When the Punk in Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival first came across my Facebook screen, I was immediately taken back to my freshman year of high school when NOFX’s Punk in Drublic album was first introduced to the airwaves. My brother had introduced me to the whole punk music genre and I had fallen in love. I then became obsessed with the sounds of bands like Bad Religion, Goldfinger and my favorite band of all time, Pennywise (who I have seen seven times and been backstage and sang Bro Hymn Tribute standing next to Jim Lindberg….but I digress).
Anyways, hopefully I have established my punk creds by this point. Knowing that legends of the punk music scene were all going to be playing at the same place near my house, I jumped on the chance to cover the show as media! If you were there, you know that on September 16, 2017, the space of grass between America’s Car Museum and the Tacoma Dome, with downtown Tacoma as the backdrop, set the stage for one of the most epic nights ever to hit the South Sound. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a great party with 10,000 of your closest friends!
How did this whole show even come about? Well, NOFX frontman, Fat Mike, loves beer (duh!). Once upon a time in the not so distant past, he called up Stone Brewing and with a little punk rock magic sprinkled in with some hops, Punk in Drublic Hoppy Lager was born.
As Stone’s Senior Innovation Brewing Manager Jeremy Moynier explained, the lager is, “Crisp, clean and very refreshing. This beer is crushable, but not corporate, tasteless ‘crushable.’ It has a traditional pilsner aroma with malt and melon flavors leading into a medium bitter finish. We brewed with Magnum and Hull Melon, the latter of which is a newer hop variety out of Germany that results in classic pilsner qualities with a nice hoppy finish.”
Why not celebrate a punk-inspired beer that is available in a pink can with all your friends? Thus, the Punk in Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival came to be and lucky for the PNW, Tacoma was the kick-off for the festival tour!
VIP gates opened at NOON and the music began promptly at 2:35 p.m. with Hilltop Rats, followed by Bad Cop Bad Cop, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Bad Religion and NOFX ended the evening. I was quite impressed that the bands adhered to the strict time schedule. Everything started right on time and no sets went over. The running joke of the day was how old everyone was, not just in the bands, but in the crowds. Looking around, it was so awesome to see that us “oldies” in our 30’s, 40’s and beyond could still survive the circle pits and crowd surfing. We were all there to watch the legends we grew up with on stage together, and Tacoma definitely showed up! So much so that they RAN OUT OF BEER! And beer was $10 per cup!!! The Northwest loves beer, what can I say? Just type “#punkindrublic” into Instagram and see for yourself how much fun everyone had!
For me personally, seeing Goldfinger and Bad Religion on stage got me right in the feels. John Feldmann of Goldfinger is phenomenal and his story is incredible. I had the chance to chat with him for a few minutes (I can’t emphasize enough how nice and laid back he was – just an all around good dude) and seeing how ecstatic he was to be there on tour with NOFX and Bad Religion, it just genuinely makes you happy for the guy.
And Bad Religion on stage….of all the punk shows I have been to in the last 20-something years, I have somehow never seen them perform, so this was a very special treat for me. To actually see Mr. Brett on guitar and Greg Graffin, the man behind the most recognizable voice on stage….I.can’t.even. I’m sure I annoyed the hell out of the people behind me with all of my jumping up and down, but when the likes of Modern Man, Infected, Los Angeles is Burning and 21st Century (Digital Boy) are filling the air, I can’t help it!
Congrats to Fat Mike and the rest of the bands and crew for an incredibly successful first stop on the Punk in Drublic tour. I’m so proud of Tacoma for showing up to support the legends of the punk rock world. They laid the foundation for all other bands to follow and to be there and support them after all these years just makes the heart happy.
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received two comped press passes for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.