The last time local headbangers Darkest Hour wanted to collaborate with DC Brau Brewing Company on a commemorative brew, the timing just didn’t work out.
When the opportunity arose to celebrate both the band’s 20th anniversary and their forthcoming ninth studio album, "Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora," DC Brau co-founder Brandon Skall jumped on board.
The craft brewers initially mulled doing a “super dark beer” -- a la the coffee-laced, 9 percent Doppelbock the brewery created for local ska band, The Pietasters, a few years back -- but ultimately decided to pursue function above form.
“Instead of of making a beer thematically … we wanted to brew something practical that they could drink on stage,” Skall said.
They settled on a refreshing pilsner -- with a twist.
“We’ve never brewed a Helles before,” Skall said of Savor the Swill, a German-style lager. “It’s something you can chug and pound without getting too drunk.”
DC Brau worked out the recipe. Darkest Hour lead singer John Henry and guitarist Mike Schleibaum contributed the name (a nod to their 2011 tune, “Savor the Kill”).
The marriage of pilsner malt from the Czech Republic and Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops took place in late December.
DC Brau produced a 30 barrel batch -- “Probably a good month supply for this area,” Skall estimated -- that’s been split into kegs and cans.
The band is expected to swing by the brewery on February 11 for a tasting party/meet and greet. The beer will also be featured at the Black Cat when the band rocks out on February 17th.
If demand is high enough, Skall could see re-releasing the experimental brew at a later date.
“It came out really good and tasty,” he said.
It’ll be even easier once a new brewing system, which should double DC Brau’s production capability, comes online this spring.