If pop-culture critic Chuck Klosterman taught us anything from his memoir Fargo Rock City, it’s that Midwesterners love their metal. And one Munster, Indiana, company has been making new noise for the hard-fast-and-heavy genre by crafting special-release beers in concert with favorite metal groups.
Three Floyds Brewing Company, whose coveted Citra-forward American Pale Ale Zombie Dust holds a steady Top 20 Beer Advocate rating, started hosting its annual beer-and-metal festival 12 years ago to showcase rising bands and release its “demonic” Russian imperial stout bearing the same moniker as the once-a-year event, Dark Lord Day. And in 2010, the metal-friendly brewery began collaborating with groups like Pelican (The Creeper Doppelbock), Pig Destroyer (Permanent Funeral Pale Ale) and Municipal Waste (Toxic Revolution Stout) to create limited-batch brews; Three Floyds‘ latest victim is Buffalo-spawned death metal vets Cannibal Corpse.
On Oct. 14, the brewing company announced through its Facebook page that Amber Smashed Face—a play on the band’s Hammer Smashed Face (1993) album—would soon be released. The brewery describes the beer as “an aggressively hopped American Amber Ale sure to crush your skull and liquefy your brain.” Sounds like every metalhead and beer nerd’s wet-hopped dream.
For a brewery that aims to cook up “intense” beer labeled with Vince Locke’s gore-obsessed artwork and a band whose graphic lyrics of blood and carnage spill across its 27-year catalog, one can only believe it’s the perfect pairing—plus, it’s fun to fantasize about the grotesque tasting notes if life were to truly imitate art. Think: a malty base of crushed bone and blood broth with juicy notes of worm and maggot pulp that finishes with a heavy mouth feel and the nose smells a bit of dead flesh, like a “Rotting Head,” a “brain turned to soup, ears are dripping goop” for fans—err, zombies—to drink up.
Vince Locke gave fans a sneak peak of the label art on his Instagram account:
Cannibal Corpse is currently on tour in support of A Skeletal Domain—the bands’ lucky-number-13 studio release—with one nearby stop in Pittsburgh on Nov. 3. The 12-track album, produced by Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, DevilDriver) at Audio Hammer Studios in Florida, where Cannibal Corpse is now based, debuted at number 32 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart during its first week, and ASD remains as the band’s highest-charting record to date. We’ll raise our skull chalice to that.