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The Hanson brothers are all passionate about their music and craft beer. Taylor Hanson is also passionate about photography and now documents his travels with his camera. At an early age, the brothers traveled extensively. This opens up your world and helps you understand other ways of thinking. They also all came back to Oklahoma. Check the video below:
Oklahoma is really going through a revolution when it comes to craft beer. The United States has never had as many breweries in its history and Oklahoma’s craft beer community is growing, too.
The Hanson brothers are starting a music and beer festival that it wants to grow too. They thought bringing those things together would be a logical step. So Hop Jam was created. They wanted to create an event that invited people share these two worlds — enjoying great craft beer and great music.
“A lot of people don’t know how much great beer there is in Oklahoma, said Taylor Hanson. “It is really cool to go to a bar and look at the taps and see all the beer tap handles of beer that is produced in Oklahoma.
“We want to see the whole craft beer community grow.”
When Hanson’s hit, 10 million-selling album Middle Of Nowhere came out, eldest Hanson brother Isaac was a fresh-faced 16-year-old, middle child Taylor had just turned 14, and kid brother Zac was only 11. This past Halloween, Zack turned 28. Taylor’s odometer rolled over to 30 in March. And Isaac just turned 33. No shit. The boys of Hanson are now men. Each is old enough to vote, rent a car, and no longer qualify to be on their parent’s health insurance plan. Every brother is married and, when combined, Hanson has fathered a total of 10 children—some as old as 11. Every brother is not only old enough to drink legally; they’ve apparently been drinking long enough to become beer snobs.
This spring, the brothers Hanson released “Mmmhops” pale ale to the world—or, more accurately, to people who visit their merch table at concerts or out of the way restaurants and liquor stores scattered throughout tornado alley. The Mmmhops Twitter account shows Taylor tipping back the brew with Ed Helms, non-Hayley Williams members of Paramore holding bottles beside Taylor and Isaac, and the two brothers leaving Zac at home for numerous in-store appearances. According to the band, the beer is “inspired by our own love of great beer we set out to craft our own unique American Pale Ale,” and it touts “a refreshing hoppy finish that we hope will stir every beer drinker to say ‘Mmmhops!’”
Just like Hanson, this beer is corny as hell. So, just like Hanson, this beer couldn’t be any good, right?
As an underemployed freelance writer who lives in the notable brewery bastion that is Wisconsin, I drink a lot of beer. I’ve grown to favor darker in-state micro brews such as Central Waters’ Mud Puppy Porter, Hinterland’s seasonal Winterland, Milwaukee Brewing Company’s Black Iron IBA, and Lakefront Eastside Dark, but I most often opt for cheap domestics like Miller High Life, Old Style, Pabst and Old Milwaukee. While I feel I’m well versed and versatile enough in my borderline alcoholism to form a cogent opinion of Mmmhops on my own, what’s the point of being the last to the well-attended party of writers with no real beer assessment credentials to weigh in on it?
If you haven’t seen it already, check out the newly updated website for MMMHops.com! There’s a lot more information on it now including news articles, retailers in a few different states and a little bio detailing the Hanson’s story with MMMHops. Also on the website, there’s a really fun video where Taylor and Isaac take you on a little journey making a batch of MMMHops. It’s really educational, and you can see how excited they are to make it, and subsequently get to share it with us. Hopefully their mail order service gets up and running soon because this New York gal wants to try some!
Taylor Hanson sees the beer he and his brothers have launched as an example of their music career to a degree. After massive hits in the 1990s, the band has continued to produce good music that more importantly reflects their identity, their home and their work creating something new, Hanson said.
“One of the things that is great about beer culture right now is the boom that has developed in the last 20 years of just people identifying with craft beers,” Hanson told the Tulsa World in a recent interview. “One of the things that is particularly cool about it is really taking an industry that’s been driven by really huge marketing dollars and taking it back down to this artisanal spirit and really building relationships with your audience.”
Plus, they just really like beer.
Oklahomans can get at taste of the Hanson beer, Mmmhops, which is now available at most liquor retailers in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and at many more stores and bars across the state soon. It took several years to get the project off the ground, from the first idea to determining what kind of beer they wanted to make to who would actually make it. What came out was a pale ale-style beer with a hoppy flavor and full body, Hanson said. “The way we developed the beer was to start with this huge list of references of beers that we admire, reverse engineer them,” Hanson said. “And a little bit of drinking.”
Mustang Brewing in Oklahoma City produces the beer. Working with them was a great experience, Hanson said, talking about what they wanted and how to achieve that end.
“We began meeting other brewers and began learning how to talk shop and understand what goes into this whole process,” Hanson said. “We were really excited when we finally met Mustang. What’s interesting about Mustang guys is they’ve done some brewing for smaller brewing companies but they really have a spirit of wanting to try things, wanting to step in there and experiment.”
The brothers—Isaac, Taylor, and Zac—may be immortalized in our collective minds as the baby-faced boy band who loved harmonizing almost much as they loved long hair. They may be emblazoned forever in the our ’90s-nostalgia-loving hearts as cherubic 16-, 13-, and 11-year-olds, respectively. But now not only are the “MMMBop” singers all over the age of 21 (and married with children)—hi, you’re old—they have created and are selling their own beer.
It is called—get ready for it—Mmmhops.
On the best day of my life, a breezy Thursday in early September, Isaac, Taylor, and Zachary Hanson (now … seriously … 32, 30, and 27) traveled to The Daily Beast’s Manhattan offices to play beer pong, talk about Mmmhops, and just generally be dreamy.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the words “Hanson beer” sound a little hokey together. After all, when those words initially started rolling out in the press almost two years ago, back before the band of brothers had formulated much of a plan or even landed on the style they’d ultimately brew, it seemed more like an offhanded interview comment (or an upcoming marketing gimmick) than an actual business plan. It would be another year and a half before the beer, an American Pale Ale called Mmmhops, would make its debut at The Hangover Part III’s Los Angeles premiere party this past May. (The song from which the beer takes its name, Hanson’s 1997 pop smash, “MMMBop,” was featured on the soundtrack, and the makers of the song posed for photos with stars from the movie on the beer’s Twitter account. Yes, the beer has a Twitter account.) Not much has happened since.
I decided to investigate. I sent a few emails, then made a few phone calls, then, two Sundays ago, braved an intimidating “Red Rover” situation with a long and winding line of Hansonites that stretched from the front door of Variety Playhouse, all the way back down the alley between the venue and El Myr, snaking around the outskirts of the parking lot, then halfway back up to Euclid Ave. I was on a mission. I was going to drink Mmmhops with Hanson.
“This is an endeavor on its own. It’s not a promotional thing,” drummer Zac, 27, says as we crack open a few bottles backstage. “We’re not, like, making some up, having it on tour, then next year you won’t see it. It’s about taking the right steps, not moving too fast.”
The Hansons are a friendly bunch without coming off as too polished or cheesy. They act like goobers in a way that three still-relatively-young brothers who hang out every day might act like goobers. They have plenty of handlers, but none flutter around while we drink beer and chat.
Mmmhops pours a light amber color with medium head. It’s neither particularly fragrant or bitter, though there’s some bready sweetness on the nose. Tastewise, it’s a very balanced pale ale, much heavier on the malts than its name implies. (Play-on phrases aside, they probably should’ve bestowed the “Mmmhops” moniker on something a little more “mmmhoppier,” as it were.) The Hansons have talked it up as a “craft beer gateway drug,” which is a pretty fair assessment of this 7.5 percent ABV brew.