We already know Run the Jewels made one of the best albums of the year. The bigger question now is whether or not the East Coast hip-hop duo has co-created one of 2020's best new beers with its Minneapolis partner, Modist Brewing.
Modist was one of 13 breweries worldwide recruited to concoct a beer tied to the release of RTJ's new single, "No Save Point."
The Minneapolis beermaker's brew of the same name is a double dry hopped New England IPA now available in cans at stores, in lieu of being on tap at the North Loop brewery's temporarily closed taproom.
Modist's reputation as an edgy, music-friendly brewery probably could have been enough to attract the attention from RTJ cohorts El-P and Killer Mike and their team, who have heavily dabbled in the beer world before. However, representatives at the brewery said it was a mix of good luck and grave misfortune that led to them working together on this 6.8% ABV brew.
The good was a random encounter between Modist co-owner John Donnelly and an RTJ representative over hot dogs last year at a beer festival in New York. The bad was the turmoil that engulfed Minneapolis after the George Floyd tragedy this past summer, during which Modist took a strong stance noticed and applauded by the Run the Jewels team.
"That chance meeting along with all of the things that happened with George Floyd and our handling of it — not mincing words, echoing the cry of our community, and doing what we could to help the community — led to RTJ thinking of us when it came to the collaboration," said Tyler Mithuen, Modist's director of brand development.
In the days following the Floyd tragedy, Modist donated a week's worth of proceeds from taproom sales to social-justice organizations. It also worked closely with Minneapolis rapper Nur-D and the organization Justice Frontline Aid in supplying first-aid care to protestors.
RTJ's other collaborating breweries for these No Save Point beers include the Black-owned and -operated Weathered Souls in San Antonio, Texas, the reputably innovative Pipeworks in Chicago and such international players as Cerveza Minerva (Mexico) and Inne Beczki (Poland).
RTJ's representative in charge of beer endeavors, Kate Brankin, said the collaborating breweries were chosen not only for their bold approach to beermaking but "also because they share a similar ethos of expanding and supporting inclusivity within the craft beer community."
Each brewery was reportedly given a "bone of a recipe," but then encouraged to do its own thing. Modist went so far as to also print up T-shirts in conjunction with the beer, which RTJ has also been selling on its website.
"They were excited with what we came up," Mithuen proudly noted.
"We took a lot of time and thought into making this beer a true Modist beer, to stand out from the rest of the beers in the collaboration, from the recipe to the label art, and the merch we created to go along with it. Overall we couldn't be prouder with the end result."
For some viewing entrainment wile you crack your first can of Modist's No Save Point, Run the Jewels is also branching out into the video-game world and collaborated with the makers of "Cyberpunk 2077" on this video for the beer's namesake song.
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658