Vox&Hops: Brewtal North America

by | Jun 21, 2021

Yakima Chief Hops, just like the rest of the beer industry, is packed with metalheads. So when Matt McGachy, the vocalist of metal band Cryptopsy and host of the Vox&Hops Metal Podcast, came to us with his idea to pair metal breweries with metal bands for a large-scale North American collaboration, we were all in.

The last year has been hard for music lovers of all genres, and the loss of live music has been felt. That feeling drove Matt to imagine how a beer collaboration could bring the metal community together. “Initially, I was aiming for 10 collabs for the project, but everyone just kept saying yes! I am unbelievably humbled that over 250 people from across North America have teamed up to spread the love of Life, Metal & Craft Beer,” said McGachy. Yakima Chief Hops is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to say yes to this project.

Introducing Vox&Hops Brewtal North America

Vox&Hops has paired 22 Metal Bands and podcast alumni with 22 metal breweries to create unique collaborative craft beers for their bands. Brewtal North America is presented by IndieMerchstore, fueled by Heartbeat Hot Sauce Co. & supported by Yakima Chief Hops! All 22 collaborations will be released between June 21 and June 25.

To make this collaboration even more extreme, Vox&Hops has created mini-documentaries from each collaboration, rolling up into one full documentary on the project. The launch Vox&Hops Brewtal North America is:

To make this collaboration even more extreme, Vox&Hops has created mini-documentaries from each collaboration, rolling up into one full documentary on the project. The launch week will conclude with a Virtual Wrap Party on June 26 at 9 PM EDT, and fans are encouraged to join in. Follow Vox&Hops socials for the Zoom link.

We had a killer time partnering with the 22 breweries on this project. We are excited to see our hops used in beers that push creativity to the max, from a blueberry, ginger, lime IPA to a Nashville Hot Chicken-inspired Pale Ale. Keep your eye on our Instagram for updates on all of the artistic and inventive beers launching this week.  

Want to listen along with the collaborations? Check out our Spotify playlist featuring songs from all the participating metal bands selected by the brewers.

Resident Metalheads

Luc Beaulieu, Director of Sales – Canada

When did you become a metal fan? When I saw the “One” video by Metallica on Musique Plus (the French-Canadian Much Music) back in 1990. I was more of an “alternative” music fan back then (R.E.M., The Smiths, The Cure, U2, etc.), and that exact moment changed my world completely.

What was it like to partner on this project?  It was like the perfect match made in hell! Two of my passions (beer and music) in one amazing project. Impossible for me to say no to this.

What is the most’ metal’ hop?  Mosaic®, without a doubt. Like the multiple genres and sub-genres in metal music, a multi-faceted hop can be appealing to many different people.


Josh Wurzbacher, Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager

What was your first metal show?  My stepfather took me to a Megadeath show when I was 12 years old, and I was hooked.

What was it like to work on this project?  It was a blast. After Covid, we all miss going to shows, and to get to hang out with a local metal band and brew a beer was a privilege.

What is the most’ metal’ hop?  Idaho 7® is metal because it can be dynamic, expressive, with “punch you in the mouth” flavor.


Bryan Pierce, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

When did you become a metal fan?  I would say high school/college days. I started with Punk music and found I continued to be drawn towards heavier and heavier music. What resonates with me the most and pulled me into metal, believe it or not, is often the lyrics and meanings of songs. There is such a rich depth of story and theme that often doesn’t get understood.

Why do you think so many brewers are metalheads? I see brewing as an art form. We see so many breweries become a reflection of an idea or a personality of a person. Making their world more like how they want to see it. I think this allows a cool space for beer as art to mix with music as art and lends itself to a great combination. There is a huge influence within metal from countries with a great culture and history with beer that fits together with beer today.

What is the most’ metal’ hop?  Hands down, it has to be Simcoe®! It has been around now for over 20 years and still rockin’ hard in beer. It lends itself to as many styles of beer and uses as there are genres of metal and is really a hop you cannot go wrong with. If I had to pick a second, I would say Ekuanot® – it is big, bold, high in oil, and has tons of punchy tropical notes. And who doesn’t love a hop that is picked close to a celestial event like the Fall Equinox? What is more metal than a hop picked on the day of balance of light and dark?


Dane Allison, Logistics Director

When did you become a metal fan?  My older brother got me into metal as a young lad.

What was your first metal show?  This will probably date me, but among the metal bands I have seen are AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Alice in Chains, Clutch, Def Leppard, Deftones, Disturbed, Godsmack, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Misfits, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Primus, Queensryche, Scorpions, Slipnot, Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, and many more.

Why do you think so many brewers are metalheads?  Metal has an element of rebelliousness about it. Brewers seem to have that same trait.


Joe Shanahan, Midwest Regional Sales Manager

When did you become a metal fan? I think around fourth grade. I was into Alice Cooper and Kiss, and from that point on, it just sort of evolved. I began seeking heavier music each year after!

What is your favorite record to listen to while brewing? You can’t go wrong with any record from the Big 4 Thrash bands (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and my personal number four, Testament), but if I was brewing right now, I would slap on Slayer’s South of Heaven record.

Why do you think so many brewers are metalheads? That’s a great question. It could be the niche-ness of the music pairs well with the niche-ness of the career? Or the line of work is tough, long hours, and overall labor of love could require some sort of heavy music to get in the zone and conquer the day.