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Surprising celebrity craft brewers

Having achieved phenomenal growth in recent years, it’s no surprise that the craft beer scene has attracted its fair share of celebrity endorsements.

Who can forget 90’s pop trio Hanson?

In November 2014, the number of operating US breweries crossed 3,200 with 13 states now home to more than 100 breweries each. At that time 2,000 further breweries were in planning, according to an end of year review by the Brewers Association, who reported volume growth in the US craft beer market of 18% to June 2014.

As the craft beer scene has grown, so too has celebrities’ interest in the market. Spotting an opportunity, we’re guessing, to make use of their bankable faces and get loads of beer in the process, a host of well-known faces have entered the beer market with varying success.

This collection of actors/musicians/sports stars turned brewers aren’t the first to have dipped their toe into the world of craft beer and they won’t be the last, but they certainly make for an eclectic bunch of budding brewers.

Scroll through for celebrities who have launched, brewed or endorsed their own beer…

Tom Green – The Tom Green Beer

Shock comedian Tom Green made a name for himself throughout the 2000s for pulling stunts that included filming the removal of his cancer-ridden testicle, being married (albeit briefly) to Drew Barrymore and starring in teen comedies including Freddie Got Fingered and Road Trip.

In 2013, he released a 5% milk stout beer in partnership with Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Ontario called The Tom Green Beer.

Frank Thomas – Big Hurt Beer

Frank Edward Thomas Jr is probably better known for his performance on the baseball pitch than in the brewery.

Nicknamed “The Big Hurt” in the 1992 season, the hitter and first baseman was one the the 90’s biggest baseball stars. He is now a commentator for Comcast SportsNet White Sox broadcasts, and a part-time brewer having releasing this 7% abv malt liquor in partnership with Wisconsin’s Minhas Craft Brewery in 2011.

Adrian Grenier – Churchkey Pilsner Style Beer

Adrian Grenier arguably kickstarted his acting career with an appearance alongside Anne Hathaway in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. Before that he had scored a small part in Stephen Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence and the male lead in teen comedy Drive Me Crazy, among other. Grenier went on, of course, to score a recurring role in US drama Entourage. But acting is far for the extent of this man’s talents.

In 2012 he founded the Churchkey Company with former Nike designer Justin Hawkins in Seattle. The company’s first beer is named after the method by which the can must be opened, with a Church Key, or can piercer. The gadget is includes with each six-pack of the beers. The beer itself is a 4.9% pilsner-style, which is currently only available in the Pacific Northwest.



Iron Maiden – Bruce Dickinson

Trooper is perhaps one of the biggest success stories when it comes to celebrity-based brewing. Brewed in partnership with Robinsons Brewery in Stockport, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson “hopped” on the beer bandwagon in 2013.

His 4.7% English cask ale crossed the 1 million pints sold mark after just four months and now exports to 40 countries. 

Its name references one of the band’s cross-Atlantic hits, “The Trooper”.

Hootie & the Blowfish – Hootie’s Homegrown Ale

American rock band Hootie and the Blowfish released this 4.5% American Blonde in 2014 in partnership with the Palmetto Brewing Company in South Carolina, Tampa Brewers Rock Brothers and Cigar City. It is described as a refreshing, light, but complex craft beer made with Carolina Gold rice and lemongrass.

As for Hootie, the band achieved 16 singles and recorded five studio albums during their career before taking a hiatus in 2008. Their 1994 debut album, Cracked Rear View, is still the 28th best-selling album in the US, between Journey’s Greatest Hits and The Beatle’s Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club.




Hanson – MmmHops

The award for best named beer has to go to 90s pop trio Hanson, who didn’t have to look too far for the name MmmHops for their 3.2% American Pale Ale. Released in 2013 in partnership with the Mustang Brewing Company in Oklahoma, the name is based on their 1996 ear worm MmmBop. Hankering for the 90s? Grab a six-pack, pull on you pedal pushers and jelly bands and settle down in front of an episode of Saved by the Bell.

2. Wil Wheaton – Stone Farking Wheaton w00tStout








Trekkies will know Will Wheaton as Wesley Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation, or perhaps as Gordie Lachance from 1980s hit Stand By Me. Today, he is perhaps more recognisable for his part, playing himself, in the US comedy The Big Bang Theory.

In addition to his screen appearances, Wheaton has brewed a beer in partnership with Drew Curtis, creator of the alternative news website, and Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California. Stone Farking Wheaton w00tStout, a 13% abv imperial stout, was released in 2013 and is brewed from rye, wheat malt, and pecans, before being aged in bourbon whiskey barrels.

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