|Ring Them Bells is a group of seasoned musicians deciding to form a new band for fun. They’ve burst on the scene in Copenahgen with their style that blends reverbed noisy guitars, driving drum beats and bass lines, and vocal pop melodies in the school of Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, and Velvet Underground. They’ve already gone on a little Scandinavian tour with Wovenhand, but no one is taking this too seriously.
Mikkeller is the classic example of a modern gypsy brewery. It’s all the rage these days and Mikkel pioneered this movement. He brews beer on multiple continents with multiple breweries and brewer experts. He knows what he wants and where to go to make it. He’s a rock star in the beer world.
In the fall of 2011, after a visit to Mikkeller’s excellent bar in Copenhagen, btv’s good friend Mikael started a conversation about a vinyl/beer collaboration with Mikkel, one of the premier international craft brewers, and the forming band, Ring Them Bells, which included several mutual friends. The band met with Mikkel to come up with a beer recipe that would match the sounds and feel of the record. In a marathon tasting session, Mikkel poured several different beers to see which tasted good with the record and lasted for the duration of the audio. The winning resulting beer is a slightly hoppy imperial porter with added coffee. Clocking in at 10% alcohol by volume, it’s strong and robust with some sweetness. The beer and the record will be unveiled at the opening party for the new Mikkeller bar in Copenhagen. The plans are to bring Ring Them Bells (band and beer) to the U.S. for several music events and beer tastings later in 2013.
The six-song Ring Them Bells LP features five tracks on the A side, and the sixth track on the B side with an etching done by our good friend (and teetotaler) John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud) that contains the complete recipe for Mikkeller’s Ring Them Bells beer. Ambitious home brewers can re-create the recipe.
Several of us involved with Burnt Toast Vinyl bands and the label met in late December and brewed up a few batches of the beer. We experimented by adding several different hand-roasted small batch coffees. The beer was bottled in late January and tasted in February. If the home brew version is even a shadow of the Mikkeller version, this is going to be a great beer. (Limited samples of the home brew version are available by request.)
For now, it’s a fun little vanity project. But, we love Ring Them Bells, the band and beer, and hope you will, as well.