Monthly Archives: June 2013

Coronado Brewing’s Orange Avenue Wit & A Clockwork Orange

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s officially summer which means it’s time for light beers and dark movies! Today, we’re drinking Coronado Brewing Company’s Orange Avenue Wit and watching Stanley Kubrick’s classic A Clockwork Orange. And while I typically steer clear of wheat beers and depressing movies, I made an exception for you, lovely readers. So let’s get started, shall we?

As universally renowned as A Clockwork Orange is, there a few films that I’ve had more difficulty getting through. And not in a bad way, but in a viscerally uncomfortable way. But that’s kind of the point. Everything about this film is designed to make you feel thoroughly uncomfortable. The painfully long, uncut scenes, the extreme close ups, the graphic rape scenes, the blaring loud music. Everything leaves you unsettled and generally unhappy. But that’s kind of what makes this movie great. Kubrick expertly manipulates his audience into going through every painful and disturbing emotion that our anti-protagonist Alex goes through. At the start, when Alex revels in senseless violence, we the audience are brought along in for the thrill. Of course we are not okay with Alex’s action, but his witty dialogue and the uncomfortable levity of the music helps twist your guilt. Once Alex is sent to prison, we commiserate with his institutionalized isolation and obedience. And when he volunteers for an experimental “cure” for his wickedness, we bear excruciating witness to the cruelty which he endures. I won’t take us through the entirety of the film but needless to say it’s a bit of a uncomfortable cinematic ride.
A movie almost as uncomfortable as this scene

A movie almost as uncomfortable as this scene

I don’t mean to sound all gloomy about this film. I do truly believe that it’s a great work of cinema, I just don’t think it’s a film that’s taken casually. When you sit down for A Clockwork Orange, you have to be prepared to feel uncomfortable. The excessive use of nudity, sexual material and “ultra-violence” does not make for easy viewing and definitely does not make it a family film. So maybe you casual movie-goers who just want a fun escape should avoid this one. But for those who have a genuine interest in cinema as a venue for art, I’d suggest giving this one a try. And in full-disclosure, there is a lot more to be said about this film. About it’s views on politics and prison reform and the nature of man with regard to sex and violence, but we don’t have the time or the proper citations to have that discussion. But if that sounds interesting, then that’s a good sign that this is a film for you.

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And our light beer to go with our dark movie? I think Coronado Brewing’s Orange Avenue Wit was actually a smart decision. This bomber of 5.2% was just the kind of light, easy-drinking beer I needed to go with a movie I felt in my stomach. Pouring a hazy, highly-carbonated orange color, the Orange Avenue gave off strong aromas of straw, malt and citrus. With a sip, you get mild notes of orange, lemon, wheat and light malt. While not extremely complex, it’s a great summer beer that is refreshing, light and developed enough to provide a great alternative to the bigger summer wheats out on the market. It wasn’t as orange-y tasting as I expected from the name, but I was okay with that. Many drinkers enjoy their wheat beers with an orange garnish, which would have certainly put the orange flavor over the top. So for me, it was just right.

So there you have it folks, an engaging summer night cloaked in the orange sunlight of Los Angeles (poetic, no?). For all of the grim warnings I’ve given about A Clockwork Orange, I do want to reiterate that it is a great movie and is capable of being enjoyed. You do not have to be a cineaste of developed-palette to appreciate this film. It just might help you stomach it a little better. And the beer was a good partner for the night. 22 ounces of relaxing wheat to get me through the night. So, all things being considered, I think this was a success. Wouldn’t you say so, my little droogs?

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
CBC-Bottle-02_0004_California-Wit-1
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Coronado Brewing Co’s Orange Avenue Wit:
-Cloudy, orange pour
-Lots of carbonation
-Quiet notes of citrus, straw and malt

A Clockwork Orange:
-A visual tour-de-force
-Can be difficult to watch, if not disturbing
-Truly a cinematic & storytelling masterpiece

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BAAM’s Two Year Anniversary Special: The Apple

Happy anniversary, Drinkers!

Today’s post celebrates BAAM’s second birthday! I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this silly little drinking adventure but here we are: with developed palettes and terrible taste in cinema. In celebration, I invited a few friends over to share some beers and introduce them to the horrendous 1980 film The Apple. Since there were a few different beers on hand for the event, I’ll just give a brief overview of each one while also providing a more in-depth review of the film…if there’s any depth to be had. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Now since most of you are normal, well-adjusted people I am going to assume that none of you have even heard of  The Apple so I’ll summarize. The Apple is a musical allegory for Adam and Eve set in a a futuristic dystopian 1994 in which a music mogul has taken control of the world due to the overwhelming popularity of his song “Bim.” The lyrics to said world-dominating song are as follows: “Hey hey hey, Bim’s on his way.”  Ostensibly the film follows the disparate lives, successes and failures of couple Bibi and Alphie who choose different paths after they are offered a major record deal with music mogul Mr. Boogalow but we all know that’s just a bunch of crap. This film is mostly just an excuse for expensive musical numbers.

The price of success

The price of success

If you watch this movie, which I recommend you do, you’ll realize that about 80% of the film is an incomprehensible, fever-dream of musical sequences that only loosely relate to the plot. The other 20% is filled with bad acting, shiny spandex and face paint. But this is not a movie you watch to understand. You watch The Apple to be confused and then to rip on it. In fact, heckling is encouraged in my book. If you watch this on your own, you won’t have any fun. So be sure to bring a friend when (not if) you watch this masterpiece of garbage. I guarantee you won’t regret it. GUARANTEE!

