MUSIC BOX: Funky Sours and Awakened Indie-Pop

By on February 15, 2017

Roadhouse Brewing and Snake River Brewing host The Motet with sour onslaught and the Shook Twins shake the Tavern.

The Motet

JACKSON HOLE, WY – In beer obsessive towns like Asheville, North Carolina, sour beer has hijacked the IPA craze, spreading faster than the naturally occurring bacteria that give the genre its funky, lip-puckering complexities. Locally, adventurous palates and kickass brewers are driving the sour beer market from what used to be negatively referred to as “diseased” or “infected” beer. Through the love of funk music, funky beer and food pairings, Roadhouse Brewing Co. and Snake River Brewing are teaming up with the Pink Garter Theatre and The Rose to offer Sour Beer Funk Fest featuring Colorado’s veteran funk and Afrobeat ensemble The Motet.

Experience the evening a la carte, or dive into the full offering, which includes a collaboration dinner at The Rose with nine sour beers on tap, sour beer talks from lead brewers Adam Chenault (Roadhouse) and Cameron Hieronymous (Snake River), beer tastings and wild and exuberant music moments to close the night.

“We’re all huge music fans and this was Adam’s brainchild,” said Roadhouse sales manager Neil Albert. “The brewing community here is really cool and even with it being competitive, it’s a cohesive family. The collaboration with SRB was a natural progression as we’re always aware of what Cam is working on at SRB. We’re like the little brother—happy to help them when we can and they’ve been more than willing to help show us the ropes when we need it.”

“It’s exciting to live in a town with three outstanding breweries and as soon as Adam pitched this concept, it was a done deal,” added Hieronymous, who moved to Jackson from Illinois in 2011 and got his start as a home brewer.

The funk of sour beers has transcended the dominion of the geeks and spilled into the common sphere. Those tart and tangy flavors come from a fermentation process that uses offbeat bacteria and yeasts, and so-called “wild” strains with clunky names like Brettanomyces, along with lactic acids such as pediococcus and lactobacillus.

“It’s somewhat of an arms race in the American Beer industry, and sour beers are the inevitable progression,” explained Hieronymous. “Like crafting the biggest IPA, it’s an incredibly innovative industry that’s not tied down like Europe, where it’s a little more rooted in tradition. Everybody’s trying to diversify and really, it makes the job more fun to experiment.”

Special beers from SRB will include the blackberry-flavored and pinot noir barrel-aged Sour Panda Belgium Quad, the Oregon cherry influenced Serpent Cerise, and the low alcohol sour wheat dubbed Electric Kool-Aid. The latter beer includes the lactobacillus bacteria, also used to make yogurt, and the SRB twist of fresh grapefruit added to the concoction.

Sours from Roadhouse Brewing, courtesy of brewers Chenault and Kyle Fleming, include some long-haul aging and all of their Sacred beers start with the house Sacred Creed Saison. Those include Plum Sacred Brett (aged one year in a JH Winery pinot noir barrel), Pineapple Hibiscus Sacred Brett and Sacred Brett, the latter two both aged one year in a JH Winery syrah barrel. Other special recipes include the Raspberry Cherry Flanders (aged a year and a half in an oak Edna Valley chardonnay barrel), Sour Brown Brett (aged two years in a Wyoming Whiskey barrel), and the Currant Kettle Sour.

The Motet—formed in Boulder in 1998 by drummer and bandleader Dave Watts—is poised to put on a groove clinic. Rumor has it they’ve been digging into to some George Clinton, Herbie Hancock and a heavy dose of tunes from the 2016 release Totem. The six-piece with horns takes the throwback sounds of The Commodores and Earth, Wind & Fire and splices it with a style “that slaps you in the face with sounds that are fresh and unique,” reads the band’s bio.

Roadhouse Brewing and Snake River Brewing present Sour Beer Funk Fest featuring The Motet, 9 p.m. Saturday, February 18 at the Pink Garter Theatre and The Rose. $25 for the show, $75 for dinner, or $90 for both.

Shook Twins

Quirky twin folk

Amusing and whimsical indie-folk with twin vocal harmonies from Katelyn and Laurie, the Shook Twins finally make their first stop in Jackson after years of performing in Teton Valley and Grand Targhee. Their adventurous spirit has taken them to bigger stages in the last couple of years, including Red Rocks and Western festivals like WinterWonderGrass. Singing through a telephone and beat boxing over ambient loops might not sound like your typical folk band, and you’re right. The band’s latest full-length album, 2014’s What We Do represents the group’s rootsy sensibilities, while the 2016 single “Call Me Out” captures the band’s progression to indie-pop edge, following a move from Sandpoint, Idaho, to Portland, Oregon.

“We feel strongly about holding each other accountable in this life,” Laurie Shook said. “There are a lot of distractions in the world, and it’s easy to not be fully awake, disrespectful, or to feel the need to show and tell in order to prove your worth when really all we need to be is good, honest human beings and everything will work out.”

“‘Call Me Out,” Shook continued, “is about taking on the responsibility to help those around you become better people. To encourage them to live up to their fullest potential.”

Shook Twins, 10 p.m. Wednesday, February 15 at Town Square Tavern, $15. PJH

Aaron Davis is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.


Shook Twins (Town Square Tavern)


Jamie McLean Band (Trap Bar), Major Zephyr (Silver Dollar)


George Kilby Jr. (Silver Dollar), Lantz Lazwell and the Vibe Tribe (Mangy Moose)


Sour Beer Funk Fest featuring The Motet (Pink Garter/The Rose), Greg Creamer (Knotty Pine)


Jason Tyler Burton (Silver Dollar), Stagecoach Band (Stagecoach)


George Kilby Jr. (Trap Bar)


Lotus (Pink Garter Theatre), BOGDOG (Town Square Tavern)

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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