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Beer For Skiers: The BR-808

A collaboration between three different breweries on three different continents, this beer goes great with ski movies, just like the instrument it honors.

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The TR-808 is the most loved drum machine in the world. It influenced dozens of iconic ‘80s bands such as the Talking Heads, the Beastie Boys, Phil Collins, and more. Needless to say, I was delighted to try a beer that was brewed in its honor. Created in collaboration with The Origin Workshop, Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing, Japan’s DevilCraft, and England’s Mondo Brewing, the BR-808 was released on August 8, 2018 (which TR-808 fans know as #808day).

The BR-808 is a smooth, effervescent American IPA that starts on the nose a bit like Sapporo with hints of orange peel, sits on the tongue like an English IPA thanks to the British pale malt used in the brewing process, and finishes with a hard kick of Citra and Amarillo hops that Melvin Brewing has mastered in many recent ales. The label claims there is a “Japanese kick,” alluding to the famous kick sound of the TR-808, or maybe that’s the mikan orange peel that gives the BR-808 such citrusy notes.

Hops and a TR-808.
Hops and beats. All that’s missing is skiing.Photo courtesy of The Origin Workshop

Every year, starting in August and lasting until early December, skiers around the globe spend their evenings watching the latest ski movies both at premieres and at home. Many of these ski flicks feature music that was heavily influenced by the TR-808 drum machine: The Talking Heads were a great compliment to the En Route series from Nimbus Independent, the Beastie Boys were featured in Warren Miller Entertainment’s “Playground,” and no skier can forget the tingle-inducing sensations of Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight*” during the epic powder montage of Matchstick Production’s “In Deep” (Just ask pro skier Amie Engerbretsen).

Ready for more ski movies? Check out The Reel Deal 2018.

Kiwi Jossi Wells, who competed in big air and slopestyle earlier in the weekend, placed second in the men's superpipe finals. For full results, go…
Jossi Wells definitely listens to hip hop influenced by the TR-808 while skiing.File photo

And what do people of legal age drink when they watch ski movies? Delicious beer. So sniff out the BR-808 brew this autumn and crack open a cold one while watching a ski movie. I bet you’ll hear a drum machine in at least one ski movie segment this year, so be sure take a sip to get the full sensation.

*For clarification and to justify the ridiculous amount of time I spent researching this article, Phil Collins used a Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 for “In the Air Tonight,” a predecessor to the TR-808, but he would use a TR-808 for later albums.

Read More about Melvin Brewing: Ski Town Gold.


Malts: Light British pale malt and Cara pils
Hops: Citra and Amarillo
Yeast: Ale
Color: Light gold
Aroma: Citrus, tropical
ABV: 7%
Special ingredients: Mikan Orange Peel; Bass and old school beats throughout the brewing process