Rock & Roll will never die. The same can now be said for Rock & Roll beer, the original house beer of the quintessential St. Louis tavern, Blueberry Hill. The beer, which first debuted in 1981 is making a comeback after sort of quietly disappearing in the mid to late 1980s.
Brewed as part of a new collaboration between bar owner Joe Edwards and 4 Hands Brewing Company, Rock & Roll is back to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed Blueberry Hill, an iconic St. Louis restaurant and music club, Rock & Roll Lager (5.5% ABV) is a super crisp, easy-drinking American lager perfect for taking in an evening of live music.
Part of the mystique of the original beer was the can art, which features a Marlon Brando/James Dean character. He wears a leather jacket, sunglasses, and a motorcycle cap over his slicked-back hair. A cigarette hangs from his lip. Edwards came up with the design himself and named him Johnny Longshot.
The 50th Anniversary party is on Sept 8 and the public is welcome to attend. Walk the blue carpet, live music, champagne toast the opening of the time capsule.
Rock & Roll Beer
While I can find no official record or comment on the demise of Rock & Roll, I did find a 1983 article by UPI writer Tim Bryant which describes the beer’s rise to stardom. Bryant writes that national radio news services picked up a local story about the beer and soon, Edwards was getting calls from all over the country, with people asking where they could get the beer.
“In December 1981, two men from New York City drove to Blueberry Hill to sample Rock & Roll beer and buy $150 in Rock & Roll trinkets, which include cups, glasses, lighters, matches, ashtrays, calendars, jackets, T-shirts, buttons, keychains, plaques, posters, yo-yos and thermometers,” writes Bryant. “They also wanted to meet Edwards.”
‘They were familiar with my book, I guess,” Edwards told Byrant.
The book, ‘Top 10s and Trivia of Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues,’ is kept at the fingertips of disc jockeys across the country. Edwards, who owns tens of thousands of records, updates the reference book yearly.
“Bringing out a beer named for my favorite kind of music was a natural extension of the bar’s business,” said Edwards in 1983. “When the requests for the beer started pouring in, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’d better not let this opportunity pass me by.”
Rock & Roll beer was originally made by Royal Brewing Co. of New Orleans, the brewer of Dixie beer and sold for $3 a six-pack at Blueberry Hill. Four packs of 16oz cans will begin landing on St. Louis area shelves later this week!