Def Leppard’s latest directive: Pour some pale ale on me. (Ooh, in the name of love.)
The English glam-rock band best known for its 1987 blockbuster album Hysteria appears to be partnering with two Anheuser-Busch-owned craft breweries on a duo of beers, according to labels approved recently by federal regulators.
AB’s Golden Road Brewing of Los Angeles in February was granted approval for Def Leppard IPA, which it describes as a West Coast India Pale Ale with English hops. The 7 percent alcohol-by-volume beer will be packaged in 19.2-ounce stovepipe cans whose labels mirror the artwork on the cover of Hysteria, the band’s top-selling album that contained hits such as “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” and “Love Bites.”
A month later, fellow AB brewery Elysian gained approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for a beer called Def Leppard Pale Ale. The 6 percent ABV beer is brewed with British malts and Northwest hops and will be packaged in 16-ounce cans. The Seattle brewery’s label for the beer also bears a resemblance to the cover of Hysteria.
In its 2018 tour supported by fellow rockers Journey (and later, Cheap Trick), Def Leppard is playing Hysteria in its entirety, according to the band’s website. It includes stops in both breweries’ homes in Los Angeles and Seattle.
The band did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for The High End, Anheuser-Busch’s craft division, declined to comment.
Def Leppard’s partnership with the multinational brewer is the latest in a series of collaborations in beer. The band’s lead singer, Joe Elliott, partnered with Irish brewery Porterhouse Brewing Co. in 2010 with a Pilsner called Down ‘n’ Outz, which was named after Elliott’s side-project band. The singer and brewery teamed up again in 2014 to make Louder, an 11 percent ABV American-style barley wine.
Def Leppard IPA and Def Leppard Pale Ale also are the most-recent of a spate of brewery-band collaborations. Fellow English metal band Iron Maiden tied up with U.K.-based Robinsons Family Brewers to make an English-style bitter called Trooper; Chicago’s Chance the Rapper collaborated with AB-owned Goose Island for an ale called No Collar; and the Maryland band Clutch made an imperial sour stout with Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co.
For Anheuser-Busch, the latest collaborations appear to follow an approach of borrowing equity in packaging across its portfolio. Bud Light gained approval this year for labels that trade out “Bud Light” for its marketing catchphrase “Dilly Dilly” and a regionalized version of it in the Philadelphia area, “Philly Philly.” Bud Light also has made labels for the annual South by Southwest and Lollapalooza festivals as well as for the Super Bowl and a handful of NFL teams.
Budweiser has emblazoned cans and bottles with “America,” and the names of U.S. states. It also made cans for some Major League Baseball teams. AB’s Devils Backbone brewery made a session pale ale in collaboration with the Washington Nationals baseball club.
The MillerCoors brand Coors Light also has produced cans co-branded with NBA teams.