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Bob Dylan’s an artist that transcends time. Like a Michelangelo sculpting or a Salinger short story, the man and his creation weave into the fabric of our lives. “Play some Dylan!” is an exclamation universally understood now and forever. His voice defines unique and his harmonica made blowing into mouth organs cool.

I first introduced my kids to Dylan by playing songs and albums you can’t help but sing along to. Through classics like “All I Really Want to Do” from Another Side of Bob Dylan and “Maggie’s Farm” from Bringing It All Back Home, my kids learned how to crush choruses by singing at the top of their lungs, out of tune alongside their father. They learned how to handle vinyl with Dylan records, which is the way I hope they learn how to handle life too – on the edges.

Any time a Dylan record starts spinning in my home, we rejoice. We don’t talk about it and it’s not something that’s planned. It just is. While my wife and I prep dinner in the kitchen, my daughter grabs a Dylan jacket that looks welcoming and sparks her intrigue. Nashville Skyline starts to play as the slow deliberate guitar playing eases us into a surprisingly mature sounding Dylan and Cash duo with “Girl from the North Country.”

If you're traveling till the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
For she once was the true love of mine

With every song and every record, stories are told. Mountains may even move. Bob is the one and only Dylan.

Recommended Albums & Pairings:

Album: Another Side of Bob Dylan

Recorded in Recorded in June 1964 @ Columbia Studio A
Produced by Tom Wilson
Cover Photo by Sandy Speiser

Fun facts:

  • All the songs were recorded in one session at New York’s Columbia Studios on 9 June 1964.
  • Of the 11 songs on the album, only "Chimes of Freedom" contained the combination of poetry and social commentary that led to him being called the voice of his generation.
  • The eight-minute "Ballad in Plain D" was a largely autobiographical tale of the night he broke up with Suze Rotolo, the woman on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

Beer Pairing: Fusion Brewing, Conversation Piece

This rich American Pale Ale (APA) is a great warm weather drink to enjoy out with friends or in the backyard grilling out listening to Dylan. Despite the relatively low ABV (4%), this beer has plenty of American citra and simcoe hops layered on top of a rich malty base of Marris Otter, Munich and Caramel malt. Light and full of flavor, Conversation Piece is a delight from spring through fall, which is primetime for hitting up live music.

Fittingly, this APA is made by Fusion Brewing which pairs perfectly with Another Side of Bob Dylan since the album laid the groundwork for Dylan to eventually fuse folk and rock. Now that’s a conversation piece!

Here is a photo of the beer paired with Another Side of Bob Dylan

Fusion Brewing"

Album: Bringing It All Back Home

Recorded in Recorded in March 1965 @ Columbia Studio A & B
Produced by Tom Wilson
Cover Photo by Daniel Kramer

Fun facts:

  • The iconic album cover photo includes Bob Dylan and Sally Grossman, the wife of Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman. The photo was taken in the Grossman house in Bearsville, New York. For more info on how the cover got created, click here.
  • Arguably the greatest and darkest political song Dylan wrote, “It’s Alright Ma” was written in the summer of 1964 in Woodstock, New York while folk scene peers Richard and Mimi Farina and Joan Baez were Dylan’s houseguests.
  • “I’ll Keep It With Mine” was performed by Dylan during the recording of Bringing It All Back Home, but the song never made the album. As the story goes, it was written for Nico, the German actress and singer who, before her recruitment into the Velvet Underground, spent some quality time with Dylan in Greece. Nico ended up recording the song for her debut solo album while the Dylan outtake “I’ll Keep It With Mine” surfaced on later compilations and most notably on the Record Store Day (RSD) 2016 special release titled, Side Tracks.

Beer Pairing: Manhattan Project Beer Company, Bikini Atoll

Tart, salty and crisp describe this fruited blackberry and raspberry Leipzig gose, which are all adjectives that could be used to describe Dylan’s sound and stories in Bringing It All Back Home. Texas-based Manhattan Project Beer Company caught plenty of heat for naming one of its beverages after the location of a nuclear test site, i.e., Bikini Atoll, that resulted in the contamination of the Marshall Islands. On the other hand, Rolling Stone gave Dylan praise for tying nuclear warfare and the fallout-shelter sign on the album’s cover as “the cultural equivalent of a nuclear bomb.”

What gives? I guess it comes down to knowing your audience and satisfying their tastes, but don’t be fooled, both beer and album are worth devouring and best together!

Here are photos of the beer paired with Bringing It All Back Home

Manhattan Project Beer Company"
Manhattan Project Beer Company"

Album: Nashville Skyline

Recorded in Recorded in February 1969 @ Columbia
Produced by Bob Johnston
Cover Photo by Elliott Landy

Fun facts:

  • Although Nashville Skyline never showed up on the U.S. country charts, the album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and introduced mainstream pop music fans to a sound many had never heard before. This crossover of country and pop helped pave the way for bands like The Marshall Trucker Band, The Eagles and other country-rock superstars of the early 1970s.
  • “Nashville Skyline Rag” is the first instrumental on a Dylan album.
  • The album was never coupled with a tour, so whether it was timing or fate, two of its songs have never been played live by Dylan to date, i.e., “Nashville Skyline Rag” and “Peggy Day.”

Beer Pairing: Tennessee Brew Works, Walk the Lime

How more perfect of a pairing could there be? Tennessee Brew Works crafted an American pale wheat ale that gets tropical with fresh lime zest and various imparting citrus notes that compliments its classic golden color. Nashville Skyline was meant to be enjoyed with a beer brewed in Tennessee and one that plays off the timeless classic, “Walk the Line.” The Dylan and Cash opener “Girl from the North Country” is a duo meant to be paired with this tasty country beverage.

Here is a photo of the beer paired with Nashville Skyline

Beers paired with Nashville Skyline"

1 thought on “Dylan”

  1. Hi Stefan, you’re a very lucky man to be able to share musical moments with a wife and children. Something to be greatly cherished. I’ve seen Dylan 6 times and each time was a wonderful time and unique experience. Thanks again for posting my little Discovering Bob Dylan story on your site too.


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