For Black Pumas, 2019 was a year of firsts: their first album release, their first Grammy nomination, their first late night TV debut. This year, for obvious reasons, things have been a little different for the Austin-based band, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped creating. Next month, they join the likes of Metallica and The Flaming Lips in the small pantheon of Bands with a Beer. Their brew, Stay Gold, is a hoppy pale ale made in collaboration with 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op, and it’s hitting shelves in Texas on August 7.
“This is the big time, having your own beer. Forget all the other stuff,” guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada tells October. “We’re actually retiring after this,” he adds jokingly. The 5.5% ABV beer has been in the works since the beginning of the year. Stay Gold is a truly local effort with both the band and brewery hailing from Austin, as well as local artist Rory Blank designing the can art. Originally the beer was set to be released at Black Pumas shows at Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater, but when those were canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the band and brewery decided to move forward with the beer release and tie in a charity component. Proceeds from the beer will benefit the Austin Justice Coalition, African American Youth Harvest Foundation, and Austin NAACP.
I’m very honored that the Black Pumas have a beer coming and that it’s named after a song that I wrote when I was busking in Los Angeles, California.”
Stay Gold was brewed with Quesada and singer Eric Burton’s favorite beer styles in mind and, in a way, also took a cue from the band’s soulful yet contemporary style. “We took that old-school approach with a bit of new-school technology,” says John Stecker, 4th Tap Brewing’s co-founder. “We used this hop called Cryo Mosaic. Mosaic hops are already pretty delicious and the Cryo Mosaic side of that means basically that we're using just the pollen from the hops—there’s no vegetal matter going in. It really lets us get these huge, big, intense flavor notes.” That means the beer is heavy on the citrus—with a hint of earthy pine and bubblegum—and light on the bitterness.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first beer released by a band to brandish the “Stay Gold” name. Run The Jewels has brewed its Stay Gold IPA in collaboration with Georgia’s Creature Comforts and New York’s Interboro. For Burton, the name Stay Gold has significance beyond the fact that it's the name of a song off the band’s debut album. “I’m very honored that the Black Pumas have a beer coming and that it’s named after a song that I wrote when I was busking in Los Angeles, California,” Burton says. “I wrote that song in the subway, in the elevator. I loved how the guitar kind reverberated inside the elevator, so I was the crazy guy riding up and down just for the sound. [This beer is] a great reminder of where I come from.”