Monthly Archives: November 2013

Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout & For Your Eyes Only

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s almost Thanksgiving so that means it’s time to completely ignore it and watch a random movie! In today’s BAAM, we’re continuing on our unofficial quest to review every James Bond movie ever with For Your Eyes Only and Avery’s Out of Bounds stout. The connection? Skiing! Yes, another James Bond/beer combo tenuously held together by skiing. Some readers may remember that I recap-reviewed this stout a long time ago but I figured it was time to give this bad boy its own post. Also, I just found a liquor store that sells lots of Avery brews out here and I got a little excited. Deal with it.

So let’s hit the slopes, shall we?

For Your Eyes Only (1981) is Roger Moore’s 5th Bond film and is generally regarded as a “return” to Bond basics after the 1979 release of Moonraker (spies in space!). And while nothing about the Bond franchise is truly basic or simple, For Your Eyes Only does have a remarkably simple story and a noticeable lack of fancy gadgetry. Sure there are still motorcycles with machine guns, remote-controlled helicopters and Dick Tracey-esque watch-phones (I guess Galaxy Gear would be a more up-to-date comparison), but more often than not Bond relies simply on his wits and his trusty Walther PPK.

In this film, Bond is tasked with tracking down a British missile control code machine from a sunken ship before it can be sold to the Russians. That’s actually it. Just a good old-fashioned Cold War plot. But like any self-respecting Bond flick, the narrative takes us through the beautiful backdrops of Cuba, Greece and the Italian Alps. And also like any self-respecting Bond flick, the movie features car chases, ski chases, ski jumps, submarine fights, scuba fights, cliffside fights, shark attacks, hockey fights (don’t ask) and, of course, crossbows. I think the main reason this film gets away with such a stripped down plot is simply because the film is largely action sequences. Yes, story is peppered throughout the explosions and chases, but mostly it’s just visual candy. And it’s some sweet-ass candy, if I do say so myself!

Motorcycle ski chase shootout. All done for real.

Motorcycle ski chase shootout. All done for real.

Of course there are the usual logic and emotional bumps along the way. Like why Bond’s enemies always choose the most outlandish and least-effective methods of killing him. Or why a Greek smuggler allies with Bond so readily. Or why a really young figure skater wants to bang every older man she can get her hands on (and why is she even in the film at all?). Or, most importantly, why Bond lets  a Russian general, intent on buying a piece of valuable British military hardware, just turn around and fly home? WHY?! But you really can’t let yourself get bogged down in these kinds of questions of logic or reason or sense, otherwise you’d never enjoy the movie. And Bond movies, at their core, are simply meant to be enjoyed. Nothing more, nothing less.

When movie posters were blunt

When movie posters were blunt

And how about our Out of Bounds Stout from Colorado’s own Avery Brewery? Was it similarly action-packed? Well, it was definitely malt-packed (that’s a thing now, go with it). Pouring a gorgeous chocolate-colored two-finger, this stout is black as night! I held it up to a light (as I usually do) and barely any light passed through. With a sniff, you’ll get strong notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee that will have you drooling. And you’ll get those notes again when you sip, but they’re remarkably well-balanced. Moreover, the mouthfeel is super smooth. Combined with a low ABV 6.3%, the result is a delicious beer that is easy drink and will be reliable over two or three bottles. Definitely a winner.

So there you have it, folks. An out of bounds pairing with For Your Eyes Only and Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout. A big, punchy combo that goes down easy and is perfect for these chilly nights (by Los Angeles standards).

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

avery-out-of-bounds-stout.preview
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout:
-Deep black pour
-Bold, delicious malt flavor
-Easy to drink despite the body

For Your Eyes Only
-So much crazy action
-Simple story
-Good fun but not a Bond-best

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Golden Road’s Wolf Among Weeds DIPA & The Wolf Man

Hey there, Drinkers!

Sorry for the long pause between posts recently, I’ve been crazy busy at work and have not had time to watch many movies. Plenty of time to drink my stress away though (just kidding, that’s not a healthy way to cope). ANYWAY! We’re letting the wolf out for today’s BAAM with Golden Road’s Wolf Among Weeds DIPA and the 1941 werewolf original The Wolf Man. So grab your beer and any silver you can lay your hands on. Let’s get going!

