The Dock Street Beer Ain’t Nothing To Funk With release party on Wednesday was, to put it simply, pretty epic. We did the damn thing — and sold out of the damn beer.
So much went into this special brew: Blood, sweat, tears, and music. We patiently aged it for six months, designed a speaker system for it, bottled it by hand, sealed it (by hand, of course) with two different colors of wax — black and yellow, naturally — and threw it a party. We sold out of a few hundred bottles in record time (50 minutes), crashed our website, and kicked the keg not much later. Oh and then we danced and partied with one of the top lyricists in hip hop history, Inspectah Deck of Wu Tang Clan, to beats from DJ Sonny James, and met a ton of new faces in the process.
(Oh and if you’re wondering: Yes, Deck greatly enjoyed the beer.)
Label artwork was done by Dock Street staffer and resident artist Alexis Grant, a PAFA grad who also created the label art for our 2014 The Walking Dead tribute beer, Dock Street Walker, made with goat brains.
As you may know, this beer was aged for six months to the tune of Wu Tang Clan, which was pumped in via a custom built set of speakers affixed to the barrel that played Wu Tang Clan, 24/7 for six months. According to our Masta Brewa (and science) “When yeast grows it produces flavor compounds. Vibrations are proven to cause yeast to grow more, which results in more flavor.”
Since this whole experiment was done in the name of science (yeah, science!), it was important to see if there was a Method (Man) to our madness. Dock Street Beer Ain’t Nothing To Funk With was available on tap and was served alongside The Control (same exact beer, barrel-aged for six months without the music) to see if Wu’s beats really did affect the taste of the beer.
The overwhelming public consensus was that the two beers tasted totally different; Dock Street Beer Ain’t Nothin to Funk With was noticeably more sour, with more characteristics like tropical fruit and barnyard funk present. We agree.
Philly-based DJ Sonny James spun Wu Tang hits for the people, and the classic 1980’s Kung Fu flick (and inspiration behind the Clan’s name) Shaolin and Wu Tang was running on the projector, which made a great background for an impromptu dance party.
Video by Alexis Grant
A little BOOMitis hit the crowd when DJ Jay Ski and the Boom 107.9 crew popped in, and West Philly hip-hop artist Chill Moody came by to snag some bottles:
DOCK STREET BEER AIN'T NOTHING TO FUNK WITH GOLDEN SAISON, 7% ABV
We're all a product of our environment; we react consciously and subconsciously to countless stimuli on the regular. There's the obvious: temperature, light exposure, atmosphere; and the more complicated: rhythm, tempo, volume, etc. Beer is no different. To test this theory, we didn't funk around.
This Golden Saison made its way into a red wine barrel in a cool section of the brewery where the only sounds to be heard for six months were from a 24/7 loop of Wu Tang Clan’s music via custom-fit, house-made ‘headphones.’ The addition of Brettanomyces B & C (these are wild yeast strains not new clan members) changed the game with a new level of tart and funk.
Just like Wu-Tang Clan flipped hip-hop on its head, we want to challenge the way craft beer is made and appreciated. Depending on who you ask, we're either stimulating or serenading this beer with the sounds and vibrations of hip hop's most iconic ensemble. We lean towards the latter.
Nicely done, brewers:
Thanks, everyone, for partying with us and making this a success. And if you missed it (even if you didn't!), there will be more awesome experiments, and parties, to come.
Wu Tang - And Dock Street - Forever!