Hanson got me drunk.
The brothers—Isaac, Taylor, and Zac—may be immortalized in our collective minds as the baby-faced boy band who loved harmonizing almost much as they loved long hair. They may be emblazoned forever in the our ’90s-nostalgia-loving hearts as cherubic 16-, 13-, and 11-year-olds, respectively. But now not only are the “MMMBop” singers all over the age of 21 (and married with children)—hi, you’re old—they have created and are selling their own beer.
It is called—get ready for it—Mmmhops.
On the best day of my life, a breezy Thursday in early September, Isaac, Taylor, and Zachary Hanson (now … seriously … 32, 30, and 27) traveled to The Daily Beast’s Manhattan offices to play beer pong, talk about Mmmhops, and just generally be dreamy.
“We like beer,” Taylor says, after mandating that everyone crack open an Mmmhops before the drinking games could commence. “We’ve always done stuff we’re into, and we love a lot of craft beers.”
Mmmhops is a tasty pale ale created in partnership with Mustang Brewing. Its inception coincides with—hi, you’re really old—the group’s 21st anniversary together.
“It started with, big surprise, several evenings sitting around talking about beer,” Isaac says. “The next thing you know we started talking about the idea of having a beer, how cool it would be to have your own beer.”
And the bit of divine genius to name the brew Mmmhops, displaying a remarkable sense of humor—not to mention self-awareness?—that, Zac says, was all Isaac. “I was a few beers in …” the oldest Hanson laughs.
The brothers fancy themselves craft-brew connoisseurs, seizing the opportunity to sample local beers around the country as they tour, which they’ve been doing pretty much continuously over the past two decades. (They’re now on the Anthem World Tour.) It’s an easy passion to understand. At each tour stop, someone will ask, “Have you tried our beer?” It would be rude not to oblige.
And so when Hanson showed up at our place of work to binge drink on a late Thursday afternoon, it would have been rude not to oblige them as well.
The brothers were incredibly game as we played a very sad round of beer pong. (It was windy, OK?) They joked about when they had their first drinks—“probably celebrating something after a concert”—ribbed each other for breaking the rules—elbows!—and never missed an opportunity to tease us when we missed a cup. (There were many opportunities.)
That was when Taylor Hanson beat me in a chugging contest.
Alas, and fortunately, these are three men who grew up on the road and did not attend raucous frat parties at state universities, which is to say they were about as rotten at beer pong as we were.
Because both our teams were so bad—for public shaming purposes I will now call out my esteemed (read: useless) Daily Beast teammates William O’Connor and Adrienne Vogt for not carrying their weight—after roughly 45 minutes of play both Team Hanson and Team Beast had three cups left on the table. As it turns out, pop stars and journalists are not particularly skilled at drinking games.
Worried that the beer-pong match would extend until the Hansons’ own children were old enough to drink, not to mention that at least one Hanson and two Beast staffers were beginning to slur their words, we resigned ourselves to settling the tie with a chugging contest. Taylor would drink for the visitors. I’d attempt to bring glory home to the Beast. The rule, which it must be said Taylor was insistent on, was that neither of us could spill or take a break. The first to finish his beer would win.
And that was when Taylor Hanson beat me in a chugging contest.
He was the first to finish his bottle of Mmmhops. It was mmmbarrassing.
However—cut to the tape!—Taylor was spilling all over the place! I don’t want to disparage any ’90s pop icons, but Taylor is a dirty rotten cheater.
(Ed. note: Taylor is every bit as charming as your 12-year-old self always dreamed he would be, and I’m pretty sure if we’d finished another six-pack the two of us would be best friends. I’m making that up, but a guy can dream.)
The Hanson brothers’ goal is to have the beer available in 10 states by the end of the year and at tour stops as well. Taylor will talk your ear off—quite intelligently—about the hurdles small breweries face in getting their beer into stores. Considering the brothers have been doggedly running their own indie record label for the past decade, there’s no doubt that they’ll find a way to meet that goal.
Plus, with each bottle sold, a donation will be made to charitable efforts to bring clean water wells to Africa, so there’s extra incentive to root for Mmmhops’ success.
Until then, delight in the footage of the day I got drunk with Hanson. Taylor pretends to lick beer off the table. Enjoy.