Motörhead - Röad Crew American IPA [beer] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Röad Crew American IPA [beer] (2018)

Arcadia Brewing Company

My continued desire to review non musical punkish stuff has finally brought me to beer, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Motörhead isn’t the first band to lend their name to a beer, and it isn’t the first band themed brew I’ve tried. It is, however, the first time I’ve sat down to drink a six pack and think about it critically. You might call it drinking with a higher purpose.

Living close to Grand Rapids, it’s hard to escape craft beer. Two of the best small breweries in the country, Bells and Founders, are nearby. It seems like there’s a new one popping up every month. I was a little late to the game, but eventually I casually embraced craft beer culture. (You can’t drink PBR your whole life kids.) I’m by no means an expert, and I’m certainly not a beer snob. (It’s still OK to drink PBR once in a while kids.) I know the difference between an IPA, a stout and a lager, and that’s about it. Ultimately, I like what I like. I know it’s nearly a cliche’ at this point, but I’m mostly an IPA guy. My regional favorites include Centennial, All Day, Two Hearted and Country Strong.

Motörhead has never been afraid to slap their name on just about anything. (They’re likely second only to Misfits in this department.) One minute of perusing on Amazon turns up dog tags, beer glasses, ashtrays, wristbands and slipmats, along with tons of more traditional merch. (My favorite is the Motörhead Ace of Spades 10 Function Bullet Vibrator. This actually exists. Why the hell wouldn’t they call it Orgasmatron? It seems so obvious. Also, no, I’m not reviewing it. Well, on second thought, never say never.) I’ve always loved Motörhead and their larger than life frontman Lemmy (RIP), so I’m pretty tolerant of their endless licensing.

Motörhead Röad Crew American IPA is brewed by Arcadia Brewing Company out of Kalamazoo, MI. (It’s very close to Bells, and has a beautiful outdoor area. Don’t skip it if you’re doing a local breweries tour.) I’m vaguely familiar with Arcadia and have tried a few of their brews, but that’s about the extent of it. I’m not a regular Arcadia drinker, but I’m also not opposed to the idea. This beer is 6.2% alcohol by volume and costs about $13 for a six pack.

The packaging is really cool, and any self respecting Motörhead fan will want to pick some up for that reason alone. It’s black with gold trim, and prominently features a white Warpig. The bottles themselves are the same, but I couldn’t help but notice that the labels didn’t seem very well attached. (Is this a bad omen? Is Lemmy displaying his unhappiness from the grave?) The beer was of course inspired by the classic Motörhead song “(We Are The) Road Crew”. That song was in turn inspired by Lemmy’s time as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. “I just love the life I lead/Another beer is what I need/Another gig, my ears bleed/We are the road crew.” The side of the box tells the story and it’s a nice touch.

I decided to test my six pack of Motörhead Röad Crew American IPA at the very best time to drink beer, on Friday after a long week of work. I read a couple of things about how you should properly judge beer. Screw that. Drinking beer isn’t supposed to be so pretentious. I just popped the top and took a swig. The first thing I noticed was its bitterness. That’s pretty normal for IPAs. It doesn’t have many of the citrus overtones that are fairly typical in the more popular Indian Pale Ales. My understanding is that this is the English influence.

I had the first one before dinner, and the second one with dinner. Mrs. Trauma decided to make breakfast for dinner, which I love, but it wasn’t necessarily what beer snobs would call a good pairing. Once I was two in, I just decided to go for it. I didn’t find it to be quite as smooth drinking as my regular favorites, but for the most part I enjoyed it. I had no problem putting down the last four over the course of the bloated blockbuster Infinity Wars. I was certainly in the early to mid stage of drunkenness when I finally called it a night.

The next morning, I wasn’t hungover. This is important. I had the slightly thick head that is pretty typical after a night of drinking, but I can live with that. What’s the bottom line? I liked it but I didn’t love it. I’m glad I tried it. (I would probably drink it on tap if I were hanging out in the beautiful beer garden at Arcadia.) If this beer were an album, it would be closer to Snake Bite Love than Ace of Spades. It’s something to occasionally be enjoyed as a novelty, but it’s not likely to break into the regular rotation.