One of the most successful music groups of all time with over 25 million records sold, Hootie & the Blowfish, is teaming up with Rock Brothers Brewing, out of Tampa, Fla., to create Hootie’s Homegrown Ale—a genuine, artist-inspired craft beer that music fans and beer-lovers alike can enjoy.
“Hootie’s Homegrown Ale is a true representation of the band member’s personal preferences,” said Kevin Lilly, one of the two Tampa businessmen who make up Rock Brothers.
The band and brewery set out to produce a refreshing and light lager-like ale with depth and more flavor than other popular domestic brands. Hootie & the Blowfish’s Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld had deep involvement with the development of the beer, from determining the flavor profile, to selecting ingredients like Carolina Gold Rice and hints of Lemongrass, to influencing the artwork and branding materials.
And of course, the band members wanted to tie the beer back to its South Carolina roots, so they chose Palmetto Brewing to handle the ale’s manufacturing and distribution.
“We couldn’t really claim to be ‘homegrown’ if we didn’t brew this beer with a South Carolina partner,” explained Tony Casoria, a co-founder of Rock Brothers Brewing.
Rock Brothers Brewing is aligned with the highly-acclaimed Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, and they collaborate with local brew partners, like Palmetto Brewing in Charleston, on the recipe and manufacturing. In 2013, Rock Brothers and Cigar City launched their first two beers: JJ Grey’s “Nare Sugar Brown” and Have Gun Will Travel’s award-winning “High Road Ale.”
As part of their business model, 5% of the sales go to the band’s selected charity. The band has selected The Hootie & the Blowfish foundation as its beneficiary. Created in 2000 so the band could support charities that were near and dear to their hearts, the Hootie & the Blowfish foundation focuses on public education issues in South Carolina, the state that nurtured their aspirations from the beginning of their career.
“We are very excited to be working with the Hootie guys on what we think will become an iconic South Carolina brew,” said John Planty, General Manager of Palmetto Brewing.
Homegrown Ale (4.8% ABV) will be released to Charleston’s restaurants and bars on July 21 and released statewide on Aug. 9 in conjunction with the band’s annual Homegrown concert and on the heels of the twentieth anniversary of Cracked Rear View, Hootie & the Blowfish’s major-label diamond-certified debut album.
The twelfth annual Homegrown Concert will be held at the Family Circle Magazine Stadium in Daniel Island, S.C. over Aug. 8-9.The weekend events include two nights of music at the stadium, a family fun day on Saturday with free music and activities, and Hootie’s annual Roundup fundraiser that provides school supplies and free haircuts to underprivileged students in the Charleston County School District. For more information, visit www.Hootie.com.