Formed almost 20 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, The National is a major rock band with seven full-length studio albums to its credit. The quintet’s sixth album Trouble Will Find Me was nominated for “Best Alternative Music Album” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, while its 2017 collection Sleep Well Beast was named “Best Alternative Music Album” at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Furthermore, four of the band’s albums were included as part of the 2013 list of the “500 greatest albums of all time” by NME.
Mikkeller Brewing is a popular Danish microbrewery founded in Copenhagen in 2006. Amazingly, Mikkeller has introduced over 1,100 different beers to the world. The first ever international Mikkeller bar debuted in San Francisco in 2013, while its second United States brewery was opened at New York City’s Citi Field -- home of the New York Mets -- last year. Meanwhile, Mikkeller has been the recipient of “Danish Brewery Of The Year” honours several times, while also racking up acclaim from a variety of global beer competitions.
So, what happens when award-winning American musicians collaborate with an award-winning Danish brewery? The answer in this particular case is the new “Reality Based Pils” variety of beer. Reality Based Pils is intended to be a traditional beer. No fruit, chocolate, chili, coffee, barrel-aging or spontaneous fermentation. It is just a straight-up pilsner in a cool can. To this writer, it is very drinkable, somewhat light, and something that you can have several of without feeling bloated.
While unclear whether the members of The National were instrumental within the brewing of Reality Based Pils, it is undeniable that its name is a reference to the National song called “Walk It Back.” As noted by Mikkeller CEO Mikkel Borg Bjergsø: “The National is one of my absolute favorite bands and we have been talking about making a beer together for a long time. I’m excited that it finally happened.”
In turn, Reality Based Pils not only serves the purpose of being a thirst-quenching brew, but also reminding you that captains of industry from very different fields ought to considering collaborate when there is mutual appreciation at hand.