Brad Paisley is reminding fans that there's "No I in Beer," releasing an acoustic version of his recent single on Friday. The stripped-back version of the drinking song features Paisley singing over his signature guitar plucking, lending a slightly softer note to the party-ready track, which praises the unifying power of beer.
Paisley originally released "No I in Beer" in April shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began. "It's crazy as I look around at life right now how everybody is just doing what they can to get through this," he said at the time. "And one of the things that's so crazy are these drinking parties that people are having from their homes using technology to be together any way that they can... it's like so strange in such a way that we are connected in a way that we've never been and one of the common denominators is alcohol."
"The fact that beer sales, alcohol sales are up, like, I hear, like 60 percent or something ridiculous," he continued. "And I get it. It's like people are utilizing this time to connect with people and to feel sort of solidarity as human beings in the face of this pandemic." The 47-year-old originally wrote the song two years ago with co-writer Kelly Loveless and shared that it has since taken on a new meaning for him.
"When I hear it now, I just feel like, you know what, life sorta sucks right now in some ways and we gotta do what we can to get through this," he said. "And if we've ever felt unified as Americans as citizens of the world, it's in the fact that nobody loves what we're going through but everybody's willing to do what we have to do and one of those things is let’s be a team — let's be a drinking team and that's what we are right now."
At the beginning of the pandemic, Paisley connected with fans by crashing their Zoom calls, and he told Hoda Kotb on the Today show that those interactions inspired him to release "No I in Beer." "It's funny, I wrote the bulk of this song in 2018 and performed it a few times to rousing ovations from the drinking crowd in the back," he joked, "but it wasn't until this thing happened that we ended up looking around and it's like, 'This is how people are getting through it. They're having these drinking parties and people are sitting around, they're drinking and talking.' It reminds me of college, only it's everybody's at home in their pajamas. We released this because it's strangely unifying, the concept of it."