Russian River's Sanctification is Beastie Boys 'Check Your Head'

July 22, 2017

By Mike D'Orazio, July 22, 2017

If Russian River's Sanctification was an album, it would be Check Your Head.

Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys is neither an alternative album, nor is it a hip-hop album. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the 1992 release was a pre-cursor to the rap-rock explosion of the late '90s and early 2000s. And while Sanctification isn't a crossover of styles per se, it's technically nether an ale nor a lager, per the brewery.

The Beasties took to the instruments on Check Your Head, unlike their trailing two albums leading up to this release. In fact, the album almost ended up as an instrumental record. But, the classic hip-hop style samples were still in the mix, and when combined with all the other elements, it created a great crossover between music genres.

Sanctification could also be considered a cross-over of sorts. Besides the fact that it is doesn’t fit into the ale or lager category, if you were to run into a non-craft beer drinker, Sanctification could be the type of brew to bring them over to the craft realm. The brew is citrusy, funky, a little sour and refreshing too. The carbonation makes the mouthfeel light and almost fizzy. The color is hazy and bright. All the aforementioned qualities are easy for a light beer drinker to get down with and not get scared away.

The album's funky undertones are found in the keyboard work throughout, making them akin to the brew's funkiness from the brettanomyces. Instrumentals like "Pow" are a flat-out, funk-laden jam fest.

Both the beer and album have some bright notes that stand out. The feel-good tunes to make you nod your head like, and the floral tastes that make it an easy sipper on a warm day. They're all found on the album on a track like, "Jimmy James." Even the band's punk roots shine on "Time For Livin'" which is a track that truly compliments the sour notes of the wild ale.

Sanctification and Check Your Head have more in common than you would think. Both can be enjoyed on a summer day. Both are funky. Both are crossover hits.

But mainly, both are standouts in each respective creator's catalogue.

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