The brothers of Hanson, the once-pubescent Oklahoma trio behind 1996’s terrifyingly ubiquitous “MMMBop,” are all of legal drinking age.
In fact, they’re all pushing 30 or over and are married with nine combined kids between the three of them. (Time—it does strange things.) Two months removed from their ninth (really!) album Anthem, the members have been spending some time pushing their other latest project, a beer with a name that belongs in a 1997 issue of MAD Magazine. (Okay, it’s “Mmmhops.”) Today, after two boxes of the enviable beer arrived at the desk of New York‘s Rebecca Milzoff, the cultural world got a glimpse into the hidden beer-brewing world of the brothers Hanson, including the creative process behind the name that is “Mmmhops.” Taylor, the middle brother, explains:
Facetiously, we began taking titles from songs that could be the moniker for our beer. Where’s the Lager, from “Where’s the Love.” Pilsner and Me, from “Penny and Me.” Of course, hops is the ultimate ingredient that you think of with beer, so Mmmhops was set into the air, and everyone went, “You know, that’s actually kind of genius.” Like, here we are at the end of a long day, you sit down at the bar and think, Mmm, hops.
Members Zac and Taylor discuss the pros and cons of trying Mmmhops for yourself (it’s a “gateway drug” that “allows the super beer hophead and the more causal beer drinker that isn’t aware of every kind of microbrew to meet in a very comfortable place”), the reasoning behind the venture (“it’s something we’re really into and know a lot about”), and the perceived weirdness of Hanson aging (“I always find it funny when people are like, ‘You’re older? Oh my GOD!’ Well, you are, too”).
Then they claim the title of trailblazers, saying “there are not a lot of musicians that have actually really done beer.” That’s not entirely true—plenty have. A brief (and by no means exhaustive) study of prominent musicians who’ve had their own beers includes:
- Motörhead, whose aptly titled Bastards Lager was said to be “distributed straight out of hell”—and, alas, only available in Europe.
- Kid Rock, whose Badass American Lager, OC Weekly reports, was distributed chiefly in Michigan until Michigan Brewing Company closed down in 2012. No word on its current status, but we doubt that Detroit’s bankruptcy is a positive sign.
- Iron Maiden co-designed a beer called The Trooper, which is named after one of the band’s own songs and carries a label featuring vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s famous Union Jack flag.
- Mumford & Sons, who recently helped create a craft beer, the Lewes Stopover Brew, to be sold exclusively at the Lewes music festival, which the band headlined.
- The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn created a beer called Clear Heart in collaboration with English company Signature Brew, which frequently teams up with musicians to create their own beers.
- and many, many other artists (largely in the classic rock sphere) who’ve had beers inspired by or named after their music (though haven’t necessarily had anything to do with it themselves), as chronicled by Flavorwire.
So there, Hanson. Don’t flatter yourself—you’re not so original in the jumping-from-music-to-beer sphere.
But you’ll always be the first to make a smash-hit chorus out of the lyrical refrain “Mmmbop, ba duba dop / Ba du bop, ba duba dop / Ba du bop, ba duba dop / Ba du,” and nobody can ever take that from you.