Darius Rucker Brewing Up New Job Description

Could New Craft Beer Signal Other Projects From Hootie & the Blowfish?

Hold on to your cold ones, Darius Rucker fans. He's adding a new title to his resume -- brewmaster. Well, sort of.

Rucker and his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates have teamed up with a Florida-based brewing company to bring you a brand new artisan craft beer called Hootie's Homegrown Ale.

Back to the booze in a minute.

For me, the far more interesting aspect is that Hootie & the Blowfish are are back at it once again for a new project. Not that they ever weren't at it. Technically, the band never broke up. They just took a vacation from recording and touring -- like the Eagles and other bands -- so Rucker could launch his journey into country music.

I think it's safe to say that when Rucker first announced the news of the band's hiatus back in 2008, fans probably became a little worried. I know I did. What would happen to one of the most successful groups to emerge in the '90s? Their big debut Cracked Rear View was certified 16-times platinum, and they've sold more than 21 million albums in the U.S. alone. They arguably defined a genre of music for an entire generation. Were they done for good?

Absolutely not, and Rucker himself was just getting started on his wildly-successful solo venture. Clearly, his country career has taken off in the most beautiful way.

He's now a full-blown country star. He's amassed six No. 1 country singles and No. 1 country albums, a CMA award and a Grammy for best country solo performance. And did we mention he's now a member of the Grand Ole Opry? Yep, Rucker is a major player in the country music world.

And, yes, he's still tight with his bandmates in Hootie & the Blowfish. They still perform at charity events, and this new brewing venture is for a good cause, too. Five percent of the sales will go to the band's selected charity, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, which strives to improve public education issues in the band's home state of South Carolina.

It's a win/win for Rucker fans. We have him as a country star while we still have hopes of possible new music with his band. Maybe we can have our Hootie's Homegrown Ale and drink it, too.

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