Beer is the New Vinyl: Boston-Based Band Releases Album on a Beer Can

At a time when bands’ albums can drop anywhere from Spotify to cassette tape, finding an interesting, new way to get one’s music in the hands of new listeners can be a challenge. Not so for Boston-based indie rock band The Lights Out, who seem to have found a perfect solution: beer; or rather, releasing their album via beer can.

The band, whose performances include a wearable light show “to bring songs to life onstage,” said guitarist, Adam Ritchie, teamed up with Somerville, Massachusetts’ Aeronaut Brewing after recording their new album, T.R.I.P., which explores “the idea that our observable universe is one of many — a multiverse,” said Ritchie. After listening to the album, Aeronaut came up with an eponymous beer to brew in its honor.

The main feature of the space-themed beer: Galaxy hops. "When we were prototyping this beer, we were listening to the album, enjoying the sounds, and trying to create a texture of beer that would match up with that experience,” said Aeronaut CEO, Ben Holmes.

The beer, billed as an imperial session IPA — ”a paradox in a can,” Holmes said, noting the beer’s 7.5 percent ABV — will be the first in Aeronaut’s Intergalaxyc series, for which each beer will revolve around the Galaxy hop.

“The goal was to build a beer with a lot of pep, but smooth drinking for a high alcohol content. It’s a light, easy-drinking beer that’s high in alcohol and hops,” said Holmes. The beer, he said, features flavors of tropical red fruit, banana, passion fruit, and citrus, along with a little bitterness from orange and lemon rind.

Upon purchasing the combined “sci-fi album and adventure beer,” as The Lights Out and Aeronaut are billing T.R.I.P. (that’s an acronym for “The Reckonings in Pandimensionality,” by the way), drinkers are prompted by a message on the label to tweet a special hashtag to @thelightsout on Twitter, at which point they will receive an automatic response containing a link to the landing page for the album, available for download or streaming.

Also included in the Twitter response will be “a tweet telling them what an alternate reflection of themselves is doing, right now, in a parallel universe,” Ritchie said.

The beer label design, by Raul Gonzalez, features “the pandimensional pilot character from The Lights Out, and the band’s Color Machine — the vehicle that takes them between dimensions — flying through a wormhole,” he said. Naturally.

Although the idea of a band collaborating with a brewery is not out of this world, so to speak — Crooked Stave Artisan Ales recently released two beers, Damn! IPA and Totem Wild Ale, with funk group the Motet, for example — The Lights Out and Aeronaut are the first to release album and beer as one.

“It seemed like a cool way to put words and sound to the experience of drinking a beer,” said Holmes. “We like beers that either tell a story, or can be taken with you on an adventure as a story is built. T.R.I.P. is adventure fuel for a journey between dimensions."

Aeronaut will be brewing T.R.I.P. through the fall, and the beer will be available in stores throughout the Boston area. See The Lights Out and Aeronaut in action in the T.R.I.P. Album + Beer Trailer