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BEER BROS: Drumming up a brew, Absolution Brewing collaborates with Jane’s Addiction’s Stephen Perkins

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Steve Perkins at the Perkins Hoppy Belgian Pale release party. Photo courtesy of Absolution Brewing Company

by Ed Solt

Each sip of a collaboration beer reminds us why we chose to support independent brewing. Craft beer enlightens the palate and is fun. With no grey flannel suits to be accountable to, our local brewers are free to collaborate with other breweries, as well as with an endorser, to produce a signature beer. In the past, Monkish Brewing Company has brewed stellar collabs with like-minded cutting edge breweries from all over the U.S. El Segundo Brewing Company’s Broken Skull IPA is a tag team with WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin while King Harbor Brewing Company’s Endless Rant IPA is trampoline buddies with Adam Carolla.

Absolution Brewing Company has taken it one step further, a testament to the freedom and the radness of our local craft beer culture. Perkins Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale is not only a collab with Bakersfield’s Temblor Brewing Company but gets the drumming approval from Jane’s Addiction/Porno for Pyro’s drummer Stephen Perkins, who enthusiastically provided the beat during the entire brewing process.

“My band with ‘Money’ Mike Watt, Banyan, had just played this weird ski resort in Tahoe,” said Perkins. “We were at Terrapin Crossroads, which is owned by one of the Grateful Dead, having great beers from Temblor Brewing Co., where we met head brewer Mike Lahti out promoting his beer. At 2 a.m. we laughed about doing a beer. Two weeks later I got the call and I’m in Torrance with these cats from Absolution.”

Lahti had met ABC’s co-owner and main sales dude Steve Farguson at a craft beer event in Santa Clarita. He found a kindred brew soul.

“We dug each other’s vibe,” said Farguson. “After the event, we headed to a barbecue place in Newhall. From there, we decided that we’re going to do a collaboration.”

The collaboration features half ingredients from Temblor and half from Absolution. From the very first day, Perkins had his hands in the process.

Temblor Brewing’s Mike Lahti, Absolution’s Bart Bullington and Don.

“It is an honor picking the beer and hanging out there — throwing ingredients in, learning about beer. I’ve drinking beer since I was a kid…ah, legally, at 21,” he said. “Much like I do with music, say for example mixing in a rumba African beat in place of a rock beat, these guys making beer are breaking tradition. They have different ideas and an openness to try exciting new beautiful flavors. It’s easy to sense the artistry.”

ABC head brewer Bart Bullington is a huge rock ‘n’ roll fan, starting in high school when his dream was to be the next Alan Parsons, the great recording engineer.

“Growing up, we all knew disco sucks,” he said. “While I’m not dealing with bars, slides, and buttons, I’m dealing with hops and grains mixing it together. I guess it is equivalent to making music?”

What Bullington starts with is a Belgian style yeast, contributed by Temblor, while Absolution provides the hops and the water.

“All our taps have been blessed and we only brew with holy water,” Bullington said. “What we came up with is an easy drinking beer — creamy from the Belgium yeast, with a hint of lemongrass and a hint of hoppiness from its IPA roots. It’s a beer that goes all directions, like a Steve Perkins drum solo, while appeasing all palates, Belgium and IPA fans alike.”

Just as a band presence isn’t just audio but also visual, Perkins believes that beer label art is very important and sought a killer design.

Perkins Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale releases party was held at the Mint in Culver City on February 2 in true rock n’ roll fashion. Perkins hammered away two sets with his supergroup Hellride featuring fellow Porno for Pyros bandmates Peter DiStefano, Watt and Tabitha.

“Having our beers ordered and watching friends and other musicians enjoy gave me satisfaction in the deepest way,” Perkins said. “I’d love to brew another beer in the future.”

It’s all a part of Perkins’ vision. He sees brewing not just as a means to get a buzz but to play against the rock ‘n’ roll stereotype.

“I got acquainted with drums playing in drum circles. It is what I brought to Jane’s Addiction and Porno’s for Pyros between gigs. Bring your bongos, bring beer, bring girls, let’s all get-together,” he said. “People who work go to a rock show to let loose for a hours. As a drummer, my job is to get these people moving. Just like a song or a smell trigger a thought and memory, a good beer triggers a memory of past celebrations while celebrating in the moment.”

The beer is on tap at the tasting room and ABC plans to begin bottling, but not without Perkins.

“Steven is down-to-earth and a true rock ‘n’ roll professional,” said a giddy Bullington. “He insisted he has to be at the brewery for the bottling to have his Laverne and Shirley moment.”

Hoppy Happenins

Did you know Strand Brewing Company cans have been loving the shelves of Whole Foods? Or have you ever pondered if blondes do have more fun? Check out SBC’s Blonde Ale on tap at the tasting room and in bottles.  

Michelle from Flight’s Beer Bar said, “Time to get your laugh on. We have every Tuesday night, Crafts and Laughs. Come enjoy your favorite craft beer and laugh your ass off with our free comedy show featuring professional comics doing their thing. Monday through Friday we have a killer hour from 3 pm to 6 pm.”

Brouwerij West has been holding it down in San Pedro. On February 25, come celebrate Brouwerij West’s one-year anniversary party. Festivities include a brunch and beer tasting, special releases included one-offs, as well as an evening of killer live music. Event is free to the public.

On Feb. 19 from noon to 6 pm Cosmic Brewery will host digital Cards against Humanity. “It’s free and people can come and go as they please, joining in for one round or several,” said Sabrina of Cosmic Brewery. “Come play alone or with friends. From here on out we’ll be playing every Sunday.”

Cosmic will have Yoga and Beer on Feb. 26 starting at 11 am.

“For only $20, you get a one hour class by Vanessa, who has studied overseas, and one pint or one flight of your choice. Cash is preferred for this event.”

Rock & Brews in El Segundo will be hosting a Pint Night with Temecula’s Garage Brewing Company on February 22.

Amarilla Gorilla IPA is back at Smog City Brewing Company on tap at the tasting room and in bottles. On February 18, Troop 15815 will be hosting a table at the brewery taproom from 3-6pm with a wide selection of cookies to choose from. Support local Riviera Girl Scout Troop and buy some cookies. Pairing ideas will be available at the brewery.

To contribute to the brew of local craft beer culture, email ESolt@EasyReaderNews.com. ER


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