With so much time during the pandemic, many musicians are working on new music to help pass the time and when Run The Jewels dropped RTJ4 – a free album with a slew of bangers perfect for the current state of the world – back in early June, the internet went crazy. Debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard Top 100, a ton of people took notice of the duo’s latest record, like the folks at City Built Brewing Company who have created a series of beers to honor Run The Jewels.
The Michigan-based brewery recently announced The Crown Series, a set of IPAs and a sour beer that were the brainchild of CEO Ed Collazo, whose work has long been fueled by the sound of El-P and Killer Mike. The moment Collazo decided to create the series came while recently listening to “Crown,” a track from the duo’s second album. The lyrics, which discuss reaching your full potential, just seemed to speak to Collazo.
“What attracted me to the song was a lyric, ‘You can’t pick up no crown, holding what’s holding you down.’ There’s a lot of truth to that,” Collazo said in a statement. “Then I started to really listen to the lyrics and found some great IPA names.”
What came from the music was three beers, Into The Fray, Into The Haze and Into The Murk, created with headbrewer Rob Qualls, who had never listened to the duo. It just so happened that the IPAs matched Run The Jewels’ tendency for lavishness and excess, with high-budget hop bills. City Built prides itself on combining old traditions with new trends and innovative beer recipes, so it was important for Qualls to brew next-level stuff.
“I wanted to spend all the money on all the fancy hops we could,” Qualls said in a statement. v“The way I look at it, the malt bill might be the car but it means nothing if there’s not an engine behind there driving.”
Into the Fray is packed with Galaxy hops, Into the Murk with Nelson Sauvin hops and a dash of Idaho 7 hops and Into the Haze with all the boutique hops – Citra, Cryo, Simcoe and Amarillo. If you think all New England IPAs taste similar, the brewery encourages trying these IPAs side-by-side to reveal the spectrum of flavors possible for the style. The oddball in the series is Childish Obsession, a fruited sour with tangerine puree, vanilla and lactose. The flavor is reminiscent of childhood favorites such as push-pops and Sunny D.
For the can art, Collazo tapped Grand Rapids locals Kyle DeGroff and Elliot Chaltry to pay respect to a different Run the Jewels album on each can, all while creating characters inspired by the iconic hands on each cover. Each of these eye-catching beers are $20 for a four-pack and now available to the City Built club members and at the brewery.