This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Guided By Voices’ lo-fi indie classic Bee Thousand, and the popular Delaware-based microbrewery Dogfish Head is celebrating with the release of “Beer Thousand.”
Released on June 21, 1994, Bee Thousand was the last album GBV recorded for the Cleveland, OH (later, St. Louis, MO) based indie label Scat Records, before moving on to chug from bigger kegs on Matador Records for Alien Lanes. The album remains one of the band’s most lauded efforts, and was named the greatest indie album of all time by Amazon’s editors in 2009. It’s typical of most of the band’s output at the time, characterized by brilliantly addled little fragments of songs, brief and luminous glimpses of British-invasion inspired pop.
But enough about rock, let’s talk about the beer.
Just as Dogfish Head has always brewed the beers we want to drink instead of bending toward trends and tradition, Guided by Voices has always made the music they want to listen to.
“We’re only making records for ourselves,” GBV frontman Robert Pollard says, “I’m going to put exactly what I want on them.”
To celebrate that independent spirit and the 20th anniversary of the band’s classic album Bee Thousand, Dogfish Head has brewed BEER Thousand. This imperial lager, chosen to echo the copious amounts of lager that fueled GBV’s garage recordings, is brewed with 10 grains and 10 hop varieties, and clocks in at 10% ABV.
10x10x10 = BEER Thousand.
“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” says Pollard. “But I’ll drink to that.”
10% ABV! Because who needs to remember stuff, really? The beer won’t be released to the public until early autumn, so if you’re in one of the 30 states they sell in, you have that to look forward to. While you wait, enjoy these clips of GBV’s hometown (Dayton by God Ohio) show from the same year as Bee Thousand’s release. Some of this material can be found on GBV vocalist Bob Pollard’s wonderfully-titled DVD The Devil Went Home and Puked