Black Sheep’s Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale & Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Hark, Good Knights and Fair Maidens!

Tonight’s combo is arguably our most literal pairing to-date but it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. With Monty Python’s Holy Grail (literally how the label reads), brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, and the classic WTF movie Monty Python and The Holy Grail on the screen, you are pretty much guaranteed a great evening. So grab those coconuts so we can ride into tonight’s review. (Am I pushing it?)

Monty Python’s seminal 1975 Terry Gilliam-directed film Monty Python and the Holy Grail is simply beyond description or comprehension. I’m going to work under the assumption that you have all seen this film because if you haven’t, you don’t exist to me. But for those who need a refresher, the film is ostensibly about King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail, but that really doesn’t say much about the film. In truth, the movie is mostly a series of medieval-themed sketches that generally involve the same characters. From debates about the carrying capacity of various species of swallows to the most famous killer bunny in cinematic history, Holy Grail really runs the gamut of odd topics. And yet these scenes, and all the confusing ones in between, somehow make sense. While there isn’t a real “narrative,” our brains try so hard to create one that we end up feeling fairly satisfied with our personal interpretation. But really this movie is best enjoyed when it is washing over you, rather than being truly “watched”. I recommend seeing this with a bunch of friends and then just quoting the hell out of it as your night progresses. You’ll probably end up seeing it again many times, so don’t worry if you don’t catch every line. My only real problem with this film is the ending. I think most people will agree with me when I say that the ending is completely unsatisfying. Sure, it’s in line with the film’s sense of stupid humor, but it’s so abrupt it makes you question why you watched this film in the first place. But about three seconds will go by and then you’ll remember that if a woman weighs the same as a duck, she’s probably a witch and you’ll just start smiling again.

Kind of how you feel after watching this

To be honest, I feel like I’m not doing this movie justice. It’s too funny and packed with too many hilarious (and cat-themed) details to faithfully discuss here. There are so many small moments that neither advance the plot nor garner huge laughs that it’s impossible to quantify. To that effect though, it is incredibly refreshing to see a movie that pretty much throws logic and convention to the wind. Holy Grail, and many other classic satires, are purely about the laughs but still assume that the audience is A) paying attention and B) moderately intelligent. That doesn’t mean that this film is above poop jokes, because it isn’t, but it also doesn’t shy away from it’s own cleverness. Every detailed is accounted for and every second without a joke is a second wasted. Unlike so many of today’s sad attempts at farce, Holy Grail manages to be absolutely absurd while still taking itself very seriously. Quite the feat indeed.

*I know you all have short attention spans but you can devote 4:30 to watching two of the most realistic sword fights ever caught on camera

And how about our strange product crossover Holy Grail Ale? I’ve seen this beer around for awhile but I’ve always shied away from it, being a skeptic of all overt product placements. Having grown up watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it seemed a bit sad that a beer was trying to capitalize on the film’s success, so I vowed to never support such a nefarious business. But since this blog makes me do things I don’t want to do, I picked this beer up at Galco’s and gave it a whirl. And, to my surprise, it wasn’t terrible! It wasn’t even bad! In fact, it was pretty decent. This pale ale poured a beautifully clear deep red color with a modest, white head. You’re hit pretty quickly with that classic caramel-y malt flavor which subsides into mild-mannered sweetness that hangs around on the tongue for awhile. In the past, I’ve generally stayed away from pale ales because I find them a bit too unbalanced for my tastes. Pale ales tends to be pretty hoppy (and I have no problem with hoppiness) but I’ve found that they can be a bit too bitter. The Holy Grail Ale was a little light on the hops so you’re treated a smooth, maltier ale that is great for slow drinking. 

So there you have it, sons of window washers (the French have some pretty nasty insults)! Holy Grail and Holy Grail. To those of you who say that this combo is a bit of a cop out, a bit too easy or on the nose, I say…yeah. Kinda. But you’re not the boss of me and I can make my own decisions like a real adult. And I happen to like this particular decision. So what if its obvious? It still worked out. It was still entertaining. It was still a night well spent. Good beer. Great film. What else would you rather be doing on a Sunday night? Other than spanking a castle full of 16-19.5 year old blonde and brunette girls?


Keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Black Sheep Brewery’s Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale:
-Gorgeous reddish color
-Classic malty nose & flavor
-A bit simple but still tasty

Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
-Can’t see it too many times
-Farce as its least sensical & very best
-It has “huge….tracks of land.”

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