Some 50 years after cofounding RUSH, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson know their fanbase pretty well.
So when Rush announced its Canadian Golden Ale last summer, there was little doubt that with Lee and Lifeson's endorsement the libation would carve out a decent share of the market. If not, the pair of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers would have a lot of free beer to drink — a classic win-win.
When the ale arrived on shelves, it did so in striking gold cans with the band's iconic 2112 Starman insignia. Above the album art, the can is emblazoned with the tagline "Books are for tourists" — one-half the phrase "Books are for tourists; beer is for geniuses."
Lee tells Classic Rock magazine in a new interview that he and Lifeson originally suggested a different tagline.
"Did you know the phrase 'Drinking beer is better than being hit in the head with a hammer' can't be put on a beer can?" Lee asked. "Me neither. But that's a no-no. We did ask."
Regarding the band's reasoning for diving into the beverage industry, Lee says it was a simple conversation that their partner, Henderson Brewing Company, made pretty easy.
"Rush fans like beer," Lee pointed out. "Henderson [Brewery] approached us during the pandemic and said, 'If you're interested then we'll send 15 beers to you and Alex. You can taste them and give us your notes.' They came back with this golden ale, and we said, 'F--k, we like it!'"