miles runs the voodoo down

December 1, 2011

Bitches Brew Returns For The Holidays: From Miles Davis To Your Pint Glass

originally published online at the L.A. Weekly’s food blog, Squid Ink

When the 9% ABV fusion beer Bitches Brew was first released by Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery in June 2010 — on the 40th anniversary of the jazz fusion album of the same name — the beer world sipped slowly, hoping to delay the inevitable end to its glorious existence.

But as with most limited releases from Dogfish Head, Bitches Brew evaporated from shelves as quickly as it arrived. And though a second round of this imperial stout/African honey gesho beer blend was sent out late time last year — after the Sony Legacy collaboration was featured in an episode of the Discovery Channel show Brew Masters — and several kegs mysteriously appeared during L.A. Beer Week, it seemed unlikely that another batch would be bottled.

So imagine our surprise upon seeing the familiar melting colors of Davis’ album cover staring back at us from 750mL bottles on a BevMo merchandise display last week.

It turns out that the brewers had a change of heart. After all, they spent the last year convincing everyone they had all but moved on from Bitches Brew, releasing another Sony Legacy collaboration beer this May — Hellhound On My Ale, in honor of Robert Johnson — and and posting on Dogfish Head’s website as recently as March that there weren’t any plans for a 2011 Bitches Brew.

Still, news of this latest BB release seems to have gone unreported by many outlets that were initially stoked on its creation. Only a press release posted back in October over at BeerNews.org explains that a new batch would be released as part of the publicity package for Dogfish Head’s latest Sony Legacy collab, an homage to Pearl Jam’s 20 years as a band called Faithful Ale.

​The Belgian-style golden ale that celebrates Pearl Jam’s status as a “long-player band in a singles-obsessed world” might be delicious in its own right (assuming it wasn’t inspired by the sexual innuendo built into the band’s name), but forgive us for focusing on the holiday return of the much bigger, bolder and seasonally appropriate Bitches Brew.

Actually, don’t forgive us: Just find yourself a bottle, put on the album and pour yourself a glass of the ultimate liquid version of Davis’ smooth-sweet sounds. Because who knows when you’ll have the pleasure of hanging out with this Bitches Brew again.

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