Beer and an Outdoor Screening Special: Eagle Rock Brewery’s Populist & Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Hey there, sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies and dickheads!

Tonight we’re doing something different and headed out on the town to an outdoor screening here in Los Angeles. There are a number of outdoor series running throughout the city, but tonight’s festivities were provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also known vaguely as “the Academy.” Yes, that Academy is now offering outdoor movie screenings on its property in Hollywood for the delightfully Summery price of $5. From what I gather, they’ve recently redone their property and now there is a beautiful lawn that’s just perfect for screenings. Not to mention the bumpin’ surround sound. But enough pimping the Academy, they don’t need the free publicity. For those of you who are interested in future screenings this summer, check out their site for more information. But for now, let’s talk about the evening.

Tonight’s “theme” really is about doing it local. Summer is all about getting outside, spending time with friends and exploring the world around you. For me, that means hitting up local screenings and drinking some of the finest local beer you can get. So I grabbed a rare bottle of Populist, made by the beautiful people at Eagle Rock Brewery and got cozy with my fellow Angelinos for Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. So let’s cut class and see what we have in store.

Sadly, we didn’t have string lights but it was still a sweet venue

For the zero of you who have never seen the 1986 John Hughes mega-classic high school film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I ask how you have survived so long without this cinematic gem. I’m not going to go into the plot too heavily or overstate it’s humor, because I think that’s familiar territory for most of you. But I haven’t seen this movie in a number of years and I was struck by how fresh the film still felt. The jokes were still on point, the characters still nuanced and playful, and Charlie Sheen still looked strung out. Of course over the years, you forget a lot of the little moments that make the movie so wonderful, like the little looks and faces the actors give one another, as if egging each other on in their roles. And while you could break down and quantify why this film is still so beloved, its standout feature is its earnesty. Sure the characters are a bit exaggerated at times, but at their core, each of the principle characters is deeply uncertain and scared. In  a sense, the film really ends up being more about Cameron, Ferris’s BFF, as he is really the only character to undergo a major change. For the angsty that still lives inside of all of us, Cameron is our point of contact throughout the film and can’t help but fall in love. This ability to play with humor and angsty universal truths is writer/director John Hughes’ trademark and, for me, Ferris Bueller strikes just the right balance. Not to mention it features arguably one of the greatest movie sequences of all time.

And it’s about time I got around to Eagle Rock Brewery. I’ve been coming to this place for a little over a year now and I still can’t get enough. Housed in a small, nondescript warehouse just off the freeway near where I went to college, this local brewery was one of the catalysts that sparked my interest in craft beer. And their West Coast IPA, the Populist, is the IPA that re-introduced me to the style. Tonight was the first time I had tried the bottled (they only recently started selling bottles, so until this point I’ve either had this at the tap room or out of my growler) and I still loved it. Populist manages to capture that bright, hoppy flavor of IPA’s without any excessive bitterness. The result is a hazy orange beer that is piney and floral. What I love most is that it retains that big, bold flavor without feeling heavy or too intense. And with a well-masked 7% ABV, this is a great beer to have with dinner or to slowly sip under the stars and in front of the silver screen.

Drink local!

So thanks for joining me on this unconventional BAAM tonight. There really was no question that tonight’s combo was going to be a real winner. Great local beer? Check. Timeless teen comedy? Check. Enjoying an evening under the stars with friends? Check. For those of you who do live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend you check out both of the places I’ve mentioned here. The Academy screenings go all the way through August and it’s a cheap way to have a great evening (plus free parking!). As for Eagle Rock Brewery, why wouldn’t support a local business that’s making great products? And for those who aren’t in LA, just grab yourself a local beer, find Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Netflix and have a great night.

And, as always, keep drinking my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
ERB’s Populist IPA:
-Big, hoppy flavor
-Not overly bitter
-The IPA that started it all for me

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:
-Timeless humor & high school sentiment
-Subtle & loveable characters
-Most kickass German heritage parade of all time

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