I never expected Hanson to have something in common with bands like Iron Maiden, Motörhead or Pearl Jam. Sunshine pop/rock, metal and grunge don’t exactly have a lot in common.
Except when it comes to beer.
Music and beer are kind of a natural fit – it’s hard to remember the last show where I didn’t order at least one ice cold brew at some point in the evening.
It’s also hard to remember the last time Hanson came up with some merch I wasn’t just interested in but actually kind of excited about. (I don’t get a thrill out of their faces being plastered across my boobs on a T-shirt…a lesson I hope they’ll learn someday.)
Enter the announcement of a Hanson beer in late 2011. Cue the fan base freaking out and me thinking, “Wow, beer? Really?” Especially after it was announced they were partnering with Marshall Brewing Co., a local Tulsa brewery I fell in love with shortly before moving back home to Texas in 2009.
Of course, like all things Hanson, the arrival of this beer ran on Hanson time – i.e. way, way behind the originally announced schedule.
The first taste…
In May 2012, the girls and I were in Tulsa for Hanson’s annual fan club weekend – the first we had all ever done together, surprisingly. And at the time, we had an insider who was kind enough to tip us off that getting to McNellie’s, a local pub known for its 300+ beer options, miiiiight be a good idea.
We were going to get a first taste of the beer! we realized and raced off to the pub. We managed to snag a prime table right up front, ordered a round of drinks and patiently waited. The Tweet from Hanson’s account went out, and suddenly we had a front row seat to watch girls racing across downtown Tulsa to get to McNellie’s for this first taste. Comical doesn’t even begin to describe it. We’re our own brand of crazy, us Hanson fans…
As the girls poured in, desperate for a table in the crowded pub, we all smiled at ourselves for managing to take the last open table. Downstairs anyway. Soon fans were crowding in upstairs – so much so, there was a trail of them running down the stairs at the back of the pub, waiting to get in.
Then the question became how was this going to work? Did we play it cool or clue in our waiter that we were really there for Hanson and wanted the beer.
We opted to play it cool. In the end, it cost us dearly.
Little did we know while we were downstairs trying not to look like crazies and waiting for Hanson to show up…upstairs, the bartenders were already emptying the three precious kegs they had on-site: an Isaac brew, Taylor brew and Zac brew. By the time Hanson arrived (Hanson time, it’s a bitch), announced the drill and toasted to their beer…the kegs were empty and we missed out.
It’d be awhile before this girl would try a Hanson beer.
Fast forward to this past summer. Once the Anthem tour was announced, we were promised the chance to buy MMMHops at shows. (With a new brewer – Mustang out of the Oklahoma City area.) How exciting! we all thought. Drinking Hanson beer while watching Hanson play! Does life get any better?
It was a question to which most of us wouldn’t find out the answer. As the tour neared, no news of how the purchase of MMMHops would work was shared. In Boston, it was nowhere to be found. A few weeks later at the Texas shows, same story. It was starting to look like the only way to score some was to challenge Hanson to a game of beer pong.
In the midst of it all, I was force to make the painful decision to sell my Chicago tickets. (That thing called work got in the way – what a bother…) And then…guess what city finally, FINALLY got MMMHops?
I wasn’t very happy.
Katie to the rescue
But my quest wasn’t over – far from it. On the day before Katie was leaving to head down to Houston for my Halloween party…the MMMHops account Tweeted this.
I immediately texted Katie: “Giiiirl, you better bring some of that with you!”
And god bless her, she did. After calling an obscene number of liquor stores across OKC, leaving her name and number with most and even managing to become BFFs with the guy (Gary) at Mustang who brewed MMMHops with Hanson…she managed to score herself three six-packs.
“You’re crazy – you know that, right?” the liquor store guy teased her as he helped her load the beer into her car.
“Yeah, I know,” Katie smiled and shrugged. After 16 years, we’re all a little too comfortable with the C-word.
And not even a full 24 hours after it became available in Oklahoma, I had MMMHops in my house. In Texas.
The REAL first taste
So how was it? After all the waiting, I honestly didn’t have high hopes – I’m not a huge pale ale fan, although American pale ales fare much better on my taste buds than India pale ales. Friday night after chilling all day in the fridge, Katie and I cracked open our bottles, cheers’d to Halloweenie Roast weekend and took the first sip.
“I actually don’t hate this,” were the first words out of my mouth.
“I don’t hate it either!” Katie said. We were pleasantly surprised.
And that’s probably still the kindest thing I can say about MMMHops because after all that waiting…all it did was confirm that pale ales are simply not my thing. First sip was okay. Second sip and beyond? Hmm…
I love beers and enjoy seeking out new craft beers to try with my dad and brother at family dinners, but I’m not a beer aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. So instead of going on and on with you about my dislike of pale ales, we’ll make it simple:
Hoping for a “Wheat’s the Love” beer next,