Distilled: EYE & Hoof Hearted Collaborate for Cultrider

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

Hoof Hearted Brewing's latest project represents a trend I hope takes off. The brewery joined forces with local psychedelic-metal group EYE to brew a special release, Cultrider Black Rye IPA. There have been other brewing collaborations in Columbus, but to my knowledge this is the first between a brewery and band.

"It's fun, and half of our beers are inspired by heavy metal and music anyway," said Hoof Hearted brewmaster Trevor Williams. "So it's nice to get inspired by the vibe of their music and paint what I think their music would taste like."

Two members of EYE, Matt Bailey and Adam "Smitty" Smith, headed up to the Marengo brewery a couple Sundays ago to work with the Hoof Hearted team (Williams and brothers Jarrod and Ryan Bichon). Cultrider will be released at EYE's Ace of Cups show this Saturday.

To start, Bailey and Williams met to discuss the type of beer (and sip on a couple to get the creative juices flowing). The two concluded they wanted to brew a dark beer, but also continue the over-the-top hoppiness Hoof Hearted excels at. A Black IPA was the only choice, and rye malt and flaked rye were added to create the proper texture.

"The flaked rye also works to give it a silky texture. It's more of a stout body, but we're using a lot of super dank hops … going for the dark side of the force," Williams said.

The goal was to create a beer that's as complex as EYE's music - often described as Black Sabbath meets Pink Floyd. Williams describes the music as a black light poster - lots of black, but big bursts of color. (Any other description doesn't quite do the band's vibrant soundscape of cacophony justice.)

"We were talking about wanting something dark for this time of year, a little heavier. It's not super dark, but there something else about it," said Bailey, an avid hop-head who also enjoys stouts and porters.

Cultrider promises to match the evening's music - also performing are Wild Hum and Night Family - with its atypical dark, dank aesthetic.