Monthly Archives: June 2011

Bass Pale Ale & Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Hello Drinkers,

Sorry for the delay but beer and a movie is back from a quick trip to England with Bass Pale Ale and Guy Ritchie’s 1998 shoot-em-up comedy of errors Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Both offer small surprises of their own but are equally easy to digest and understand.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a hilarious web of interconnecting crooks, drugs dealers and murderers that can be hard to follow at first. While the film’s voiceover provides quick anecdotes as to the nicknames of each character, it does little to explain how all of these different personalities, ranging from a small-time card player to a hatchet wielding sex-toy king to Sting, all relate to one another. As the film progresses however, these connections are all sufficiently explained before they are neatly wrapped up in one of a series of bloody gunfights. The film is smart, fun and visually exciting.  Thick British accents aside, the movie is easy to follow despite the many twists and turns it takes.

Guns are just some of the many colorful characters in this family-friendly comedy.

Without stretching too far, Bass Pale Ale is quite similar to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Point of origin aside, Bass Pale Ale is both deceptive and simple. Although it is, ostensibly, a pale ale, Bass sports a dark copper color and is rich in flavor. Flavor in the singular at least. Bass’s primary taste is nutty. Not zany, gun-toting British thug nutty; just nutty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a strong and delicious flavor, but there are only traces of other things going on in this beer. As I said, it’s deceptively simple and I appreciate that. It perfectly achieves what it wants to be and quietly accompanies any movie you might happen to be watching.

Bass Pale Ale is a good beer for anyone who wants a reliable foundation. It’s rich, refreshing and smooth without being overly complex. And the same can be said for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It’s fun, exciting and dishes out its fair share of stylish visuals. As a bonus, it features a pre-badass Jason Statham. Overall, it won’t take multiple viewings (or tastings) to understand these two but they are always there for a good time.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Bass Pale Ale:
Rich, nutty flavor.
Deep, copper color.
Simple yet satisfying.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels:
Simply a complicated story.
Funny and sharp.
Jason Statham used to act.


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Samuel Adams Boston Lager & The Patriot

Hello Drinkers,

Tonight I’m brushing up on my American history by sipping on the classic Sam Adams Boston Lager and watching Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot. Now for those who don’t recall this hit film from 2000, it stars two of the most American actors from the past decade: Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. Taking a break from his usual science-fiction-meets-explosions milieu, director Roland Emmerich brings us back to the American Revolution which Mel Gibson is solely responsible for winning. Oh and Revolutionary America was totally down with racial equally. The more you know.

Historical accuracies aside, the movie is pure entertainment and nothing else. While there is plenty of human drama and tender father-son moments to tug on those heartstrings, what this movie really lives for is the extended, slow-motion action scenes. Ever want to watch Mel Gibson fight dudes with a hatchet for 10 minutes straight? Watch this movie. Not taken very seriously, this movie can be fun and might even spark a few patriotic feelings as characters spout off generic American-isms like “stay the course” and “a nation where all men are created equally under God.”  But on to more serious things.

Moments before he stabs a horse with the flag. America. Fuck yeah.

Sam Adams Boston Lager is probably one of the most popular and widely consumed “craft” beers in the United States. I’m basing that off of zero recorded data but that’s the sense I get. Boston Lager has got a rich amber color, a lovely head and has a hoppy, almost nutty flavor. It’s got a satisfying flavor without losing it’s smoothness and is very easy to drink. This is particularly beneficial when you’re watching a 165 minutes movie starring Mel Gibson. So if you ever find yourself feeling patriotic, grab a Boston Lager (or two), pop The Patriot into that Revolutionary-era VHS of yours and settle in for an easy night.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Samuel Adams Boston Lager:
Rich, hoppy flavor.
Surprisingly smooth.
Easy to drink.

The Patriot:
Australians make great Americans.
Mel Gibson isn’t racist.
We used to be friends with the French.

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Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat & Before Sunrise

Hello Drinkers,

Tonight we’re toasting summer evenings with Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat and the 1995 Richard Linklater directed film Before SunriseAlthough this wheat beer hails from Wisconsin and this dreamy film floats through the streets of Vienna, the two have a surprising amount in common.

