Every year for Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company collaborates with a band playing Pitchfork Music Festival to make a unique beer just for the event, and this year, the brewery is working with Texas synthwave breakouts Survive to brew GI5-5538, a Red Pale Ale created specifically for the 2017 event. The video above shows Survive using music to help the brewing process, using their synths and amps to clear the brewing grist bins instead of mallets.
Survive, who are perhaps best known for their work on the eerie, atmospheric score of Netflix’s hit ’80s sci-fi pastiche, Stranger Things, released their second full length album, RR7349, last September and will be performing at the Pitchfork stage on Saturday, July 15. Still, they have a sense of humor about the process; during the video above they joke that this work on the beer is the highlight of their career so far.
GI5-5538 is inspired by Survive’s home state of Texas, featuring notes of blood orange and grapefruit. Goose Island also used Best Red X malt to give the beer a red hue. The name, which matches the format of a record’s catalog number, is coded to match the beer itself — GI5, which is Goose Island’s fifth collaboration with Pitchfork Music Festival, 55 for a 5.5 ABV (Alcohol By Volume) and is a 38 IBU (International Bitterness Units scale), which is a gauge of beer’s bitterness.
Whenever Goose Island makes a special beer for Pitchfork’s event, the beers always have a special connection to the artist, with past years including Twin Peaks 2016’s Natural Villain, a garage/pilsner-style lager, and Chance the Rapper 2015 No Collar, a Helles-style lager. Additionally, Pitchfork has doubled down on its beer expertise, launching the beer-focused site October in 2017 of this year.
Watch the clip of Survive helping brew the beer with synths above, and if you’re at the Chicago-based festival in mid-July this year, make sure to grab a taste.