Courtesy of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra / AJ Waltz

“Plum Beethoven” honors the symphony’s new series highlighting the famous composer’s work.

Mike Pomranz
January 22, 2018

Collaboration brews continue to be all the rage on the craft beer scene. In their most common form, these projects typically have a couple of breweries working together to create a new beer, allowing both sides to contribute ideas and support each other. But it’s not just breweries that are collaborating anymore: Everyone seems to want their own beer nowadays. Bands like the Foo Fighters and NOFX have gotten their own brews. Colleges have their own beers. Even natural history museums like Chicago’s Field Museum have worked with breweries to craft their own boozy beverages. Now, add the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to that list: America’s sixth-oldest symphony recently teamed up with local brewer Urban Artifact to create Plum Beethoven, a tart brew featuring plenty of the fruit.

Courtesy of Urban Artifact

Starting this Saturday at the Beethoven + Bartok concert, people with a love of both hops and horns can grab Plum Beethoven—described as a sour “plum Midwest Fruit Tart” beer—at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s home, the Music Hall, “for enjoyment before and during performances,” as well as carryout in cans after the event, according to an announcement. The beer will also be sold at Urban Artifact’s taproom and at a limited number of local retailers.

Plum Beethoven is meant to toast the kickoff of “Beethoven Revolution,” a special three-year series being put on by the symphony, as well as to celebrate the recent renovation of the historic Music Hall. “Collaborating with one of the greatest cultural institutions in Cincinnati is a dream,” Urban Artifact’s Scott Hand said in a statement. “We’re honored to work with the CSO on a project to highlight one of the most influential composers in history.”

Meanwhile, brewer George Burpee described his inspiration and process for this beer laced with plums, an ingredient he said was chosen for its ability to create balance—something a symphony knows all about. “Urban Artifact’s Plum Beethoven is a phonogram of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s experimentation of sound, made with 3,000 pounds of plums and Urban Artifact’s house lactobacillus culture,” he said. “This beer uses traditional ingredients in its malt recipe but builds upon that with a daring amount of whole plums to create something that is truly Cincinnati’s own.” Consider it a beer and music pairing about 200 years in the making.