The film follows a 1990’s haircut Ethan Hawke and a lovely Julie Delpy as they get to know one another only hours after meeting on a train. The film is essentially 101 minutes of non-stop dialogue but, surprisingly enough, that didn’t bother me. While at times the existential repartee forced me to take a long, deep (and quite refreshing) gulp of Sunset Wheat, it was kind of nice watching a film that was purely about a relationship without being beholden to a driving story or a defineable destination. Rather, the film is simply an exploration of human connection. But what does that have to do with beer?

Nevermind the creeper stache. He's really a sweet guy.

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat is exactly the kind of beer you want when you’re having a long, thoughtful and meaningful conversation with someone. It’s flavorful, refreshing and is still quite drinkable as it warms. Like any wheat beer, it’s not for everyone. That strong wheat flavor can turn a few people off but that’s okay. There are plenty of other beers out there for you, which is how I feel about Before Sunrise.

The film is an acquired taste. The dialogue is rich, if not a bit heady, but refreshing and exciting once digested. And if you watch a couple of Ethan Hawke movies, you’ll learn that everything and everyone is made of stardust. Even beer.


Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat: 
Cloudy, golden color.
Strong honey and citrus flavors.
Refreshing and thought-provoking

Before Sunrise:
Heavy dialogue but rarely irritating.
Ethan Hawke is made of stardust.
Refreshing and thought-provoking.

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Abita Amber & Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Hello Drinkers,

For our first adventure, we’re taking a trip down to Louisiana; home of the Abita Brewing Company and the location of Werner Herzog’s 2009 Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Tonight, I was sipping on one of my favorite beers, an Abita Amber. I haven’t seen Bad Lieutenant before, nor have I sent the 1992 Harvey Heital incarnation, but if there’s one thing I took away from this evening, it’s that Nicholas Cage is still a badass.

Where the Abita Amber is mild, refreshing and smooth, Bad Lieutenant is a rocky (the crack variety) and uneven. While the film is ostensibly about the non-traditional methods to which Nicolas Cage’s character goes in order to catch a murderer (played by XZibit….yeah…), it comes off more as a vehicle by which Cage can show off his pent up rage and frustration with the string of awful movies he’s done recently. He calls an old lady a “selfish cunt” after he removes her oxygen supply. You get the idea.

When Nick Cage isn’t teaching old ladies a lesson, he’s snorting miscellaneous drugs, extorting kids and generally having a grand ol’ time in the Big Easy. Much to my delight (not that I didn’t delight in the unending insanity of Cage’s character), Abita Amber is actually a featured extra throughout the film. Cage’s step-mother (?) uses Abita Amber as a way around her alcoholism! Since this caramel-colored beer is fairly light, refreshing and smooth, it’s easy to see how she can knock back a few without any trouble. Who knew beer was such a healthy alternative to a serious addiction!

Atleast it's not vodka.

So what’s the moral of tonight’s little adventure down South? One: Nicolas Cage has still got it. Forget what the critics say, give Nick Cage a crazy character and he’ll knock that sh*t out of the park. Lesson number two? Drink more beer. It helps you ignore the larger problems.

I see you eyeing my beer Mr. Cage...

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Abita Amber:

Light caramel color.
Mild mouthfeel.
Brief but refreshing finish.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans:

Vehicle for Nicolas Cage does drugs and swears a lot.
XZibit (of “Pimp My Ride” fame) is a drug-dealer. Shocker.
Eva Mendes is a prostitute. Shocker.


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What’s To Come

Well folks, as you may have noticed, this local watering hole is a little dry at the moment. But not to worry, I’ll be getting posts up soon for your viewing (and drinking) pleasure.  Soon enough you’ll be able to find reviews, tasting notes and cute anecdotes as I pair beers from all over the world with movies from all over the world. I’m no beer elitist, nor am I a film snob. I’m just a guy who likes to wash down a nice movie with a refreshing beer.

See you soon.

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