For Noah Kahan and Two Roads Brewing, it’s the season of the beer

Beer

Of course Noah Kahan, who is from Vermont, made an IPA.

Patrick McCormack
Noah Kahan created a collaboration beer with Connecticut’s Two Roads Brewing Company.

Noah Kahan doesn’t need a beer with his name on it.

Kahan, who was born in Vermont and went to high school in Hanover, N.H., is a folk artist with more than 18 million monthly listeners on Spotify. If you’ve got a streaming app open right now, you can listen to Kahan collaborations with artists like Post Malone and Kacey Musgraves. Kahan just played “Austin City Limits,” maybe you’ve heard of it.

Kahan’s star has risen dramatically lately, but prior to that, around March, he quietly went about creating a collaboration beer with Connecticut’s Two Roads Brewing Company.

“He’s quintessential New England,” says Two Roads director of marketing Collin Kennedy, who reached out to Kahan through some connections with a Bridgeport, Conn., concert venue.

The collaboration wasn’t a tough sell for either side. Kahan was into the beer thing, and so the Two Roads folks set out to make something he might like, sending the chart-topping artist boxes of beer to try on the road. After some extended sampling, Kahan called the brewery folks from his kitchen to discuss favorites.

Noah Kahan performed at Boston Calling in May. — Erin Clark/Globe Staff

“He made it clear he likes more moderate beers in terms of alcohol content, so that narrowed it down a bit,” says Phil Markowski, Two Roads’ master brewer. “He’s a big fan of IPAs, and Vermont is obviously known for that.”

One image that stuck in everyone’s heads during the beer creation process was the pine tree, a symbol of Northern New England and also representative of the hoppiest beers. When brewed with what are now considered more traditional American hops like Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus, beers take on a bitter, piney character, reminiscent of the smell you get if you’ve ever tried to shove a real-life Christmas tree into the back of your car.

“It was an easy choice to brew an IPA over another kind of beer,” says Kahan, through his manager. “Making my record at my mom’s house meant drinking whatever was left in her fridge and that was usually a Heady Topper or a Two Roads IPA, so it felt fitting to brew an IPA.

“Vermont has been home to so many amazing breweries and to be able to represent my home state in this way has been a dream.”

For the name of the beer, Two Roads went with “Northern Attitude,” the name of one of Kahan’s songs, which features the lyrics, “Forgive my Northern attitude/Oh, I was raised out in the cold.” In addition, Kahan’s team actually designed the beer’s label, so the decidedly New England scene you see on the can is also a Kahan production.

”The beer’s got that big, piney character,” says Markowski. “And it’s definitely assertive. Yet it is, in my view, more drinkable than a lot of what is out in the market today.”

Noah Kahan’s “Northern Attitude” beer was released in September. A one-time production, the beer is available wherever Two Roads beers are sold in New England. Sales of the beer will also help raise money for “The Busyhead Project,” Kahan’s mental health initiative. Recently, on World Mental Health Day, Kahan posted on social media that the project has raised $1.9 million to date.

For fans of his music, it was announced in September that Kahan will be playing two shows at Fenway Park in July 2024.


Posted

in

by