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They're the latest band to team up with a brewery. 

Mike Pomranz
July 17, 2018

A critically-acclaimed, melancholy indie band might not seem like the ideal candidate to have their own beer...though on the other hand, maybe an artfully-crafted beer is exactly what fans of The National’s uniquely baritone-driven, heartfelt rock need to soothe their souls.

Since the release of their first record back in 2001, The National have risen from indie label obscurity to a Grammy-winning, top five-charting juggernaut—a somewhat unlikely trajectory for a group that, fair or not, often gets labeled as “dad rock.” Now, the five-piece has ticked another box on the road to rock superstardom, becoming the latest band to collaborate on its own official beer.

Reality Based Pils is set to arrive courtesy of Mikkeller, another somewhat unlikely success story, seeing as the Danish brewery was started by a former teacher in his kitchen and has since gone on to become a global craft beer empire. (Proof of Mikkeller's popularity: They recently opened a facility at New York’s Citi Field.) According to the brewery, the straightforward pilsner was created by Founder and CEO Mikkel Borg Bjergsø himself, and the packaging features artwork repurposed from The National’s 2017 album Sleep Well Beast courtesy of Mikkeller art director Keith Shore. The beer’s name also references this album, pulling a couple words from an excerpt on the track “Walk It Back.”

“The National is one of my absolute favorite bands and we have been talking about making a beer together for a long time. I’m excited that it finally happened,” said Bjergsø, who met the group through a mutual friend a few years ago. Mikkeller has previously worked with The National’s Aaron Dessner in helping to organize Copenhagen’s Haven music festival.

“We are all huge fans of Mikkeller, so to have Mikkel make a recipe specifically for us is very exciting,” Dessner stated. As for the choice of a pilsner, Dessner sensibly added, “We like clear and crisp beers when we come off stage and need to cool down.”

Reality Based Pils is set to be available in “all of Mikkeller’s location and outlets within the next month.”