It’s easy to draw parallels between live jam rock of the seventies and modern craft beer culture. Bearded beer geeks and beanie nerds of today can easily be compared to deadheads of yore…following their favorite analog vibes in search of the latest tunes and untouched mind-altering quests.
In the early seventies, The Grateful Dead sought to improve their live sound by installing a huge scaffolding of speakers. The designer of the six-stack system, Owsley “Bear” Stanley would wake up at 6 am after traveling to a new city, unload the behemoth sound system, and install it on stage. The stagehands would finish by 4 pm, the Dead would sound check at 5, and the doors would open at 6. The sound system was dubbed The Wall of Sound, is probably still of the worlds largest sound systems ever conceived.
In a parallel universe, the brewers at Stereo Brewing are up at 6 am cleaning equipment, milling in grain, and converting raw ingredients into fermentable sugars. Instead of the Grateful Dead playing in front of hundreds of thousands of devoted fans, Stereo is essentially playing to a crowd of billions of hungry yeast cells that show their appreciation by giving us alcohol and a tasty fermented beverage.
It’s only fitting Stereo’s oatmeal stout pays tribute to the Dead’s sound system. Wall of Sound Oatmeal Stout is volume level five with abv, yet level ten with flavor. It’s roasted like a deadhead’s brain, and groovy enough to jam on for hours on end. It’s also one of OC’s most decorated stouts, winning back to back medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
Stereo canned the latest batch for the first time ever, and it’s available at their vinyl-spinning oasis in Placentia. Got grab a four-pack while you can!
Stereo Brewing is at 950 S Vía Rodeo, Placentia, (714) 993-3390; stereobrewing.com.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!