Way back in 1991, the Cycle Sluts From Hell shouted that they wished we were a beer. If you ever looked at an album and felt the same sentiment, the Lights Out have great news for you.
The Boston rock band has announced they have partnered with Aeronaut Brewing Company to release T.R.I.P., perhaps the first-ever album to be released solely on a beer can and paired with a craft beer. The album is based around theories of travel between realities, and each song tells a story related to an alternate universe the band has visited. It’s all aligned with Aeronaut’s Imperial Session IPA, an “adventure beer” with a texture and taste to match the themes and feel of the record, and the way to hear it is to drink it — buy the beer, and follow the instructions.
“Do what beer tells you to do — when has that ever gone wrong?” asks Lights Out guitarist Adam Ritchie in the promo video below, which helps to further explain this new relationship that seems entirely obvious now that it’s happened. Aeronaut CEO Ben Holmes says “it seemed like a cool way to put words and sound to the experience of drinking a beer,” and he enjoys adult beverages that tell a story. The Imperial Session IPA, says Holmes, is “packed with galaxy hops, clocks in at 7.5% ABV, and is refreshing to drink.”
But why? Why Aeronaut? And why for T.R.I.P.?
We connected with Ritchie to go a bit deeper.
“Today it’s more common for someone to walk into a beer store and browse through the shelves than it is for someone to walk into a music store and browse through the albums,” he tells us. “Even for us, as musicians. Beer shopping is at least a once-a-week activity, versus the maybe once-a-month activity of album shopping. There’s been a shift in behavior. We discover new beer the same way a lot of us used to discover new music — by looking at a shelf and seeing what looks interesting. How often would you take a chance on an album because of the cover? We love the idea of someone running into this album on a beer shelf.”
He continues: “Discovering music isn’t the physically immersive experience it once was. It mostly happens behind a computer screen. Search-and-enter. Building a playlist. Something’s been lost. But shopping for a beer is totally immersive. It’s like a quest. You’ve got to go somewhere, lay your hands on a cold six-pack and go through the ritual of presenting your ID to another human being to get it. There’s a mystery and anticipation to walking home with something new, and a thrill of discovery. When it comes to an album about exploring other worlds, both internal and external, we want people to have that feeling. The fact that you can bring it home and have the sensory experience of drinking it while you listen just adds a whole other dimension.”