Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

June 27, 2014 at 12:03pm

Beer:45 - Time for China Davis and Harmon Brewery's drINK THIS IPA

China Davis's "Anjilla" is blasting out of our publisher's office.

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Every Friday after 2:45 p.m., when workday decorum is thrown out, Weekly Volcano publisher Pappi Swarner pops open a local brew, tilts back in his rickety office chair and cranks his Frazier Model Seven speakers. And as interns inappropriately learn from Pappi during their orientation, nothing tastes better than pairing local music with local beer. Pappi picks one song and repeats it until he can see the bottom of his glass. When the music stops, we know he has left the building.

Today, Pappi has paired China Davis' "Anjilla" off their new Arctic Days album with Harmon Brewing's drINK THIS White IPA.

Singer and principal songwriter Ben Fuller and his musical mate and brother, guitarist Ted Fuller, have been making music since their junior high days in Gig Harbor. They're both music freaks, but Ben takes it one step higher. He'll chat music for hours on end, and he can pull it off. He hears every note, and remembers every note he hears. The Fullers' band, China Davis, is firmly rooted in the foundation of Americana and singer/songwriter tropes with the ability to bring the rock. They recently released Arctic Days, their Dark Side of the Moon, but haven't officially released it to the public. How about that release show, guys?!

"I think ‘Anjilla' sums up the feeling and the theme of the Arctic Days album," explains Ben. "That's the reason it's the first song because it sets the tone of the whole thing. I'm a huge music fan and I love most of the music that has come out of our region that has become really big, I'm just not sure that I look at any of it and say, ‘that feels like Washington to me.' That was a real goal of mine in making this album. What does it sound like here? I can hear England in The Beatles and The Who. I can hear California in the Beach Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Jamaica in Bob Marley, Minnesota in Bob Dylan, New York in Lou Reed and Oklahoma in Woody Guthrie. What sounds like the Northwest? I wanted the land and the water in these songs - my grandparents' struggles as commercial fishermen. The connectedness of family and being connected with our past in the present. I've been working at this idea for a long time, but it's quite the task because this group of songs is a lot more revealing than anything we've ever done as a band.

"When we put out Shadowdancing I was in a really tough place in my life, mostly in the relationship sense. It's kinda hard to get into but my personal life was feeling like a ship that was going down slowly. I kept on patching the leaks and finally the bottom of the boat broke open. I decided to just let the damn thing go down and let go for a while. I actually didn't date for a couple years and got myself on track. Then I met Faye out of nowhere. 'Anjilla' is a song about that I suppose — I needed to look at things differently and see things about life that were always there but were being ignored. I named the song 'Anjilla' after my grandfather's fishing boat. The real boat was called Angilla after my sister Jill and cousin Angela. I thought if I made it 'Anjilla' it would be pronounced more like it is intended to sound and maybe even make my sister a little bit uncomfortable, which I think would be funny.

"('Anjilla') is really about a dream of a shipwreck rescue, about hitting the restart button and pulling yourself out of the muddy shore. I think the line 'All the singers you used to love, all dead men' says it all — just being OK with yourself to move on and start over. Our band has been around for quite a while right now and we needed to really look at what is important for us artistically as opposed to trying to make it. So, this song leads us as a band into the first chapter of our Great American Novel, the one about the Northwest. Each song is a small piece of a bigger story; 'Anjilla' is the welcoming to that world."

Since Ben is a fan of IPAs, we're pairing "Anjilla" with Harmon Brewing's drINK THIS White IPA, which was brewed in conjunction with the "Ink This" contemporary print arts exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum.

"I am not only a singer-songwriter but I am also a guy who drives a beer truck for a living," says Ben. "Laugh all you want but Elvis Presley was also a trucker! Lately, I would say that I have to go with IPA as my ‘go to' beer."

drINK THIS is a medium-bodied IPA brewed with three different malted barleys that make up 60 percent of the grain bill. White wheat makes up the other 40, with five different hop varieties - Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo and Citra - used in the kettle. It rings in at 7.6 percent ABV and 65 IBUs.

"The Harmon also makes a pretty good Vanilla Porter," says Ben.

LINK: China Davis on SoundCloud

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About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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