The Wolf Man (1941) exists amongst the canon of the classic monster movies that helped define the rules of decades of subsequent films. The film centers around the return of Larry Talbot to his ancestral home (castle) in an English village which holds a rich folklore of werewolves. There, he quickly falls for local beauty Gwen after a really creepy, semi-rapey courtship which involves him spying on her through a telescope. As the film’s name suggests, Larry is attacked by a werewolf, becomes one and then terrorizes the town while slowly uncovering the truth about himself.

While the film is, at its most basic level, about werewolves, it is more accurately a film about psychology, schizophrenia and the duality of man. The poem that locals recite about werewolves is less about turning into a wolf but more about how good-natured men can hold evil within themselves. And that’s much of the point of the film. While Larry is a “good man” (I say that in quotes because, by today’s standards, he kinda stalks Gwen and breaks up her engagement) who quite literally has a beast inside of him. The film spends a significant amount of its dialogue on trying to understand the pseudo-psychology of Larry, of breaks with reality, schizophrenia and other personality disorders. While none of the discussion is particularly scientific and is very on-the-nose, it does allow for a world in which “normal” people can have very real mental disorders, which I think is something worth noting.

Sad Wolf Man is just having a split with reality

Sad Wolf Man is just having a split with reality

Aside from the surprising mini-discussion in psychology, the film is….well it’s fine. It’s hard to watch these old movies as a modern viewer with modern-viewer expectations. It can be a challenge to turn off that part of your brain and watch as an audience member from 1941. The townspeople are unimaginably stupid and both the doctor and Larry’s father generate such absurd “rational” explanations for Larry’s behavior that it’s laughable. Moreover, the wolf transformation is inconsistent. The original werewolf, played by the legendary Bela Lugosi for five minutes, turns almost instantly into an actual dog whereas Larry very slowly turns into an exceptionally hairy man. But those gripes for today. For the past, the film is kind of fun. You have some creepy gypsies, some scary monsters, a beautiful lady and incredible superimposition work to tie it all together. While not a particularly engrossing 70 minute movie, it’s still a fun trip down cinematic memory lane.

When the Wolf Man attacks he...dips you?

When the Wolf Man attacks he…dips you?

So what about our oddly named Wolf Among Weeds DIPA from LA’s own Golden Road Brewery? Well, first off, apparently the beer pulls its name from the Latin translation of one of the beers signature hops. Who knew. Second off (that’s not an expression but whatever), I have to disclose that this beer was poured from a can. I typically try to stay away from canned beers, despite the growing movement amongst craft brewers to use cans over glass, but I guess I’m just a snob. Anyway, GRB only cans its beers, so this was the only way to enjoy the beer at home without a growler (a purchase I am thinking of making). That all being said, the brewery is quite explicit in its decision to only can their beers, so I respect them for their conviction. But let’s talk about this beer.

The WAW DIPA (as I’m calling it) is a beer in the tradition of most west coast IPA’s: big hop-forward flavor, tongue-buckling bitterness and high ABV. Pouring from a 16 oz. can (a full pint! woooo!), this brew is a slightly hazy yellow/gold with a clean one-two finger head. The nose gives off strong notes of pine, hops and bitter citrus. When you sip it, you’ll mostly get that big hops flavor. Pine and grass come through the bitterness, as well as hint of sweetness from the citrus fruits, but really you’re just going to steam-rolled by the bitterness. That bitterness was fine for someone like me who enjoys that but I can imagine that most casual drinkers would find the overpowering hoppiness a bit off-putting. Moreover, the beer can be a little one note over the course of the pint. But overall, it’s a great DIPA I’d recommend to any hop-head that’s in the greater LA area.

So there you have it, Drinkers! A night that left me with a wolfish grin on my face. An original monster movie with something surprising to say and an LA original DIPA that will blow you away with its hoppiness.  Overall, I call it a successful night.

Thanks for your patience while I find the time to get these out. And as always keep drinking, my friends.

weeds
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
GRB’s Wolf Among Weeds DIPA:
-Light straw color
-Lovely, multi-note aroma
-Huge hop flavor

The Wolf Man
-Everyone is kind of stupid…
-Larry, our hero, is a little rapey
-Actually discusses mental illness

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