When you’re watching GZA, aka The Genius, take the stage at the Waiting Room this weekend, make sure you have a pint of his namesake beer in hand, aka Community Beer Works’ GZA Pale Ale, which will be on tap at the concert venue for the highly anticipated show.
The beer is not only named for the Wu-Tang founding member, it’s also a clever acronym using its component hops, Galaxy, Zythos and Amarillo. The tropical brew is the brainchild of CBW’s own Drew Hardin, who says that brewing this particular beer has long been a dream of his.
“I have had a long dream of doing a Wu-Tang beer series,” Hardin says. “I have Wu member beers/styles picked out already – “The Chef” Peppercorn Saison, ODB Malt Liquor, Method Imperial Stout, etc. Music is a huge influence in almost any craft. Craft beer is no different. Almost everyone listens to music at work. Or at least they should. I brew to music. I listen to a lot, I mean A LOT, of hip hop – old school hip-hop. I’m a child of the 80s and old school golden era hip-hop. And Wu-Tang is for the children. It has had a huge impact on my life. And I make beer so the music makes a direct impact on my life and what I do.”
“GZA Pale Ale has a nice mellow medium malt forward base I have used in the past,” he adds of the beer. “Like a drum beat that I need to find the right hop harmony to lace over the top with. Tropical hops, a mellow malt bill and a level balance between the two are music to my mouth.”
Hardin only hopes that if GZA enjoys a fresh pint of GZA Pale Ale, he appreciates all of the hard work, time and energy that went into brewing it, just as Hardin appreciates all of those very same qualities that go into each and every one of GZA’s tracks.
“If GZA had this beer what would I hope his reaction be? Well I don’t know if Bobby Digital is a hoppy craft beer drinker. However, I would hope he can appreciate the time and effort put into a beer based on his influence on my life. I don’t know if my beer would touch him the same way his music has touched my life, but I hope he would see the effort put in to make a quality beer just like his time and effort makes a quality track I enjoy.”
Ironically enough, for someone who brewed a beer for a group member and that has vision of brewing a beer for other Wu-Tang members; Hardin doesn’t have one favorite Wu-Tang song.
“I do not have a favorite Wu-Tang song. I love anytime I hear the Wu in a public forum. Wu-Tang fans are a great group of folks that you can never really spot until something like “Da Rockwilder” comes over the jukebox. 36 Chambers. That “Pinky Ring” shit. Liquid Swords. It’s all good.”
GZA will perform at the Waiting Room on February 25 at 8pm with Meyhem Lauren and Short Moscato also set to perform. There are still a limited amount of tickets left ($25 advance, $30 doors) and can be purchased at www.ticketfly.com.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.