Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest & The Endless Summer

Hey there, Summer Drinkers!

Summer officially begins tomorrow, which means it’s time to bust out the surf board and crack open a nice, cool lager. Fortunately for you all, I’ve got both on tap for tonight with the 1966 surfing classic The Endless Summer and Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest.  So hop on, catch a wave and let’s get surfin’,

Now I don’t imagine many people have seen or heard of this film, but I’d wager that many of you have seen the poster. It’s an iconic image with bright colors that we have all seen in college dorms across the country. Objectively, it’s a beautiful poster that, impressively enough, captures the essence of what the film is all about: the ease, excitement and hope of a proverbial “endless summer.”

Pretty sweet, right?

But let’s dive into the substance of this film. Ostensibly, The Endless Summer is a documentary about two surfers, Mike and Robert, who follow summer around the globe in search of great surfing. But to call this movie a documentary isn’t really accurate. Sure, it features real people doing real surfing in real places, but the real flavor of the film is found in the narrator’s loving and quirky storytelling. The narrator, who is also the filmmaker and surfer Bruce Brown, simply converses with the audience. He tell stories, jumps around in time, delivers one-line zingers and provides excessive commentary. It seems as if his intention is not to educate people about surfing, but rather to simply have people share in his love of the sport. Bruce Brown even ends his film with an understated “I hope you enjoyed my film” before cutting quietly to a black screen. Bruce gives us all the important details about the surfing conditions, but he’s really more interested in conveying the whole surfing attitude. Mike and Robert aren’t surf snobs who are fed up with the perfection of Hawaii. Rather, they’re regular guys who love surfing who just want to do a little exploring on the side. Interestingly enough though, we never hear them speak. In fact, we probably only hear synched sound about three times throughout the entire film. Rather, Bruce Brown simply talks over the entire film, providing colorful commentary and occasionally racist anecdotes. But ultimately, The Endless Summer is as much about surfing as it is about finding a state of nirvana. Mike, Robert, Bruce and all the wonderful characters we meet along the way are really searching for the things that make them happy. And if they don’t find that, then they go looking for the next best thing and make the most out of that. And in that way, The Endless Summer truly is a timeless classic.

It’s also a bit of an advertisement for Hawaii but it’s hard to argue against that one.

There are also some tasteful bikini jokes.

And did our pursuit of the perfect wave also produce the perfect summer beer? Not really, but perfect is a tough standard to strive for. I was sipping on Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest tonight and I have to say that it was a good summer beer. This tame 5% lager has everything you want in a summer beer. It’s light, crisp, refreshing and it goes too fast. Before I even knew it, I had finished off this clear, golden beer. Maybe I was just dehydrated from work, but I think it’s more because this beer is almost too light and refreshing, since you don’t really stop to appreciate it. Before I apparently guzzled this bottle down, I got some nice sweet notes with hints of hops at the finish.  It’s a very “clean” beer, for lack of a better word. Nothing extraordinary but definitely a good alternative to any other light beer you’re probably going to be drinking this summer.

Not a bad way to kick off the summer, am I right? We watched one of the most loved and iconic summer movies of all time with a simple, tasty summer beer. And while I recommend that everyone set aside 90 minutes to enjoy The Endless Summer, you might need two or three Summerfests to last you through it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good beer, you might just need a few more than you’d expect. But that’s what summer is all about: sitting back, relaxing and just soaking it all in.

Happy summer, Drinkers.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Summerfest:
-Very clear, golden color
-Soft hints of sweetness and hops
-Almost too easy to drink. Buy two.

The Endless Summer:
-Quintessential surfing & summer movie
-Strikingly simple & beautiful visuals
-Unusual, highly personal “documentary”  style

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