The film's namesake Apple

The film’s namesake Apple

And the beers we sampled? It was a nice mix, representing my beer-drinking history and geography from Boston to Los Angeles. I even had a few more beers that we didn’t get to but that’s fine. Just more beer for me and more BAAMs for you! Here’s a quick breakdown of what was consumed.

Sam Adams’ Summer Ale:
-Required summer drinking for any Bostonian
-Light wheat flavor, easy to drink
-Noticeable lemon-y notes that some may find overpowering
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Eagle Rock Brewery’s Populist IPA
-The IPA that made me fall in love with IPA’s
-Fantastic local Los Angeles brewery with real care for their craft
-Super hoppy but fairly soft on the palette

populist (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Stone’s IPA
-A solid, San Diego IPA
-Hop-forward aroma and taste but not unforgiving
-A great entrance into the IPA world
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So again, I want to thank each and every one of you sticking with me these past two years. BAAM has always been a great excuse for me to try out great beer and watch random movies, but it’s your comments and support that make it thoroughly gratifying. So cheers to another successful year of BAAMing!

Remember: drink local, drink with friends and watch bad movies.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

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Uinta Brewing’s HooDoo Kolsch & Live and Let Die

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s time to Live and Let Drink! Not a terrible motto, right? Too bad this BAAM combo isn’t exactly worthy of such optimism. Today we have Uinta’s HooDoo Kolsch-style ale and the 1973 Bond flick Live and Let Die. It’s a light (lite) duo with much promise and much disappointment. And since you already know how I feel about the whole ordeal, let’s read more about it!

In 1973, Roger Moore hit the James Bond scene with Live and Let Diea film mostly remembered for its Paul McCartney theme-song. And rightfully so. That song is awesome. The rest of the film is largely forgettable. Not to say that the details of the film are forgettable, because many of them are actually quite memorable, but rather the film as a whole can be easily lumped in with most other generic Bond movies. So what actually stands out about this film? Mostly its location and its peripheral characters. Unlike most Bond film, Live and Let Die takes place largely in the United States and heavily features African-Americans in leading roles. Not that those roles are flattering or positive or racially sensitive but hey, at least they’re there, right? And maybe most memorable piece of this movie is the occasional henchman Baron Samedi, the extremely well-dressed/never-dressed undying Voodoo spirit. Accompanied by his hearty laugh, Baron Samedi is a weird Bond antagonist who has a very loose connection to the actual Bond villain and mostly exists to add color to the otherwise drab story. In fact, the story isn’t even drab. It’s muddled. I admit I wasn’t paying close attention (but who does for a Bond movie?) but it was very difficult to understand what was going on and why. Fortunately, in classic Bond fashion, the bad guy explains his entire operation before leaving Bond to die in an overwrought and under-thought death trap.

Live and Let Me Be Creeped Out

Live and Let Me Be Creeped Out

If you take a step back, you’ll realize that Live and Let Die is pretty much the exclusive basis for the Austin Powers movies. Bond is left die in several compromising but silly situations (death by crocodile farm, death by shark tank, death by over exposition!). He immediately sleeps with every female her encounters. The villain explains every detail of his plan over cocktails with Bond.  Bond has several highly specialized gadgets that very silly (magnet-buzzsaw watch). The villain dies in the most absurd way. And the villain’s secret lair includes a monorail. Seriously. How is that not Austin Powers? But on a serious note, as a true Bond fan, it is always upsetting to watch one of these lesser films. They kind of suck the magic and allure out of the franchise and leave behind a frustrating shell of a movie. To be fair, I still laughed and smiled during this movie. But I was definitely laughing at the movie in the least respectful of ways.

Sorry Roger Moore, this one was just not a winner.

Because guns are just blasé

Because guns are just blasé

And how about Uinta’s HooDoo Kolsch-style ale? Well, much like Live and Let Die, I was disappointed. Like the Bond franchise, Uinta puts out great products but sadly, this one seems like a bit of a dud. Full disclosure: I do not typically drink lighter beers like Kolsch’s as I find them to be lacking in complexity. I’ve had a few lighter beers when the weather gets warm but they are always my go-to. That being said, I found the HooDoo to be a bit too simplistic to make me a repeat buyer. It poured a nice, clean golden-yellow that I would expect from a Kolsch. Its aroma and taste were fairly similar with notes of straw malt and light, floral sweetness. The body was probably a little heavier than most Kolsch’s (I assume but again, I haven’t had many beers in this style) but overall it was mostly light and refreshing. The beer is not a bad beer, it’s just not great. It doesn’t do much to stand out against the multitude of summer beers that hitting shelves now. Maybe I’m just a Kolsch-noob and don’t know any better but if you Drinkers have any suggestions for similar beers, feel free to send them my way.

So that’s it, folks! A bit of a letdown of an evening with Live and Let Die and Uinta’s HooDoo (did you get the HooDoo-Voodoo connection?). The movie was flat and silly and the beer was a bit uninspired. But all of that aside, any time you can sit down after work with a beer in hand and a movie on your screen is a thing to be thankful for. Besides, how else can you appreciate the good if you haven’t experience the mediocre?

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
hoodoo
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Uinta’s HooDoo Kolsch-style ale:
-Golden yellow pour
-Light, refreshing carbonation
-Simple, sweet straw flavor

Live and Let Die
-Thin, unconvincing plot
-Leans heavily on absurd Bond stereotypes
-At least it has a memorable song?

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