Music News

Queensryche Guitarist Signs Beer Bottles at Total Wine

Page 2 of 2

Since the early 1980s, Wilton has had aspiring guitarists miming his arpeggiated licks in songs like "Silent Lucidity" and "Jet City Woman." But in addition to shredding, the veteran ax man is now hocking craft beer. I ran into Wilton (completely by accident, no less) Friday at the Fort Lauderdale Total Wine, where he was promoting his new craft beer brand, Whip Ale -- a lightly hopped Pale Ale brewed in Washington by Diamond Knot Brewing and distributed directly from the brewery to Total Wine.

I have to admit to never really listening to Queensrÿche beyond their hit singles, but seeing Wilton at Total Wine, flowing locks and all, had me giddy. A genial and cool character, Wilton posed with a few fans and beer aficionados who had gathered around his table in the center of the store. He signed bottles of Whip Ale and sampled it out and even posed for pictures with a few (see me throwing up the most awkward pair of devil horns in history in the pic above). One customer, apparently unaware that Wilton was the guitarist for one of the most far-reaching metal bands of the '80s, asked him if he was the brewer. "Kind of," Wilton said with a smirk as he penned his John Hancock onto one of his gold and black 22-ounce bottles with a silver Sharpie.

Wilton, it turns out, is a bit of an amateur homebrewer. Like most of us who first dabble in craft beer, Wilton was attracted to hoppy beers like India Pale Ales. He approached Diamond Knot Brewing to turn one of his recipes into a commercial batch, and a few tweaks later, Whip Ale was spreading around the Northwest on draft and in bottle. Thanks to Total, the beer is available in Florida (as well as New Jersey, California, South Carolina, and a handful of other states) for $5.99 for a 22-ounce bomber.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Linn