Honoring ‘ancient relationship’ between song, brewing arts 

click to enlarge Tunes ’n’ brew: Sam Calagione owns Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which is hosting “Drinking/Songs.” - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Tunes ’n’ brew: Sam Calagione owns Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which is hosting “Drinking/Songs.”

"Voicebox," a public radio program broadcasting eclectic vocal music, is venturing into new territory — drinking songs.

The 91.7 KALW radio show is producing and presenting “Drinking/Songs: A Night of Beer and the Music That Goes With It” at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery on Wednesday in The City (and airing on “Voicebox” on May 25).

The event will cover “the ancient global relationship between drinking and singing through discussion, song and beer tasting,” says program host Chloe Veltman.

“The fruitful relationship between beer and song has existed since the dawn of civilization,” says Sam Calagione, founder-owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. “It was at a 9,000-year-old dig site in China that molecular evidence of the earliest beer was discovered along with the earliest playable musical instruments. So even way back then, they were having a hootenanny.”

Drinking songs are often featured in opera, too, from the brindisi of “Traviata” to an aria called “Drink, Drink, Drink” in “The Student Prince” and other examples from “Faust,” “Otello” and “Don Giovanni.”

Wednesday’s lineup includes appropriate songs for the occasion:  “stein-swinging shanties, lusty odes to ale and the catchiest drinking songs from parts as far-flung as Scandinavia, China, Central America and the U.K.,”  Veltman says.

“As the fun progresses and the beer flows, there will also be ample opportunities for audience members to join in with the singing,” adds Veltman.

Headliners are The Fill a Steins, a group formed especially for these festivities featuring members of major local choral groups Clerestory, Chanticleer, Philharmonia, Baroque Chorale and American Bach Society.

Sayre Piotrkowski, formerly of The Monk’s Kettle in the Mission, is master of ceremonies for the beer tasting.

On the menu are Dogfish Head beers including the 90 Minute IPA, Burton Baton, Sah’tea (“a modern take on a ninth-century Finnish proto beer”) and Chateau Jiahu, based on an ancient Chinese recipe of rice, honey, grapes and hawthorn fruit.



Where: 50 Mason Social House, 50 Mason St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Tickets: $15 to $20 admission, extra for drinks

Contact: (415) 433-5050, www.brownpapertickets.com

Note: 21-plus event

About The Author

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben is a writer and columnist for SF Classical Voice; he has worked as writer and editor with the NY Herald-Tribune, TIME Inc., UPI, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, San Jose Mercury News, Post Newspaper Group, and wrote documentation for various technology companies.
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