Venerable British heavy metal band Iron Maiden has teamed with a British brewery to release their own signature beer. “Trooper” promises to be a “premium British ale with true depth of character and flavour.” Now I admit to being a bit of a beer snob; I like almost anything that isn’t American. (That’s actually an exaggeration. I prefer amber ales and the occasional stout to lagers and pilsners; it’s not my fault that most American beers are lagers and pilsners.) If Trooper ever comes to the U.S., I might be willing to give it a go–as long as it doesn’t cost too much. Being a beer snob has its drawbacks, not the least of which is having to shell out extra money for brew.
I’m not much of an Iron Maiden fan. They were always a little too melodramatic for me. Most British metal bands are, although that at least distinguishes them from sex-and-spandex American metal. But I find their endurance admirable. Formed in 1975, the band has performed and recorded pretty continuously ever since, and they’ve sold over 85 million records. They’re about to embark on a new tour, and released their most recent album in 2010. (They also recently lost former drummer Clive Burr, who performed with them on their first three albums.)
Of course, the one thing that always made Iron Maiden memorable for me was their mascot, Eddie, who will be featured on the label of their beer. Eddie has been on every single Iron Maiden album cover, and a significant portion of other merchandise. When I was younger, I used to think he was kind of creepy, but I’ve got a real soft spot in my heart of that old bag of bones these days.
It adds to the melodrama, but Eddie also helps make Iron Maiden one of the most recognizable names in rock music. Not that they need the help.