipe tweaking and taste-testing to naming and marketing the beer. The trend has even spawned breweries like Lilly's, which focuses exclusively on band-branded beers, including Hootie and the Blowfish's Homegrown Ale and Umphrey's McGee's Nothing Too Fancy Ale.
"We've explored the craft beer idea with several breweries over the years, but they were less inclined to do beers outside their typical line," said 311 co-manager Peter Raspler. "We appreciate that our beer is not a side-project for Rock Brothers."
World of Beer and Lone Star Taps and Caps will be the only retailers in North Texas with 311 Amber Ale on draft until the next shipment comes to Texas in about two to three weeks, Lilly said. Contact your local location for details about when it will be tapped:
- World of Beer SMU: 469-310-0412
- World of Beer Plano: 972-248-0437
- World of Beer Arlington: 817-471-1011
- World of Beer Fort Worth: 682-708-7021
- World of Beer South Lamar (Austin): 512-584-8770
- World of Beer Sugar Land: 281-494-0338
- World of Beer Katy: 281-394-9625
- Lone Star Taps and Caps: 214-618-8305