Concord Craft Brewing Co. is making a special Rock On Fest beer

Jon attempts to drink Concord Craft Brewing Co.'s Safe Space New England IPA while also eating a mango and a peach at True Brew Barista last week. He failed miserably, but it was a fun time trying. JILL FELLBAUM / For the Insider
Jon attempts to drink Concord Craft Brewing Co.'s Safe Space New England IPA while also eating a mango and a peach at True Brew Barista last week. He failed miserably, but it was a fun time trying. JILL FELLBAUM / For the Insider
Concord Craft Brewing Co. is making a special beer for the Rock On Fest. The beer is going to be based on their Safe Space New England IPA (pictured at True Brew Barista), with mango and peach added. JON BODELL / Insider staff
Concord Craft Brewing Co. is making a special beer for the Rock On Fest. The beer is going to be based on their Safe Space New England IPA (pictured at True Brew Barista), with mango and peach added. JON BODELL / Insider staff

You know what they say – you can’t have a music festival, or any kind of festival, for that matter, without booze.

That’s just a joke, but only kind of.

While it is completely fine to have a music festival with no beer, it just adds a little bit of excitement for the 21-plus crowd when brews are readily available. It gets even more exciting when there’s a specialty brew that only exists because of said festival.

What we’re getting at here is that Concord Craft Brewing Co. is whipping up a custom Rock On Fest beer for the festival, and we bet you’re as enthusiastic about that as we are.

Festival-specific craft brews are becoming something of a tradition around here. Between the SNOB Film Fest and the Rock On Fest, there have been many one-off creations to come through Concord over the past several years. Concord Craft looks to keep that tradition alive this year by bringing the public a new beer with a familiar background.

The Rock On beer will be a variation of Concord Craft’s top-selling Safe Space New England IPA. It will essentially be the same Safe Space everyone knows and loves, only with mango and peach added to the mix.

Nate Raimo, sales and distribution manger at Concord Craft, told us a little bit about how this all came to be.

“I’ve known the Bonners for a long time – Luke and Matt’s dad was our mailman when I was younger,” Raimo said. “I knew they used Throwback last year, so I got in touch with Dave Bonner, who put me in touch with Luke, who put me in touch with Lindsay (of the Rock On Foundation). They were looking for a new beer sponsor this year because they’ve done a different one each year. That’s how it all started.”

Raimo then got in touch with Corey Fletcher, head chef at Revival Kitchen & Bar, where a special beer dinner will be held tonight (as in Tuesday). Raimo wanted to get an idea of what Fletcher would be making for that dinner so he could come up with a beer that would pair well. Since it’s a summer event, they all decided to keep things light, summery and a bit fruity.

Unfortunately for us, the beer was not ready by the time we had to go to press. But that didn’t stop us from trying to get our own taste, even before the beer exists.

We stopped by True Brew Barista, which has Safe Space on tap, and smuggled in a peach and a mango. The idea was to sip the beer then bite into the fruits to see how it would taste. It was good, sure, but somehow we doubt that our version was as refined as Concord Craft’s will be.

The beer will first be available Friday. It will be on tap at the Barley House, Tandy’s, Chuck’s Barbershop, Cheers, Hermanos, True Brew and maybe a few other places. You’ll also be able to get crowler and growler fills at Concord Craft Brewing Co. on Storrs Street. Get it while you can, though, because this special brew is only being made once, and Raimo doesn’t expect it to last much longer than this weekend.

Author: Jon Bodell

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