Review: A day of food, beer and metal at the GWAR-B-QUE and Brew

A look back at the Saturday event.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold one (or eight) with a few friends and gorging on barbeque on a hot summer day in Florida, especially if it happens to be at a barbeque party thrown by the leader of the scumdogs of the universe, GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus.

This past Saturday, Crowbar hosted the Brutal GWAR B-Q and Brew in celebration of the release of the band’s new barbecue sauce and new beer, both specially made for their annual GWAR B-Q event held August 17 in Richmond, Va. 

We arrived about a half hour after doors opened (at 6 p.m.), and the smell of savory grilling hit us in the face as soon as we walked in, as did the sound of metal blasting into our ears as the DJ spun heavy classic after heavy classic. I followed the scent to the outside patio where there was not only someone cooking burgers for the many GWAR fans, but beer barrels lined up for people to hang out around and talk. The burgers looked and smelled divine, but I wasn’t hungry nor really even there to eat. My tastebuds were set on drinking, so I eagerly approached the outside bar and ordered a can of GWAR. As I sat down to enjoy it, I found out some info about how the GWAR Beer collaboration came to fruition.

Originally developed by fans/home brewers Rob and Deidra Chalmers in New Port Richey, GWAR Beer caught the attention of the band and prompted them to put the official GWAR stamp on it. The band liked their cans of homebrew so much, they ordered more cases to take on tour, and eventually asked Rob and Deidra to produce enough to supply their annual GWAR B-Q event.

Knowing full well that their small operation couldn’t produce such a large quantity on its own, the Chalmers contacted Cigar City Brewing in Tampa to see if the brewers there were up to the challenge, and luckily for everyone here at Crowbar and for those attending the GWAR B-Q in Virginia, they were.

GWAR Beer, a copper-hued pale ale with a citrus flavor, reminded me of Cigar City’s flagship brew, Jai Alai IPA. Unlike Jai Alai IPA – which boasts a 7.5% ABV – GWAR’s beer was only a 5.5% ABV (which is about the typical amount in most pale ales). This is a good thing, since it means you’re pound more of them without getting shithoused too quickly.

A few hours, and quite a few more beers later, at around 9 p.m., the bands started to take the stage, each doing a great job of keeping the energy level at its peak, like Black Tides Roll, a sludgier/slower metal band that came as a pleasant aural surprise. The energy smashed through the roof though when Oderus took the stage to perform with GWAR cover band GWAR ATTACK. By that time, most of us were happily obliterated, but the brew kept flowing, the music kept playing, and the fun just didn’t let up.

Overall, I had a great time, from what I remember, though I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t buy a six-pack of GWAR Beer to take home, since it was actually tasty and would’ve made a cool souvenir. And even though the entire band didn’t show up and play, seeing Oderus kill it on stage with GWAR ATTACK left me wanting more. Luckily GWAR hits The Ritz Ybor on November 5, so I'll enjoy an authentic serving then. Here's hoping they bring some more GWAR Beer along with them. Keeping my fingers crossed...

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