Steve Gonzalez, senior manager of brewing and innovation at Stone Brewing, recently spoke to the 107.7 The Bone radio station about METALLICA's beer brand, Enter Night. Check out the chat below. A collaboration with Stone Brewing on what has been described as "a hoppy pilsner played through a distortion pedal," the beer first appeared on the band's fall 2018 tour dates and gained full U.S. distribution in the first quarter of 2019. A spring rollout will include Europe, Australia, China and elsewhere.
Asked by Kerrang! magazine what went into this beer to make it uniquely METALLICA-ish, Gonzalez said: "We brewed a few prototypes based on what the METALLICA team was looking for and this was far and away their favorite. For me, what makes this a METALLICA beer is the flavor intensity, but it stays refreshing. It's unique and groundbreaking like METALLICA, but you can taste the influences, which in this case are traditional German lagers and American Craft Beer. It's dry-hopped with German and American hops, the flavors really sing, it has depth, and you want to come back for more. Sounds like a METALLICA beer to me!
Regarding how much input at Stone Brewing got from the band in terms of flavor profile, Steve said: "They knew what they wanted for the most part. We did a few variations, all of which were really good. We spoke slightly different languages in the details, but translating what someone is asking for and interpreting that, getting inside their heads to give them something solid that meets their preferences is what we do. It was definitely a collaborative effort."
Enter Night Pilsner is the outcome of a genuine creative spark between two entities that grew to become international forces of nature in their respective worlds, yet came from the fringes. An intensity of vision combined with a shared middle finger to the status quo makes Enter Night Pilsner a chorus of collaboration worth celebrating. The members of METALLICA and the leadership of Stone participated at every step alongside their talented brewing team. From METALLICA's Bay Area HQ and the brewery HQ in San Diego, to many beers backstage at shows, the spirit of collaboration was powerful. Drummer Lars Ulrich and Stone co-founder Greg Koch even enjoyed multiple occasions at Lars's home "discussing" (industry speak for "drinking") beers. After all, there was only one chance to get this right, and anything less than an incredible result was not an option.
"The amount of ideals and outlooks that METALLICA and Stone Brewing share are endless," says Lars. "I'm always blown away about how similar our paths forward have been. Our view of the worlds that we each inhabit, of creativity and process, and sense of place in relation to our peers and 'The Man' are almost identical. This collaboration is beyond effortless and pure, and we can't wait to share this incredible beverage with everyone out there."
"I remember seeing METALLICA on the cover of a magazine just after the Black Album was released," recalls Greg. "On the cover was a quote that resonated with me to this day: 'METALLICA didn't go to number one, number one came to them.' I loved what that meant. Do it your way and never compromise your art. If you're great at what you do, people will come. I view that simple quote as one of the founding philosophical elements of Stone Brewing."
Aside from its intense drinkability, craft enthusiasts will note Enter Night's remarkable flavor and aroma which artfully combine the beauty of a traditional Northern German Pilsner with Arrogant Consortia's (a Stone Brewing imprint) modern overtones of aggression. The resulting genre-defying pilsner is hop forward with sound bitterness on the finish.
Arrogant Consortia is a wholly owned imprint of Stone Brewing. Its often aggressive and always self-righteous lineup of beers includes Arrogant Bastard Ale and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale, among others. The world-renowned brewery is well-known for waving the proud flag of independent craft brewing, while rallying against the bland, boring nature of industrialized, commoditized "fizzy yellow beer." Enter Night Pilsner is brewed to be enjoyed fresh and is best enjoyed with your friends… be it in bars, backyards, or tailgates… with your favorite music.
METALLICA previously ventured into the booze market with its whiskey, "Blackened", which which was made available in 2018 through the band's own Sweet Amber Distilling Co.