Bryan Simpson Compares Music to New Belgium Brewing’s Snapshot


snapshotWhen Bryan Simpson, the PR Director for New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Col., originally started working for the brewery he had two missions —enjoy his new awesome brewery job in media and start making music again.

Craft brewing has such a dynamic music culture surrounding its beers that it would only make sense that eventually beers and music would align and be fitted to each other. For Simpson, any beer doesn’t fit just any type of music. This has been a continuous theme for many of those working in breweries over the years. Each musical tone, and each beer flavor, have specific counterparts in one another.

With the relatively recent launch of Snapshot, a sessional beer created by New Belgium, its musical counterparts have been fresh on Simpson’s mind. At first he had to think about what he enjoys most about Snapshot. “It’s basically a slightly sour wheat beer, kind of real dry and I really like those beers that have a couple of different layers,” he explained. “It starts out a little fruitier … then you get this slash of sour across the palate. The beer sort of unfolds kind of like music. There is a good dynamic in it. You start out thinking you’re going one direction and all of the sudden you’re building on it, and then you take a left turn and maybe the cadence picks up a little bit, you get a little sweat on your brow and then you get this nice dry finish.”

Simpson believes that a lot of breweries around the country are making great beers that are pretty dynamic, but of course he believes New Belgium sort of keeps that as its mantra — to create layered beers with a dynamic sound/flavor.

For Simpson the top three bands that really hold the key to Snapshot are the Two Gallants, a guitar drum duo that has a “screechy Americana feel to it. I think Snapshot has that to me. It’s really a Belgian root but it’s really an American twist, and that band really takes that to a different level,” he said.


His second band, The Herms out of San Francisco, “have kind of a Casio keyboard sound, but it’s really fun stuff,” said Simpson. “I’m kind of comparing a sonic texture to a palate. So with the Herms it’s a lot of playful, bouncy, a lot of keyboard up top … droney. I hadn’t thought about that, but you know how droney can be repetitive, but in a good way, Snapshot is a session beer, it’s about 5 percent ABV and can be repetitive.”


Simpson wanted his final band to be something that readers might actually know. “What’s something else someone might know … [Snapshot’s] a little edgy punk rock, but not really edgy, so it would be like the Clash of punk rock.”


Snapshot being a sessional beer, something that you can kick your feet up and toss back a couple (in moderation of course), Simpson believes his three bands are the same. You could easily create a playlist of the Two Gallants, The Herms and the Clash, and listen to them over and over as you drank a few Snapshots.

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