Since releasing On the Impossible Past and Rented World on Epitaph Records, The Menzingers have become one of Philly’s most prominent punk bands. Now, they have joined the growing list of bands in Philly that can say they’ve brewed beer, not just inhaled it.
The Menzingers teamed up with Neshaminy Creek Head Brewer Jeremy Myers back in October to brew an Imperial Kolsch, which they decided to name “Menzinger” as a tongue-in-cheek ribbing towards their friends at Philadelphia Brewing Company. Jeremy explained that there’s technically no such thing as an Imperial Kolsch, and that their process involved taking a kolsch base and “just amping it up.” He added, “we cranked it to eleven, cause we’re American brewers and we can do whatever we want,” while Menzingers guitarist/vocalist Tom May said “its really hoppy and has a high ABV, but its not very bitter.” The good-spirited nature of their collaboration will be celebrated on Saturday, December 12th, with an acoustic show at the brewery to coincide with the tapping of the limited Menzinger brew.
Myers and The Menzingers met almost a decade ago, when, according to Tom, “we played a house show in New Jersey with Jeremy’s band Giving Chase and some other bands, and then some guy got hit in the face with a shovel and the cops showed up and we all had to go home.” What started as a friendship with punk shows and beer has turned into a lifestyle, as the Menzingers now tour the world and Myers runs a rapidly expanding brewery that employs many local punks.
The group has talked about collaborating on a brew before, and everything finally came together back in October when the band made it out to Croydon, PA to collaborate with Jeremy. Prior to this, the band’s limited experience in homebrewing had come when they were teenagers that needed to bypass going to the store for booze. Tom May said he enjoyed the more legitimate brewing experience, and pointed out that “the punk ethics and ethos of the music translates over into beer really well.”
Jeremy also noted the similarities between the craft beer and music industries, and pointed out that his first DIY venture was an independent punk label called Jump Start Records. The small label has released albums from numerous regional bands, including New York’s Broadcaster who will perform at the show on Saturday. Jeremy says his label managing skill set has transferred over to the brewery, “how beer is made and how beer is sold on a craft beer level is very similar to a DIY punk rock label.” He added, “the only difference is that people buy beer.”
Neshaminy Creek has been taking advantage of that by making delicious brews and building a unique aesthetic, which is marked by the quirky artwork of JP Flexner, the drummer of Beach Slang and Ex Friends. Mergers between the craft beer and punk rock worlds are becoming more common, and Jeremy sees that collaboration as ongoing for Neshaminy Creek due to their strong ties to the local punk scene. He seemed open to the idea of continuing to brew with bands, with the possibility of starting to package cans or bottles of their partnership brews in the future.
As Neshaminy Creek is making a name for itself in the beer world, The Menzingers have spent the year pleasing fans by touring the states with Taking Back Sunday and mewithoutyou. Now, they’re back home in Philly for the winter to spend time with family, and work on some new material. Tom said, “We’re here writing for the winter. It’s gonna be cold, we’ll get a bunch of miserable songs out of it, it’ll be great!” In addition to writing new songs and performing at the intimate Neshaminy Creek gig, The Menzingers are hosting their annual holiday show for charity in Scranton on December 19th, with Tigers Jaw, Captain, We’re Sinking, Three Man Cannon, Petal. As for the acoustic show on the 12th, Tom said “we’re just gonna go up there, drink some beers, and play some songs with our friends. It’s gonna be such a good homecoming, I can’t wait.” He also talked about how The Menzingers generally write on acoustic guitar before going full band, and that he enjoys being able to play out both styles live. “It’s really awesome when people go insane at your shows and they’re climbing on each other, and then it’s also really nice to have people really just genuinely appreciate the songwriting, and listening to the lyrics, and empathizing with it all.” The free, limited capacity, acoustic show with The Menzingers, Broadcaster, and a special guest, is on Saturday, December 12th. Menzinger will be tapped at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m., learn more here.
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