Opeth have launched their own beer in celebration of their 25th anniversary.
The Swedish prog metal heroes have teamed up with Leeds-based Northern Monk Brew Co for a limited edition beer called XXV Anniversary Imperial Stout.
Only 1700 660ml bottles of the 9.2% brew are available and it’s described as being “descended from the strongest Stout Porter brewed in Britain in the 18th Century and brewed with 10 different malts for uttermost complexity of flavour – big, dark and full in mouthfeel, expect roasted flavours with underlying notes of rich chocolate, cinder toffee and coffee.”
Guitarist Fredrik Akesson and drummer Martin Axenrot visited the brewery and were taken on a tour by founder Russell Bisset. He says: “We’re big metal fans at Northern Monk and Opeth is often the soundtrack to our brewing.
“When the opportunity to work with the band came up, we jumped at the chance. Opeth have been taking the same progressive and quality driven approach to music that we have to beer for the past 25 years and it was great to work with them.
“Our aim was to make one of the most bold and forward thinking brewery and band collaborations ever. We got together at the brewery tap room and tasted our range of beers with them and together came up with a couple of recipes.”
Northern Monk Brew Co add that the stout is “designed to sip slowly and share with friends. Drink one now and save one as the flavours will develop over time.”
Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt adds: “Even if we’re musicians firstly, we’re beer drinkers secondly. Kind of. Let me rephrase – we love beer. We love good beer. We’ve turned into culinary connoisseurs of late.
“Not too much snobbery however. We just love good food and drinks. So when we were approached by the fantastic Northern Monk brewery to do a Opeth signature beer we simply could not turn it down. But believe me, we’ve turned down zillions off offers to do alcoholic beverages with the Opeth logo on it.
“Northern Monk are great. They have great ideas and makes great beer. They even invited Fredrik and Axe down to the brewery for a walkthrough of their premises in Leeds. Needless to say, they got both of them drunk, but we also managed to get our own brand of signature beer down to a tee.
“And Axe and Fredrik know their beer, from years of over-indulging. And now it’s ready. One is a top of the line Imperial stout that can be matured up to about 25 years. We’ll also have a lovely pale ale out in early 2016. I know we’re not the first band to do our own beer, and not the last. All I know is that it’s a top quality beer and I will certainly enjoy having my own little stash in the cooler for Christmas. Cheers.”