Every year, Goose Island teams up with a band on the Pitchfork Music Festival lineup to create a cleverly-named beer that's served during the three-day Union Park fest. Local rockers Twin Peaks, hip-hop star Chance the Rapper and singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten have been bestowed with the honor in years past, but this time around Texas synthesizer act Survive provided inspiration for the latest Goose Island brew.
If you've binged Stranger Things, you've heard the creepy ’80s-indebted electronic music by Survive members Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. The band's output falls in line with the Netflix show's soundtrack—it's performed exclusively on retro synths and channels the eerie, otherworldly feel of classic horror and sci-fi movie soundtracks.
To make a beer inspired by the group, Goose Island brewers decided to craft a grapefruit-forward red pale ale, paying tribute to the citrus fruit that is grown in the band's home state of Texas. Named GI5-5538 to echo the catalog numbers that provide the titles for Survive's albums, the beer features Cascade hops, which lend notes of blood orange and grapefruit, as well as Best Red X malt to achieve a crimson hue. At 5.5 percent ABV, it's not so strong that you'll be feeling buzzed after a single glass—perfect for sipping during the non-stop sets at Pitchfork Music Festival.
Survive didn't just help name the beer, they also participated in its production. During the brewing process, two members of the band visited the brewery armed with synthesizers and a stack of amps, using the vibrations created by their music to clear the walls of a grist bin.
GI5-5538 will be available on draft at Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park on July 14–16, and you'll be able to drink one while watching the band that inspired it during Survive's set on Saturday, July 15 at 7:45pm on the Blue stage.
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