Pairing Beer with Music #1: Fugazi & 3 Floyds Zombie Dust

While on a run listening to a Spotify mix of Fugazi, one of the standard bearers of the post-hardcore punk scene in late 80s DC, I started thinking about what beer most resembles the style and flare of this influential band. Stylistically, I immediately thought of an in-your-face pale ale. Balance isn't really of much concern, but rather something raw, brash, but also multi-layered.

Fugazi was formed out of a general discontent with the music industry, much like many of the craft-centric breweries of the past two decades. Even the name Fugazi is derived from a source of mass upheaval, the Vietnam War. According to a book being read by front-man Ian MacAye, Fugazi was an acronym for "Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In."

This same macabre and fierce spirit is embraced by the brewery 3 Floyds. Many of their beers borrow obscure terms and references from the music industry and counter-culture such as Backmasking (a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward on a track that is meant to be played forward), Jinx Proof (a DC area tattoo studio), and Permanent Funeral (made in collaboration with Pig Destroyer, a grindcore band from Virginia).

If you're fortunate enough to experience 3 Floyds in person at their brewpub in the uninspiring (or perhaps spite inducing is a better term) suburban city of Munster, Indiana, any number of their varied offerings would be a killer pairing while listening to Fugazi, however the one that stands out is Zombie Dust.

Zombie Dust is a highly-hopped American Pale Ale, and one of the more sought out beers among collectors. Descriptions range from aromatics of pine and citrus, with flavors of grapefruit, earthy hops and a resiny, dry finish. It's hard not to draw comparisons between its unfiltered and hazy appearance and that of a lo-fi, unrefined song that is a hallmark of the 80s punk scene. Also noteworthy is its relative simplicity despite the vast amount of flavor descriptors, not unlike the incredible range of sounds produced from simple rock riffs. Zombie Dust utilizes the still mega popular Citra hop of Yakima Valley, and like the handful of chords used by bands like Fugazi, pounds it into submission throughout the brewing process.

Experiencing the two together is enough to produce a 'fuck the man' bravado liable to make you quit your boring desk job, flip your boss the middle finger, and start your own garage band or brewery (or at least really fuckin' enjoy them both while daydreaming about the job thing).