If Michael Wilton is famous, it certainly isn’t for making beer. Over the last twenty-five years, he’s been making platinum records, not golden ales. Virtually everyone in the free world has heard him play guitar at some point. At the very least, you’ve heard Silent Lucidity or Jet City Woman. But why in the world is Michael Wilton making beer? More accurately, why is Lazy Boy Brewing making a beer on his behalf?
Michael Wilton is a founding member of, and guitar player for, the world-renowned rock band Queensryche (a.k.a. the little band from Bellevue that conquered the world). In the old neighborhood, my gang knew him as the guy who played guitar for bands like Joker, Crossfire, and The Mob. In those days, I played bass in a band called Tyrus, later renamed Blue Dragon, and eventually reinvented as The Flying Clam Jam. Back in those days, Michael Wilton was Mike and Geoff Tate was Jeff, but I digress.
I’m trying pretty hard to think of a segue to get us from Michael Wilton to beer. Let’s see, I remember drinking warm Rainier Beer in the parking lot of the Lake Hills Roller Rink when he was playing one of those Battle of the Bands gigs. Ya, I don’t think I’m going to find that segue.
With a lot of help from Lazy Boy Brewing, Michael “Whip” Wilton is staged to release Whip Ale — a bold, rich, aromatic pale ale. I understand that he did the research and devised the recipe himself. There is a big release party coming up in Kirkland on December 11th. The details are below.
The release party will feature a lot of local, loud music. In fact, one of my buddies from the old neighborhood in Bellevue is playing in one of the bands – Hairmageddon. I’m usually getting in trouble for ripping on the Eastside. Feels kind of good to stand up and REPRESENT for a change.
Still, I must wonder why Michael Wilton is making beer? If I were a big rock star, there’s a lot of things I’d want to do, but I’m not sure that commissioning a beer is one of them. I suppose the trappings of rock stardom might grow passé after awhile. I suppose that, in time, I might grow weary of private jets, arenas full of screaming fans, and European hotel suites full of beautiful girls with names I cannot pronounce. There’s only so much satisfaction one can gain from a room full of vintage Gibson guitars. I would truly love to find out how long it would take me to grow tired of such worldly pleasures and treasures. Maybe then I’d take interest in something so earthbound as making a beer.
Maybe it’s one of those guitar player/lead singer rivalry things. After all, Geoff Tate is making wine these days. Maybe Mike just wants to throw a kegger out at 80 acres, then head up to Crossroads to see Adam Brenner’s band, Tyrant. Now that’s some seriously old-school, Eastside, pre-Microsoft, rocker jargon.
Maybe he just likes good beer. A lot of other 40-something butt-rockin guys who grew up in Bellevue back in the day certainly do.
I was turned onto this story by Shawn Loring at Lazy Boy Brewing. There’s also a story about Whip Ale on the Northwest Beer Guide (a.k.a. the Pickled Liver). Read it here.
The following is straight from www.michaelwilton.com.
New Beverage from Michael ‘Whip’ Wilton of Queensryche – “WHIP ALE”
For those of you lucky enough to be in the North West on Friday December 11th, you can be one of the first to sample “Whip Ale” the new beer from Michael Wilton of Queensryche. The ingredients for this new pale ale were chosen by Michael himself andthe taste is a smoothwell flavored blend that is comparable to today’s top ales on the market.
Whip Ale will be distributed nationally in 2010.
For an advance tasting of this fine beverage, drop by club Valhalla in Kirkland on Friday, December 11 @ 7:30 pm PST. Please note: Michael will be showing up to this event but will not be performing live.
Event: Official Launch Party of “Whip Ale”
Address: 8544 122nd Ave NE
Date: Friday, December 11, 2009
Time: 7:30 pm PST
Show: 21 +
Cover: Free Admission
Kevin Hoffman (Outshined, Rattlesnake Suitcase)
Dirty Hollywood (Motley Crue Tribute)
Guns of Nevada