By: Liz Melby, Director of Communications Published:
What do brewing beer and making cymbals have in common? Surprisingly…a lot. That’s what we discovered when brewing the latest offering in our 100 Barrel Series, Harpoon Secret Alloy Ale, a collaboration with our friends at Zildjian.
We wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the walls at the most revered cymbal making company in the world (which happens to be 25 miles south of our Boston brewery), so we talked to our good friend Jeff Westhaver, Zildjian’s Cymbal Tester for the last 27 years about what it’s like to work where rock star drummers come to make magic happen.
Here’s what Jeff had to say…
Jeff, hHow long have you been with Zildjian?
I’ve been working at Zildjian for 27 years
What does “Zildjian” mean? Can you give us some company background?
Zildjian means “son of a cymbal maker.” The company was founded in 1623 and though the company began in Turkey, we are the oldest family business in America as the company has been owned by 14 generations of the same family.
What does being a “cymbal tester” mean?
As a cymbal tester, I test every cast cymbal made in our Norwell, MA factory for sound and quality. I also work with professional drummers and orchestral players to help them select the right cymbals for their specific needs.
What is the 80/20 recipe all about? (see more about the beer here)
80/20 is blend of metals (alloy) consisting of 80% cooper and 20% tin. We also include slices of sliver plus a Zildjian secret alloy. While many cymbals are created with an 80/20 alloy, Zildjian cymbals contain a family secret recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is currently held by the Zildjian family and four men that work in the foundry.
Why do you love what you do?
It is something that I call Zildjian magic. Cymbals are a lot like snowflakes, where no two cymbals are exactly the same. When you see a drummer find that special cymbal and fall in love with it, their face lights up. It is a great feeling to see how happy a drummer becomes when he/she finds the sound they are looking for.
What are some of the coolest memories you have working at Zildjian? Any cool drumming/drummer stories?
I love working with the guys in the factory. We take great pride in carrying on the great legacy of the Zildjian brand. Additionally, I love meeting and working with famous drummers. I have had the pleasure to work with Mick Fleetwood when he came to tour the factory and I met legends such as Mitch Mitchell (played with Jimi Hendrix) and jazz drummer, Elvin Jones who is one of the coolest people I have ever met.
Why are the cymbals so important for the drummer?
Cymbals define the character of the drummer and the drum set. They are the conversation the drummer has with the music. Drummers have an emotional connection with their cymbals as they help to create an individual style and voice.
Who’s your favorite drummer and why?
It is hard to choose one favorite drummer as there so many great drummers out there. I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many great artists over the last 27 years.
Name some famous drummers who use Zildjian cymbals…
We have many legendary drummers as well as many younger drummers from all genres of music who formally endorse Zildjian. Some of our top rock drummers are Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band), Steve Smith (Journey), Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam/Soundgarden), Travis Barker (Blink 182), Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), and Questlove (Roots/Tonight Show). Some of our newer artists are Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots), Ashton Irwin (5 Seconds of Summer), Chris Fryar (Zac Brown Band), and much more.
Do you like beer? If so, Why?
I don’ like beer, I LOVE beer. I enjoy the IPA’s for their hoppiness and flavor.
What was it like coming up with this beer?
It was a fantastic opportunity for two local Boston companies to come together and collaborate on an amazing product. I really enjoyed spending the day at Harpoon and learning the process of brewing the “Secret Alloy Ale”.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank Harpoon and Zildjian for letting me be a part of this fantastic collaboration.
By: Carolyn Orth, Promotions Coordinator & Leslie Barber, Florida Brewery Rep Published:
Whether you live in Orlando or are down visiting this summer, you know that these beautiful summer months can be HOT. But you don’t let the heat, and more prominently, the humidly, stop you from enjoying all that Orlando has to offer.
Our team was in Orlando July 21st – 23rd for our 6th stop of our nine city Squeeze the Most out of Summer Tour and took a cue from the locals on how to squeeze the most out of summer, Orlando style:
- The Hammered Lamb is a local favorite, not only for their delectable menu and great outdoor bar but for their relaxed atmosphere perfect for beers and games with friends. You don’t need to be down in Orlando to enjoy cold brews and games with friends though, so grab a 6-pack and a corn hole set and get to it!
- Pool parties are your best friend, especially at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Pool! With a lazy river, waterslide, and cold buckets of UFO, it doesn’t get much better in the summer. This gorgeous summer escape is open to the public, so no need to be staying at the Hilton if you’d like to enjoy a UFO White as you float on the lagoon or at a poolside cabana. If you don’t live in Orlando or aren’t planning a trip anytime soon though, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of reasons to enjoy a poolside bucket of beers with friends. Check out where you can find all of your favorite UFO beers in a store near you, grab a bucket at a local Target and hit up one of your friends with a pool!
- If you’re looking to stay active this summer even during a scorching heat wave, Stand-Up Paddleboarding with Paddleboard Orlando is the only way to go. It’s a great cardio workout with immediate relief to the heat whether or not you “accidentally” fall off the board. Now add a cooler of cold beers out on the water with you, and voila! Your afternoon is set. There are many SUP locations all over the country though so jump on a board soon and don’t forget the UFO!
Up next on the tour is Austin, New York and Rhode Island! Be sure to check out where we’ll be and show us how you’re squeezing the most out of summer using #mysummersqueeze on Twitter and Instagram.