(Mike Yost is a good dude and a good writer (check out this blog here), but he is from Denver, and this week it’s really hard for me to be civil to people from Denver. Because of that sportzball thingie that’s being played on Sunday. But I’m a big fan of metal bars, and so Mike’s piece about his visit to one in Denver overcame my instinctive desire to nuke the city. Besides which, the Broncos are already in NJ, so that would be a wasted nuke.)
Beer and Metal: A savagely harmonious combination. Not unlike peas and carrots. Or masturbation and razor wire. Or sex and nipple clamps attached to car batteries.
So, why not cultivate that vicious amalgamation into a metal bar that serves craft beer? Well, a few Denver entrepreneurs did just that, opening a brewing company called TRVE, the bar rooted just south of downtown Denver on a bohemian stretch of asphalt called Broadway.
“Our goal is to give you a rad place to hang out and drink killer beer,” their website reads. “ . . . Our mission has always been to create beers that are beyond the pale. To us this implies new ideas, channeling Loki, and embracing chaos. It means drawing from the sounds and sights that inspire us most in life.”
They used the word rad. How fucking rad is that?
I dropped by TRVE with some friends to drown my brain in more than a few
heavenly hellishly fermented beverages (and only after, of course, we sacrificed a few humans to Loki).
I met an awesome barkeep named Shayna (sorry if spelling is off), who let me sample a few of TRVE’s brutal brews, including Grey Watcher—a Grisette-style farmhouse ale. It had a strong sour taste that complemented the beer very
Next was a sample of Death Ripper—an amber(ish) ale. Indeed, the drink plunged into my stomach and ripped apart my dark soul, so I ordered 16 more ounces of that wonderfully fiendish refreshment.
As I was sipping away on my hops, I asked Shanya how she got into metal. Shayna told me that when she was a wee-little kid, her mom would play Judas Priest records.
Shanya added that her mom recently battled cancer and was victorious. In honor of her mom’s conquest, Shayna had the words Judas Priest tattooed on her arm, the letters in pink (the color for cancer awareness) outlined in black.
And it wasn’t long after our conversation that I heard Judas Priest’s “Between the Hammer and the Anvil” blasting out of the speakers above the bar as I gulped down the rest of my Death Ripper.
Being a Saturday night, the bar was packed with assorted groups of revelers. There were (of course) small clusters of metalheads, but I also saw a small pack of punks, a few gaggles of “hipsters,” and even a faction of yuppies—all enjoying the solidarity of those who embrace beer and metal and human sacrifices to Loki.
Normally I would feel tremendously uncomfortable sitting in a crowded bar, but Sepultura’s “Slave New World” calmly truncating my apprehension. I was even slamming my head forward a few times, careful not to knock over my brew, lest I be charged with alcohol abuse, dragged out behind the bar, and beaten to death with giant pixie sticks—as is the law in Denver. (We take our beer very seriously in the Mile High City.)
Soon I was on my third (or fourth, or sixth) beer—this time an American stout called Stout O))). And I mean this was a fucking STOUT. The kind of beer you eat with a knife and a fork. Thick as tree bark. Impenetrably dark. And a taste that makes you cum in your pants with the first
It was when I was eating my stout that a black metal band out of Norway called Urgehal began trouncing TRVE denizens. Songs from their album Goatcraft Torment tore out of the speakers and fed greedily off the beer-soaked flesh at the bar.
“Recording time ain’t always cheap,” TRVE’s website reads. “And there are killer bands out there fighting tooth and nail just to break even. We wanted to help these people out and get their music heard.”
That’s pretty fucking metal if you ask me.
The Denver band, Black Sheep of Kali, recorded two tracks through this collaboration. You can download the songs for free at their Bandcamp page:
So, if you ever end up in Denver for a metal show (or to legally buy some pot), definitely check out TRVE. Just be sure you sacrifice a few humans to Loki before you walk in the door.
Urgehal are (were) awesome.
They should still be kicking around..They did an EP in 2011 and a split in 2012
Their frontman died May 2012, so there’s been little movement from them since (they’re now basically down to just two members).
Wasnt aware that he’d passed ..damn shame
Damn, sorry to be the bearer of bad news in this case. They’re up for a future Synn Report, hopefully to tie in with a big “special” number, at some point, to give him/them some sort of tribute.
BUT, I have some good news. On the page set up in tribute to him after his passing I just found this post from October last year:
THE FINAL CHAPTER IS UPON US:
“Trondr Nefas left us all in May 2012. For URGEHAL this meant the loss of our great friend and brother in arms. Therefore it is a very special announcement for us remaining members to tell you that the final URGEHAL album is now being recorded.
“We have decided to finish this last album in honour of our dear friend and to mark the end of URGEHAL. Trondr was looking much forward to enter the studio once again and we had already done all demo recordings for the whole album before his death.
