It may be fair to say now that craft beer has officially taken over Wichita.
To accompany its upcoming concert of Holst's "The Planets" on April 14-15, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a custom beer from Central Standard Brewing.
Called "Peace and Jollity," the beer is a hoppy pale ale based on Movements II and IV of the Holst work: "Venus, the Bringer of Peace" and "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity," respectively.
"We came up with a tropical, fruit-forward pale ale that's going to be real approachable to a lot of people," said Nathan Jackal, brewer at Central Standard. "We liked the name 'Peace and Jollity' as the beer name and ... we didn't want to go too crazy with anything too funky or sour or anything. It's going to be a real approachable beer."
Central Standard was a natural choice from the Symphony to partner with, said Arleigh McCormick, marketing and public relations manager for the symphony.
"After concerts, we always have our favorite hangouts, and ever since Central Standard has opened musicians like to go there," she said. "We were thinking ... this piece, 'The Planets,' has so much colorful imagery and texture in the sound that we could commission something that matched."
The Symphony provided CSB brewers Emily Boyd and Nathan Jackal with recordings of the classic Holst orchestral work, and the team at the brewery created a beer they thought fit the feel of the piece, Jackal said.
The concept of a symphony orchestra getting into the craft-beer scene isn't entirely new: Earlier this year, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra commissioned a "Plum Beethoven" beer to celebrate the composer's work.
"Typically when a symphony talks about a commission, they're talking about commissioning a new piece of music from a composer," McCormick said. "In this case we're commissioning a culinary artwork."
"Peace and Jollity" will be available at Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood, starting Thursday. Souvenir glasses with the logos of the beer, the Symphony and Central Standard will be available — proceeds from which will go to the Symphony.
The Symphony is also hosting a "Classics on Tap" event at the brewery at 7 p.m. April 10. For $45 guests can hear Symphony musicians, talks from Maestro Daniel Hege and eat food from Tanya's Soup Kitchen.
The beer will be available during performances of "The Planets" on April 14-15 at Century II.