From the first Budweiser you swiped from the folk’s fridge to the first sip of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, iconic beers hold vivid memories. The same can be said about music. Do you remember your first run with the Beatles? These moments live within us, and some shape us into who we are today.
If there was one style of beer to represent rock and roll, an IPA seems to fit the mold. Both are bold from the first lick and provide continuity in your face to leave you a bit dazed and confused once you’ve had more than your fill. And no doubt, the first time you’ve experienced them, it was a day of reckoning. Whether you are flipping through a rack of records or milling around the beer cooler door, there seems to be an abundance of these two, especially when you’re looking for something new. It can be a dangerous choice going in blind, so sometimes you need to stick to the classics to avoid a disappointing night.
Not only do Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted and Led Zeppelin II pair extraordinarily well, but what they’ve done for their perspective arts is history. Two Hearted has defined what an IPA is – brewtiful bitterness bites, citrus notes flourish throughout, and a nice dry finish. Led Zeppelin II took rock and roll to a whole new level. While their first album brought the band to light, it was number two that blasted them through airwaves across the world. No other band had such raw power that was able to be taken to an international level. From the first sip to the last song, these two are iconic.
Led Zeppelin II starts off with an iconic classic, “Whole Lotta Love”, which is a heavy-hearted song that truly blends Led Zeppelin’s English roots with American blues. “Lemon Song” was inspired by a song from Howlin’ Wolf and is an open-ended jam. It digs deep like Chicago Blues which is a jam that plays out almost like jazz by fluctuating between breakdowns to gritty guitar rock. That is one unique comparison of these two classics. Both have English roots but thrive on what was found in America.
Flipping the record over, “Heartbreaker” blasts through the speakers like the crack of a freshly opened beer, boisterous and magnificent. Like a third Two Hearted, the feels are real as the second side takes over, especially when “Ramble On” trickles into play. With one of the most memorable intros in classic rock history, this track is always turned to 11 when it creeps over the air. The track “Moby Dick” has given drummers hard-ons for years with its zealous energetic drum solo that leaves anyone wishing they had half the licks of John Bonham.
Bringing it on home, these two masterpieces complement each other quite nicely. Both have stood the test of time. I don’t see either leaving my fridge or record collection anytime soon.