OPM and Craft Beer Pairings
Inspired by a blog post in the Phoenix New Times, I decided to pair some of my favorite OPM (Original Pilipino Music) bands with some of my favorite beers. I’ll probably do another one for my favorite foreign artists, and I just got the idea of “pairing” books with beers as well, given the title of this blog.
1. Razorback and Stone Ruination
This one is almost too obvious. Ruination, Stone’s Imperial IPA is on most days my favorite craft beer. Razorback, similarly, is on most days my favorite OPM band. Full of alcohol, unforgiving, unapologetic, aggressive, explosive, yet built on uncompromised style and technique. Just as Stone ruins your palate forever such that you can never go back to the fizzy yellow stuff, so does Razorback ruin your eardrums. With heavy jams like Wakasan and Payaso , rock and roll riffs like Ikot ng Mundo and Voodoo Who do?, and reflective foils such as Manna and Teacher, the Boars ensure that you won’t listen to your talentless pogi rock bands ever again. I know Kevin Roy sang the Red Horse Extra Strong “jingle,” but if he and the guys tried this brew, I’m sure they’d be converted and ruined as well.
2. Wolfgang and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
Another obvious pairing of two favorites. I don’t think the Wolves would contest this match either. Both know how good they are, and aren’t afraid to put themselves “on a pedestal, so everyone can see” (Sanctified). The Black IPA style fits the band perfectly with that interplay of intense hops and flavorful roasted malts in a high-alcohol, full-bodied onyx. The Sublimely Self-Righteous is a heavy beer, and Philippine bands get no heavier than Wolfgang. If you have any doubts, listen to the entire Black Mantra album (and it isn’t even my favorite among their releases) while sipping a bomber of this ale.
3. Brain Salad and Ommegang Abbey Ale
I was deciding between this German-style doppel bock and a Belgian-style dubbel for this band, and I decided to go with the latter. I’ve only had the pleasure of trying Ommegang’s dubbel once, just as how Brain Salad’s album was a one-time collaboration between Razorback and Wolfgang mainstays (you’ll see my preferences in OPM music is quite consistent). The buck does not end there though, because drinking this beer and listening to this band both hinge on turning into a religious experience. They are transcendent, almost hypnotic. I feel like I can retreat into my own self-contained dreamworld with the complex yet relaxing balance both the beer and the music provide. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible that Brain Salad will perform together again. I have the same chances of getting my hands on Ommegang Abbey Ale here in the Philippines, as well.
4. Eraserheads and Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
Sculpin is a hoppy, happy beer, and the arguably the best IPA in the world. It’s floral, citrusy, fruity, evoking memories of a beautiful tropical summer. The Eraserheads, are unquestionably the iconic Filipino rock band, and their upbeat, timeless and similarly happy music is a testament to the Philippines itself – as a land of artists and happy, optimistic people; of picturesque beach summers and colorful fiestas (Ligaya, With a Smile, Alapaap). And, yes, this may be forcing things a bit, but both the brew and the band have that delicate bitterness that doesn’t overpower the rest of their color and flavor (Pare Ko, Ang Huling El Bimbo)
5. W.Y.R.D. and Chimay
Go figure. (Disclaimer: Chimay Grande Reserve is one of my all-time favorites. WYRD is not.)
5.a Sponge Cola and San Mig Light Lemon
No explanation necessary.