“Nothing else remains to be done but to finish what Trondr and we had already started together. We owe this to him and his memory”.
“Drums and guitars were recorded earlier this year and in October we entered the studio for the first vocal session of many. The songs will be sung by several close friends of Trondr Nefas and the band. We will reveal those names in due time.”
That is indeed good news!
Damn. Didn’t know that. I shall return to TRVE and have a beer in his honor.
The bartender played the entire album, which fostered a great atmosphere for downing brews.
I actually convinced Islander to buy a copy of Ikonoklast on vinyl last year. I wonder if he’s listened to it yet…
Gawd, you are embarrassing me. The answer is no. I have a turntable in a box, but have not set it up yet. This has not prevented me from continuing to buy vinyl. I am a moron.
Bar sounds awesome..as does the beer they serve..Im assuming those are brewed onsite?
I know Chicago has a couple of places like this as well..including Three Floyds brewing. Makes me jealous of you guys with places like this around
You are correct. All the beer is made onsite and changes frequently. There are a shit load of craft breweries in Denver, and I think Colorado ranks 5 in number of breweries per capita with a total of 154. Denver also hosts the Great American Beer Fest every year.
Oh yeah, and pot is legal.
Still, I’ve seen a lot of metal bands (and even “normal” bands) skip Denver.
Yeah…Ive got a good buddy who lives out that way and I know theyve got some really good beers out there. Fortunately, being in the Baltimore area, Im not exactly craft deprived, some decent local breweries and a better than average distribution market…we just dont have any places that combines good beer with good metal
..but we have Maryland Deathfest and that makes everything better 🙂
Apparently San Diego’s got its fair share of good craft beers itself (not that I have much experience, as a underage-r.) I’m not sure if Stone is considered craft anymore, but their CFO is a family friend.
San Diego has some awesome breweries…as you said..Stone is there, but youve also got Ballast Point, Green Flash, AleSmith, the Lost Abby..all those places make topnotch beer
Writing, as I am, from the craft-beer capitol of the US, I am taking your claims with a grain of salt. However, it is true that you have MDF, and unless my fucking day job screws me over, I shall be there to witness all of its awesomeness this year. And may have a chance to test your craft-beer claims in the process.
We’re definitely not as impressive as Colorado or a you guys up in the Northwest (stupid Deschutes and their non-distribution in my area), but theres a couple decent breweries here in Md…Id definitely recommend almost anything by Evolution Brewing or the Brewers Art..both those places know their stuff…Brewers like DuClaw, Flying Dog, and Heavy Seas are bit more hit-or-miss, but some of their beers are pretty tasty.
So youre really going to make it this year…thats awesome man. First rounds on me for sure
…and not that I think theres going to be a whole lot of down time during MDF, but try to swing by Max’s taphouse, not a brewery, but the selection over there is hard to beat
Yet another reason to make a visit to Denver in the future.
If you plan to come and visit, here’s a good way to track metal shows in Denver: http://www.westword.com/events/genre/metal-1088559/
I just wanted to say thanks to Islander for not nuking Denver!
You’re welcome. I’m all heart. Plus, the Broncos got out of town before I could get the ICBM launcher working. Now, they’re using the Seahawks as a human shield.
Just a quick note. The words heavenly, nicely, and sip should be lined out. Hopefully that makes more sense when reading the article.
Also, there are actually two metal bars in Denver. I plan on hitting the second one soon, followed up with another article. Apparently we really like our beer and metal here in the Mile High City.
That’s the one! Have you been there?
Not personally…like I said above, Ive got a couple of buddies out that way. He was telling me about the place.
What was your friend’s take on the place?
I fucked that up because I am a half-wit but have now restored the text to the original.
this sounds like a totally killer bar! i haven’t been to Denver in close to 30 years, maybe i’ll make it back there some day and visit this place
Denver is calling. A lot has changed in 30 years. Except the crazy weather. Freezing temperatures and snow one week. 50 degrees the next week. Using the A/C and the heater in your vehicle the same day is a common occurrence.
Nice write up. TRVE rules! Love that Stout O)))))
Drinking Stout O))) was an experience. Kind of like drinking Left Hand Milk Stout. Or finding a new metal band that just blows your mind. Or getting a good blow job. Or drinking a good beer while getting a good blow job while also listening to metal band that blows your mind.
TRVE is an amazing place. I don’t go there nearly as much as I would like. The Cascadian Black stout is a force to be reckoned with.
I wish I could go more often. Was the Cascadian Black similar to their Stout O)))?
It’s a little more bitter I would say, but excellent. It’s funny how I went immediately for that beer first time I was there because I’m not a huge Sun O))) fan but I am a stout fan. Both are excellent though.