Writer’s Note: My name is Bill Roseberry, better known as Billdo to thatmetalstation.com listeners, a recurring co-host on the Metal Mike Show. I’m a 43-year-old professional journalist in southern Illinois, right outside of St. Louis, Mo. and two of my passions besides writing are music and craft beer. My love of music can date back to my dad playing Queen, Beatles and Rolling Stones albums when I could barely walk and me dancing to the beat. I still vividly remember buying my Van Halen “1984” cassette tape with my allowance when it released and wearing it out. My love of music has grown exponentially since then. My love for creative and unique brews came much later, but hopefully this column shows me as an aficionado for both — this is beer & metal.
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these columns, so I thought I’d return with a bang.
I want to feature one of the most iconic hard rock/metal bands of all time — Kiss — with an up-and-coming brewery on the St. Louis scene — Heavy Riff Brewing.
Heavy Riff was founded in 2013 in St. Louis and loves to name its beers after bands and songs. The beer I’m choosing to feature is Love Gun, so of course, I’m pairing it with the iconic Kiss song of the same name.
The beer is a vanilla cream ale; it’s a little girly but extremely good, just like Paul Stanley, the man who wrote the classic Love Gun.
Let’s start with the beer. The aromas of vanilla will slap you in the face as soon as you crack the can. It pours golden with a frothy head. A medium body beer, it’s a little flowery up front and then punches your palate on the back end with a strong creamy, vanilla flavor.
Beer Advocate gives it a good score of 82. It’s 4.6 percent ABV, so not super high in alcohol, but higher than you may imagine by the taste.
Now let’s move on to the song. If you’re not familiar with this song, then you must have been living under a rock. Stanley was the consummate songwriter and this is one of his best. Of course, it’s a metaphor for his trouser snake. I don’t know if there is another band in the world that wrote more songs about their schlongs than Kiss.
But while Stanley may have written the song, in my opinion it wouldn’t be the classic it is without the unbelievable guitar work of the legendary Ace Frehley. Frehley’s solos at the end of Love Gun are a template for guitar playing and the perfect companion as you’re finishing off one of these beers and getting hit with that sweet vanilla flavor. It’s sweet for your palate and even sweeter for your ears.
Of course Love Gun is the title track off of the 1977 classic album with the same name. Like I said, Love Gun the beer is quite a bit younger than that. It’s even fairly new to being packaged and distributed, rather than just on draught.
Check out www.heavyriffbrewing.com to learn the full story about this newer brewery. With other beer names like Run to the Pils, Layla, Velvet Underbrown and Du Hops Mich, plus many more, you get the idea these guys are music fans, and of course they’re beer fans.
So why don’t you pull the trigger of my Love Gun and Have a Drink on Me. Oh wait… wrong band… well you get the idea.