Welcome to the first installment of an ongoing series of ridiculous pairings of fine ales and excellent music. This go ’round features the recently unearthed second Lewis album and one of Tulsa’s absolute finest exports, Prairie Artisan Ales’ BOMB!
BOMB! (always all caps with an exclamation mark because why not?) is an over-the-top barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Oh, and it’s also aged on vanilla beans, cacao nibs, and chili peppers and is brewed with a load of locally-roasted coffee. It’s the kind of thing that could easily go off the rails in a bad way if the person creating it isn’t absolutely dialed in. Big flavors creep all throughout BOMB! with the coffee being most forward and the bite of the chilis fading in toward the back end.
So why does this work so well with Romantic Times? That’s easy. Lewis’ second album is, in a word, unhinged. Now Romantic Times clearly owes a major debt to cocaine not $6-per-bottle beer, but the audaciousness of Lewis’ increasingly anguished second record goes so well as the heat builds and the bottle gets emptier. The more intoxicated I get, the more likely “It’s A New Day” will destroy me. At 14% ABV, there’s so much depth to BOMB! that its profile changes as the temperature rises and my head begins to spin. Romantic Times follows a similar path finding, slowly chipping away at the walls surrounding Lewis’ emotional state and it gets stuck in the closer the needle gets to the run-out groove.