When a craft brewer can end up brewing not just one but two collaboration beers with a favorite band, it’s a great time to be alive. HeAthen Homecoming, a keller pils, is Hanging Hills Brewing Company’s second collaboration with the Georgia-based Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers (DBT). Self-proclaimed “heathens” (the term DBT fans call themselves) based in Hartford, Connecticut, the Hanging Hills team brewed HeAthen Homecoming in honor of the band’s homecoming performances at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia held this past February 16 to 19.
Appearance and Aroma
HeAthen Homecoming’s can is a work of art in its own right. With a label designed by the band’s go-to artist, Wes Freed, the design pulls out familiar elements, such as the Cooley bird (typically seen DBT’s album covers), tour posters, and band merch. Out of the can, the beer appears light gold with brilliant clarity. A cream-colored head dissipates quickly after pouring. Strong aromas of fresh baked bread and a subtle herbal and spice aromas show off the clean fermentation profile typically seen in this style.
Its crisp, clean, refreshing, and subtly hoppy flavor profile—paired with only 4.7% ABV—make this a beer I'd definitely want at my next rock show.”
Keller-style beers like this one are best consumed fresh. Luckily, I was able to partake in HeAthen Homecoming shortly after its release in late January. Upon first taste, I immediately pick up the flavor of crackers and bready malts. This is complemented by a noticeable herbal hop tang and bitterness on the back end. The beer finishes clean, crisp, and dry with a slight bitter aftertaste and light malt flavor lingering on the tongue.
Kind of like the band’s well-known lyric from its 2004 hit “Goddamn Lonely Love” (“I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take all of what you got”) this beer is made to be enjoyed in multiples. Its crisp, clean, refreshing, and subtly hoppy flavor profile—paired with only 4.7% ABV—make this a beer I'd definitely want at my next rock show. Sadly, it’s a one-off and likely won’t be back on Hanging Hills taps or in cans for the foreseeable future. But somehow, if you can manage to get your hands on a can or two, it’s well worth the effort.