Heavy beers deserve heavy music: beers with dark features paired with music inspired by dark themes; high alcohol content with high octave metal guitars.
Metal music has the power to increase aggression, fuel workouts, hurt necks, and damage eardrums. Whether together or separate, beer and music should flow through your veins and elicit great emotion. Metal and stouts belong together.
For your listening and drinking pleasure, start by pairing up the beers with our hand-selected metal albums below.
Surly Darkness, 10.3% ABV
Metallica “…And Justice For All”
Laced with massive amounts of different flavors, Surly Darkness is one of the more fascinating and anticipated beers of any annual release. Darkness bottles have been graced by prominent horror figures such as a zombie, a vampire and the grim reaper. Even the devil himself has made an appearance. This heavy hitter ages gracefully over the years at 10.3% alcohol by volume, much like your favorite Metallica album.
“…And Justice For All” seems to fit well into the equation. One of the heaviest albums ever produced, “Justice” offers complex tracks so you can take your time sipping the savory Russian imperial stout as you wallow in the riff-packed album. Clocking in at over an hour in length, Darkness is a great compliment to the 1988 Metallica classic.
Founders Devil Dancer, 12% ABV
Avenged Sevenfold, “Waking the Fallen”
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light? Although the beer is now discontinued, it will live on through the palates of those who have tasted it and remembered it well: smooth malts finished with stinging hops.Stinging guitar riffs from Avenged Sevenfold’s “Walking the Fallen,” monster drumming throughout the entire album from The Rev, plus a ridiculous beer from Founders – that's a match made somewhere other than heaven.
Packed with 112 IBUs and a double digit alcohol by volume, Devil Dancer is sure to make its way to your head quickly. And as the album churns through tracks like ‘Clairvoyant Disease,’ you can destroy your palate with 10 different hop varieties in a beer that has been through 26 days of straight dry hopping.
3 Floyds Dark Lord, 15% ABV
Black Sabbath, “Master of Reality”
Visualize, if you can, a big hulking figure reminiscent of Sauron from Lord of the Rings transformed into a beer. Thus, you have Dark Lord, an amazing Russian imperial stout full of beautiful cherry and fig taste. Dark Lord possesses a certain mystic status in the beer realm. The stout clocks in at a sneaky 15% and could easily deceive you.
“Master of Reality” by Black Sabbath is dark, heavy and classic, much like its beer counterpart. Tony Iommi, the professor of the power chords, helped create the sound of metal with Ozzy at the helm. Crunching tunes like ‘Lord of This World’ and the classic ‘Sweet Leaf’ ensure the Dark Lord and Sabbath pairing to be one most iconic for those who dabble in both.
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Sarsaparilla 666 Stout, 12% ABV
Pantera “Far Beyond Driven”
Does it get any more evil and satanic than including the mark of the beast in your beer name? I think not. Forget hard root beers. This is a punch to your mouth full of bourbony root beer goodness in beer form. Released at Dark Horse’s annual 4 Elf party in 2013 and again in 2016, Sarsaparilla can throw your taste buds into a frenzy as wild as Dimebag Darrell’s solos.
Listening to Pantera’s drop D tuning and double bass pedals will bring out the devil in the Sarsaparilla stout. There are big vanilla notes in the brew on top of a great sweetness to it all. But there’s nothing sweet about “Far Beyond Driven.” It is hostility in its purest form, fueled by hard alcohol and pain killers. Just don’t fuel yourself with those two. Stick to the music and beer.
It is hostility in its purest form, fueled by hard alcohol and pain killers.”
Mikkeller Black Hole, 13% ABV
Rage Against the Machine, “Rage Against the Machine”
Mikkeller describes Black Hole as “daring, vulgar and extreme.” So it’s only right to pair the beer with Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut album. The album and the band itself completely embodies the description of Black Hole.
The brew is dark with a thinner mouthfeel, but also comes in at 13% ABV. The album also comes at you strong with ‘Bombtrack’ as the intro and additional classics like ‘Bullet in the Head.’ Black Hole isn’t a hop-forward beer, but you’ll recognize their bitter presence like a right-wing Republican listening to any Rage song. It’s safe to say Zach de la Rocha and company would approve of slinging some Black Hole down your gullet while getting all anti-establishment.
The Lost Abbey Serpent’s Stout, 11% ABV
System of a Down “Toxicity”
Good versus evil. The all-time classic battle. Black versus white, dark versus light. Hops versus malts…wait, those two actually go pretty well together.
Serpent’s Stout from The Lost Abbey is full of classic stout qualities like chocolate and roasted flavors. And much like those huge flavors, System of a Down’s “Toxicity” is just as massive of an album. Imagine yourself blowing out your speakers to ‘Prison Song’ while drinking that amazing stout. Serj Tankian’s manic lyrics and cadence will have you whipping through your Serpent’s Stout at a pace faster than Daron Malakian shreds through the album. Give in to the dark side with this pairing.