COURTESY JESUS CHRIST SUPERCAR
Divine Intervention is a collaboration between Jesus Christ Supercar and Alpha Brewing Company.
Be it an official trend, pattern or some other term, there’s been a distinct, growing movement toward regional breweries and bands hooking up on short-run projects of late.
The list now includes offerings from: Public House Brewing Company (The Urge-inspired Receiving the Gift of Flavor Belgian Wit), Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (Pokey LaFarge Pilsner), Logboat Brewing Company (Falling Fences Irish Red Ale) and Earthbound Beer (iLLPHONiCS’ blueberry blonde ale, iLLiXR).
The newest member of this collaborative club involves the band Jesus Christ Supercar, which has teamed up with Alpha Brewing Company
for Divine Intervention, a five percent blonde ale brewed with blood oranges.
The genesis of the beer dates back to late 2019, when the band became friends and patrons of the Tower Grove South neighborhood’s Alpha. The group’s Christo Bachmann notes that after becoming regulars, his indie rock trio eventually took promo photos inside Alpha’s barrel room. Posting the results, a friend jokingly asked if the group was working toward its own beer. If only meant as a quick gag, that short note (plus an impromptu acoustic set on the patio) resulted in An Actual Thing.
Alpha’s founder/head brewer Derrick Langeneckert says that COVID-19 put a few crimps into what he hoped would be a big beer for the South Side brewery, which was timing the beer’s release with the band’s own springtime offering of the four-song EP, Post-Madonna
. The band’s planned show at that same barrel house did take place on May 23 but without an audience. Instead, the group livecast the concert, and the brewery still canned and shipped their collab to area retailers. Not quite the original, bigger plan, but the best that could be done under the circumstances.
“We still wanted to put out the beer, because we really liked the concept of a summertime, highly crushable blonde ale,” Langeneckert says, adding, “the band wanted to use blood orange because of its tongue-in-cheek connotation to their band name, Jesus Christ Supercar.”
The color orange is also prominent on the 16-ounce cans of Divine Intervention
, which are available now at a variety of area locations, like Randall’s, Friar Tuck Beverage and the St. Louis Hop Shop.
Of the beers mentioned earlier, several had a single run. That said, Falling Fences Irish Red Ale is smartly available for a natural re-appearance every St. Patrick’s Day. For Divine Intervention, Alpha sees a possible fit for reappearances.
“We may try to can it again if the band will come back and play a show, although it is difficult to plan events for the future right now,” Langeneckert says. “I see this beer making periodic returns to tap and cans. It is a very popular brew in our taproom right now.”
The band’s holding pattern is the same as that of their musical contemporaries: everything’s on pause. For example, a springtime show opening for the popular Of Montreal was shelved until fall, though even that date’s up in the air. Other opportunities to push their EP have been hung up, too, though their mini-album is available for sale/streaming on Bandcamp
. Bachmann figures that the group will stay true to “one of our goals when we formed, which is how we could continue with this specific brand and branch out into things we hadn’t done before.”
Having a signature beer is a bit of that eclectic plan, for sure. Bachmann notes that the band was hoping the beer would be of quality, which he’s satisfied has occurred. And the brewer had to hope that the group wouldn’t implode during the brewing process, which it didn’t.
“We had a little bit of a binding contract,” Bachmann jokes, noting that in the end, “we wanted a crisp, refreshing beer that we could enjoy all year ‘round.”
Thomas Crone is a longtime Riverfront Times contributor. He reports on a weekly basis about new releases from local distilleries and craft breweries.