The Seattle-based trio The Pharmacy have a vintage garage rock mantra that will permeate time. The lo-fi garage rock band utilize guitar, keys, and drums with extras (like violins) thrown in on their new singles. The band has found their own sound. Older The Pharmacy songs had more punk undertones to them and as the band grew up, so did their music. The trio balances faster-paced songs with slower ones (“Dig Your Grave”, “Sure”) but always remain constant on their guitar pedals, fuzz, and cymbal crashes. The wailings of lead singer Scott Yoder are comparable to Matt Shultz of Cage The Elephant.
“Baby Be” is an enjoyable garage rock-pop song that clocks in at just barely under two minutes. The song begins with a surf-pop guitar riff, which is repeated throughout the chorus. The chorus is extremely catchy and feel-good, similar to the mentality of every Oskar Blues beer campaign.
The Pharmacy have a retro vibe going on with not only their music (listen to “Wait In Vayne” and “Josephine”) but also with their aesthetics. Their band logo has a jagged-edge font type that is slightly reminiscent of The Misfits logo. Two-thirds of the band have long hair, perfect for thrashing around while on stage. They dress like extras on the set of That 70’s Show. This pairs perfectly with The Deuce and its 1970’s burnt orange coloring on the can label. But the real kicker to their retro style; they are releasing their new album on cassette tape. Just like Oskar Blues bringing back beer in cans, The Pharmacy think outside the ‘norm’ and do what they want to do. And it works.
The great thing about this band is the way you hear them via computer speaker or headphones is exactly how you’ll hear them live. No fluff.
Beer: The Deuce
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewing & Sun King Brewing
Style: Brown Ale
I’ll start out by saying this beer was given to us by friends who attended Great American Beer Festival this year. This beer (as far as we know) is only sold at Oskar Blues‘ and Sun King’s taproom. Sorry we are not using a widely-available beer but it was unique and delicious enough we wanted to share it.
The Deuce is the second collaboration between Oskar Blues Brewing (Colorado) and Sun King Brewing (Indiana). It has been brewed one time and was released around the same time as GABF this year. We tasted Oskar Blues’ version, the Sun King’s version of The Deuce is in a different bottle with a playing card on the label. Oskar Blues and Sun King are both known for going off the beaten path, Oskar Blues was the first American craft brewery to can their beer.
The Deuce pours very dark, without knowing it was a brown I would have almost anticipated this to be a porter. It had a light taupe head. The initial first whiff of The Deuce is very floral, the hops take on a small pinecone smell. While the hop aroma is a tad overwhelming, you still get the full brown ale flavor on your tongue. You can taste the hints of chocolate and malts upon first sipping.
The hoppy after-notes start taking over quickly. You realize that if you don’t take another small sip after another small sip you start to taste the earthiness even more so. Similar to when you eat a spicy dish you take more frequent bites as to not deal with the heat or pain. The floral and earthy hoppiness of the beer is delightful in the beginning but this is not a brew you would want an entire pitcher of. The beer itself isn’t very heavy like most darker beers are. Instead it is the amount of flavor in the beer that makes it so rich and enjoyable in small doses, like one pint which is exactly how much one can measures out to be.
It’s not just an IPA blended with a brown,it is so much more. The flavors pair perfectly well together. There is no combative tasting, while the hops are quite dominant they play off the malts and chocolate. This beer deserves to not be called just a brown ale but an Indian Brown Ale.
The Deuce is one solid brown ale, even if the two breweries didn’t add hops to the mix. It has a rich, malty flavor that is envelopes the tongue. While many brown ales out there can taste slightly diluted or bland, The Deuce packs a punch to the tongue. The “hopped-up brown” is a breathe of fresh (earthy) air to the average brown ale out there.
The beer comes in an Alumi-Tek 16 ounce can, which looks more like a hiking water vessel. The Alumi-Tek can is a new venture for the craft beer community and offers convenience with its resealable lid. Also convenient so you don’t get your beer all over you at a The Pharmacy show.