The country star is joined by HARDY and BRELAND on the new track

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Mere days after performing amongst the thunderous roar of thousands at the Windy City Smokeout music festival in Chicago, country music powerhouse Dierks Bentley still sounded like he was floating on cloud nine about his first big show since the pandemic began.

"You always say, 'Oh, it's a show I'll never forget,' but really, we'll never forget that show," the multi-platinum singer/songwriter tells PEOPLE in a recent interview. "Everyone in that crowd was all in. There was that usual euphoria feeling up there, but it was also mixed in with the added celebration of just being beyond last year. It was this new, intangible ingredient that added to the overall experience. It was just unbelievable."

Adding to that euphoria was the response Bentley received from that Windy City crowd to his easygoing new single "Beers on Me." Joining forces and voices with country hotshots HARDY and BRELAND, Bentley sings a summertime ode to cold beers and good friends, with a few shots of reality thrown in for good measure.

"It's about the importance of just letting go," Bentley, 45, says of the song, which serves as the worthy follow-up to Bentley's 20th number one hit "Gone." "Whether it's a weekend at your local bar with your friends or getting in the car and going to a live show, you just got to find a way to let it all go for a little bit. Pick your moments when you want to fight the fight, but at the same time, pick your moments when you want to stay quiet for a little while."

He pauses. "Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to just not move forward for a little bit."

dierks bentley
Credit: Matthew Simmons

Granted, Bentley did just that last year, as the country music mainstay and his family retreated to their home in Colorado for a portion of the COVID-19 lockdown, and it was in this same special state that "Beers on Me" came to be.

"I had a bunch of friends come out and we were just writing a bunch of songs," says Bentley, who ended up writing "Beers on Me" alongside HARDY and BRELAND. "HARDY had the idea of 'Beers on Me,' and it didn't sound all that revolutionary, but it was kind of became this whole thing of, 'If you don't come through, that's on you, because beers are on me.' And it just felt timely, talking about what really matters in life."

Once back in Nashville, Bentley and the rest of the country music industry began to get wind of a groundbreaking artist by the name of BRELAND, who was still on fire following the success of his breakout single "My Truck."

"I just knew I needed him on this song, because I just knew there was a third verse to this song," Bentley remembers. "We just had to find it."

Soon, Bentley had BRELAND's number, texted him, and found himself in the studio with him the very next day.

"I played the song for him, and he was like, 'Can you just let me play the track and loop the track over and over again and let me work on it?'" Bentley remembers. "So, we did that, and we were just watching him. I mean, he was just smiling to himself, literally pulling words out of the air."

Indeed, this was no traditional Nashville writing session.

"It's usually more of a collaborative process and you're talking things out and stuff, but this was totally different," Bentley says with a laugh. "BRELAND is just on a totally different planet. He was totally in the zone and truly living out the dharma. And about 20 minutes later, he says he has some ideas, and they were absolutely genius. There were a few things he said that I didn't know what he was even talking about, but I knew they were good."

cmt performances
Dierks Bentley
| Credit: John Shearer/getty

Now, the song not only serves as the name of Bentley's upcoming tour, but also has his mind spinning about how he can make the idea come true at his live show.

"I'd love at my live shows to buy every single person that is 21 years old a beer," says Bentley, whose Beers on Me Tour begins on Aug. 13 alongside special guests Riley Green and Parker McCollum. "I mean, how cool would that be? Raise up that beer and let's make a toast to 2021 and get this thing going again."