Which got us wondering, naturally: What should we be drinking at the event? We know which wines to pair with the artisan Raclette cheeses from Cheese Lands, which beers to wash down the garlic fries from the Taste of the Bay Area food vendors. But which wine complements the soothing vocals of Lionel Richie? What beer matches the desperate wail of “Creep?”
After some investigation (obviously, taste tests were required), we have the answers. Here are the drinks that are best served with a main course of Outside Lands music.
Drink: Broc Cellars Wines
Band: LCD Soundsystem
James Murphy, who brought back the incredible live show that is LCD Soundsystem this year, opened his Williamsburg bar in 2015. The Four Horsemen sells a variety of wines from around the world, including a 2014 white Zinfandel from a little winery in Sonoma, California called Broc Cellars. Just like LCD Soundsystem, the white Zinfandel is a touch unconventional, but the pink wine has quickly become one of best-selling varietals in the States.
Drink: Fort Point Beers
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Oxfordshire, England natives Radiohead pair best with a cool pint of beer. Fort Point’s Westfalia brew, a dark ale that mimics the style of English and German beers, is as robust and layered as the band. Surprising caramel undertones in the Westfalia complement the experimental electronic, jazz, and classical elements in Radiohead’s music.
Drink: Pellegrini Wine Company
Artist: Lionel Richie
Like Lionel Richie, Pellegrini has been giving fans what they want for decades. A bottle of their 2013 Pinot Noir, which garnered favorable reviews from Wine Enthusiast
and the San Francisco Chronicle
, sells for $50 — cheaper than the typical cost of a seat at a Richie show (outside the festival setting, of course). Seasoned wine lovers will pick out notes of cherry, mocha, cardamom, and toffee, among others. The wide flavor set means that this Pinot can thrive in many different settings, making it a great match for a man who resides in the elite club of people who can claim the title singer/songwriter/musician/record producer/actor.
Drink: Ghost Pines Winery
Artist: Lana Del Rey
Named after the gray, ghostlike pine trees that surround one of its Napa County vineyards, Ghost Pines Winery knows a thing or two about otherworldly presentation, a quality that makes them a worthy complement for Lana Del Rey. While Ghost Pines’ etherealness comes from the highly adaptable and incredibly rare ghost pine, Del Rey’s comes from her music and accompanying videos, which deliver messages that are both eerie and poignant (think “Born to Die” or “Summertime Sadness”). Get the Merlot, a blend of dark berry, licorice, and espresso that leaves an aftertaste of sparkling soda pop — really, that in itself is practically Lana Del Rey in a drink.
Drink: Harmonic Brewing
Artist: J. Cole
San Francisco’s Harmonic Brewing leaves its taproom door open for everyone — even kids and dogs. Still, it’s a bit overlooked as far as city breweries go, with less press than bigger names like Anchor Brewing, even though it has just as impressive a beer list. That’s what makes Harmonic a great match for J. Cole, an artist whose name isn’t on your Facebook feed as much as Drake or Kanye, but whose music is both great and unexpectedly experimental for his genre. When his raw voice hits the notes on the especially captivating “Apparently,” you’ll want to have Harmonic’s Rye Old Fashioned Pale — their signature brew — in hand. The beer is inspired by the classic cocktail of the same name, but takes this chance to do a bitter, rye-fueled twist, much like Cole’s approach to pop music.
Drink: Strongbow Hard Ciders
Band: Duran Duran
Both Strongbow Hard Ciders and Duran Duran hail from across the pond, the former gaining mainstream fans in the ‘70s and the latter taking over stadiums starting in the ‘80s. Duran Duran’s new wave synth-pop may seem more likely to pair with a cocktail than a beer, but Strongbow’s spiked apple ciders offer a mix of fun and continued drinkability that make them an even more ideal match. Before Duran Duran’s set, grab a bottle of the signature Gold Apple Cider, which combines sweet and sour notes for a zippy finish that lends itself well to the dancefloor.
We’re looking forward to spending a few summer nights with this year’s Outside Lands headliners. It’s a beautiful daydream: Picnic blankets strewn around Golden Gate Park, music whistling in your ears, people laughing and eating, a relaxing drink in hand.