Discord Beer Company made it clear Monday that its appropriation of the Dischord Records logo was “an homage” to the venerable Arlington label and “never intended for widespread use.” The New York brewery told Craft Brewing Business it pulled the image, which it had published on Instagram, “To cease all confusion.”
More confusion may lurk in the name of one of Discord’s beers: “IOU Nothing,” a “singularly unique Fruited Sour IPA with sumptuous berry and citrus aromas.” Its name may sound to old DC punks like an apparent homage to the Dischord band Fugazi’s song “Merchandise,” but Discord cofounder Tim Czarnetzki says it’s a reference to the story behind the Replacements song “IOU,” titled after an autograph Iggy Pop is said to have provided to Replacements singer Paul Westerberg. (Another beer, “Unsatisfied,” shares a name with a Replacements song.)
While it’s still kind of amusing to see breweries invoke a music scene that was known in part for its many non-drinkers (which was definitely not the case with the Replacements), attempts to weld DC punk nostalgia to marketing efforts are nothing new. DC’s Atlas Brew Works makes a very good Revolution Summer-inspired IPA called Dance of Days, for instance, and the Satellite Room once sold a burger named for Dischord co-founder Ian MacKaye, who is a longtime vegan. Brooklyn once sported a barbecue joint named Fort Reno, named for the site of a longstanding DC summer concert series. A Scottish brewery even owns a trademark for the word “punk” as it relates to beer.
Reached by email, a Dischord Records spokesperson declined to comment on Discord Beer Company.
Correction: This post originally said Discord published its “homage” logo in a press release—in fact, it published it on Instagram, and an article about the press release used it. I also updated the piece to include my conversation with Czarnetzki about the name of “IOU Nothing.”