We know you don’t need an excuse to headbang to “Walk” or “Cowboys from Hell,” but Texas Ale Project has graced us with the perfect way to partake in our favorite Pantera songs.
The Dallas-based brewery is releasing Pantera Golden Ale on March 1, which they created in collaboration with the legendary heavy metal band to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Pantera’s album Reinventing the Steel as well as the 30th anniversary of the timeless hit “Cowboys from Hell.”
Although Pantera rose to global success in the '90s with multiple gold and platinum albums, they originated from Arlington and never forgot their roots, which is why they approached Texas Ale Project to collaborate with them to create their first beer.
Kat and Brent Thompson, the husband-wife duo who founded and run Texas Ale Project along with David Stevens, were thrilled when Pantera contacted them in early 2020.
“We got that first email and my face hit the floor,” Brent recalls. “They’re such an iconic band that changed music the way they did and created a sound that really hadn’t been heard before. I was super pumped and couldn’t believe it.”
“He couldn’t believe that they wanted us to brew the first Pantera beer for them,” Kat adds.
After the initial surprise wore off, the team talked it over and realized this was a perfect fit. Sure, there’s the obvious heavy-metal-plus-beer connection, and Texas Ale Project has other beers that reference music; their award-winning beer “100 Million Angels Singing” is a nod to the Johnny Cash song “The Man Comes Around.”
“It was a match that made sense,” Brent says.
The brewery worked with band members Rex Brown and Philip Anselmo on the flavor and artwork for the resulting Pantera Golden Ale (5.4% ABV), which they describe as “crushable with a clean finish and brewed with Cascade and Citra hops.”
“It’s a lighter style beer,” Kat says. “We threw out a few different styles but ultimately settled on the golden ale. That was something that resonated with the band because they used to drink lighter style beers, and they wanted it to be something that was approachable to everybody.”
“It’s a beer that, if you were at a heavy metal show, you could have a few and not fall over,” Brent points out.
Texas Ale Project is particular about how they brew their beers and are firm believers in the tried-and-true multi-step mash brewing methodology.
Kat says they went a little out of their normal element with the artwork to accommodate Pantera's style. One thing that was important to both parties was the “Born and brewed in Dallas” stamp on the side of the beer, acknowledging their shared Dallas roots.
“We took a lot of a creative license with them to go outside of what we would normally use as a core design,” Kat says. “It was a mix. We brought our logo elements into it, and they brought their logo and coloring and design elements into it.”
This might not be the last we hear of Texas Ale Project tickling our musical fancies. Kat and Brent say they liked the collaboration so much they’d like to do more in the future.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into it. It’s a partnership, and we had to make sure we were all happy with it,” Kat says. “We had to bring two different entities together, but I like that challenge. It’s fun seeing it all come together.”
You can be among the first to try Pantera Golden Ale at the launch party on Feb. 27. Although Brown and Anselmo won’t be there in person, they will be streamed in for a Q&A session.
There will be 400 tickets sold, and the event will be split into two sessions to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. If you buy your tickets before Feb. 9, you can submit a question that will be considered for the Q&A session.
DJ Souljah will be the DJ and emcee for the night, so you’ll get a chance to sip beer while savoring Pantera hits intermixed with other music. Giveaways will include Reinventing the Steel CDs album and other limited edition goodies like Pantera and Texas Ale Project collaboration pint glasses and T-shirts. Cane Rosso has created a custom Pantera pizza for the event.
For those who don’t get a chance to join the party — we get it, there’s a pandemic and all that — you can still partake in private. Pantera Golden Ale will be available on draft in Dallas restaurants and bars, as well as in cans at local grocery and liquor stores.
So go grab a six-pack and relive your glory days. Fair warning, however, this beer might induce headbanging.