They’re not just a Long Beach staple.
For anyone living in Southern California in the 90s, Sublime was a force to be reckoned with. And when 40 oz. to Freedom came out 25 years ago, it altered the soundscape of the entire region. Borrowing from the ska of North OC kids, the punk of LA, and Long Beach’s roots in fusing everything from reggae and jazz to R&B and Latin sounds, Sublime created a sound that was solely theirs.
Led by Bradley Nowell from 1988 until his death in 1996, Sublime’s history is one of legend: unable to garner traction with major labels, Bradley borrowed a grand in cash from his dad, created Skunk Records, and sold over 30,000 copies of 40 oz. to Freedom out of the band’s van. Using Long Beach as a backdrop for videos, including the famed Gaytonia building rooftop in Belmont Shore, Sublime would soon become the most known band to come out of the streets of Long Beach.
And now, San Diego’s AleSmith brewery will be honoring the debut of that album by creating a Sublime Mexican Lager, including a small batch of limited edition 40 oz. bottles for collectors. (We’ll really want to expresss our sorrows that a Long Beach brewery wasn’t given the option instead but alas…)
“The [current] band members are all big fans of this style of beer,” said AleSmith CEO and owner Peter Zien. “We wanted to create our thirst-quenching version of a traditional Vienna-style lager that showcases a grainy, malt-forward sweetness with easy drinkability. Clean and crisp with subdued hop bitterness to balance, makes Sublime Mexican Lager the go-to beer for hot summer days or pre-concert tailgating.”
Set with plans national distribution, the beer won’t only be accessible through the small batch of 40-ouncers; AleSmith will mostly be offerings the beer in 12oz. six-pack cans come June of this year.
“Being a beer lover, I’m so proud to partner with an elite world-class brewery like AleSmith and I know Sublime fans will absolutely love it,” said Troy Holmes, widow of Nowell. “Like Bradley sang, ‘That second beer was such a turn on…’”
Additionally, Sublime is “planning a pair of films based on the band’s legacy: The first ever authorized documentary to tell the ‘real’ story of the group, with Bud Gaugh, Eric Wilson and the Nowell estate all cooperating with the production, is currently in development,” according to Rolling Stone.
Time to get our drink on, Long Beach—and tell the world we’re badfish too.