City Built drops hip-hop-themed beer series


City Built Brewing Company announced its Crown Series, a new release of beers that pays homage to hip-hop duo Run the Jewels.

The brewery recently rolled out a quadruple can release of three dry-hopped double IPAs: Into the Fray, Into the Haze and Into the Murk, as well as a fruited sour named Childish Obsession

City Built CEO Ed Collazo said he was inspired by Run the Jewels’ recent album “RTJ4,” and more specifically, a track on the duo’s second album called “Crown,” where MC Killer Mike exhumes the baggage that kept him from reaching his full potential.

“What attracted me to the song was a lyric, ‘You can’t pick up no crown, holding what’s holding you down.’ There’s a lot of truth to that,” Collazo said. “Then I started to really listen to the lyrics and found some great IPA names.”

Into the Fray, Into the Haze and Into the Murk are all names Collazo selected from the song’s lyrics. Rob Qualls, head brewer at City Built, admitted he’d never listened to Run the Jewels before brewing these beers, but he happened to match the duo’s tendency for lavishness and excess with high-budget hop bills for each IPA.

“I wanted to spend all the money on all the fancy hops we could,” Qualls said. “The way I look at it, the malt bill might be the car, but it means nothing if there’s not an engine behind there driving.”

Into the Fray is packed with Galaxy hops, Into the Murk has Nelson Sauvin and a dash of Idaho 7 hops and Into the Haze has Citra, Cryo Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Obsession is a fruited sour with tangerine purée, vanilla and lactose meant to evoke memorable childhood indulgences like push-pops and Sunny D.

Collazo tapped local Grand Rapids artists Kyle DeGroff and Elliot Chaltry to create art for the cans. Their work can be seen as large murals throughout the Creston neighborhood.

As a lifelong hip-hop fan — frequently seen sporting Wu-Tang shirts at the brewery — Collazo said he was thrilled to bring this tribute to life.

“I grew up listening to a lot of groups that probably inspired Run the Jewels — Tribe, Wu-Tang,” Collazo said. “We have another beer we named after Del the Funkee Homosapien called Bob Dobalina.”

All four beers are available at the City Built taproom, 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 155, Grand Rapids.

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