Monthly Archives: September 2014

Avery’s Salvation Belgian-Style Golden Ale & Terminator: Salvation

Hey there, Drinkers!

Are you ready to get saved? FROM ROBOTS?! I hope so, because in today’s BAAM we’re not watching Saved! but rather Terminator Salvation while drinking Avery Brewing’s Salvation Belgian-Style Golden Ale. Why robots and not pregnant teens? One word: Explosions. So strap in, grab a beer and travel through time for today’s review. Let’s get started.

In 2009, The Halycon Company rebooted the Terminator franchise the only way modern moviemakers know how to reboot an action franchise: with Christian Bale. But gone was the setting of pre-apocalyptic America and in its place was the post-Judgement Day world. I remember when Terminator Salvation came out I was SO excited to finally see the world that had only been hinted at in previous movies. No longer was Skynet just going to be a few skin-clad Terminators and a bunch of early 90’s computers. Instead, we were going to see something bigger and darker. And to the film’s credit, it does do a decent job of showing that. The film, while mostly centered on the human element, does give us a few glimpses of Skynet’s world along with a few obligatory shots of a decimated Los Angeles. Realize I haven’t mentioned anything about the narrative (yet). That’s mostly because this film is more visual than anything else. From a purely visual standpoint, the film is actually quite exciting. The camerawork and editing is top-notch and the visual effects are of the same high quality we expect from our other blockbusters. And interestingly enough, the film creates a distinctive visual style that many other action movies lack. With long, uninterrupted shots and a heavy focus on its character’s faces, the film is actually quite visceral and strives for human connection. Unfortunately, the writing and narrative make that…well let’s say challenging.

Human. Machine. Themes.

Human. Machine. Themes.

The real problem with the writing in Terminator Salvation is that it’s just. so. deliberate. Where am I? What happened here? Who are you? I’m John Connor, leader of the Resistance. We have to find John Connor. On and on and on! The whole movie is just a series of single, expository lines with a few general platitudes about ‘Humanity’ interspersed throughout. And imagine all of this delivered in Christian Bale/Batman-lite gruff speech. Yikes. There is exactly ONE good line in the whole movie and it’s “The devil’s hands have been busy” and that’s about as good as it gets. Similarly, the narrative is fairly lockstep predictable with the expected nonsense that comes with blockbuster movies and time-travel. Nonsense like why don’t the robots kill their #1 target, Kyle Reese, when they have him captured? Or how do the human resistance still have warplanes? A lot of major decisions don’t really make any sense or aren’t explained, so you’re left just shrugging your shoulders and waiting for the next explosions to kick off.

EMPHATIC SPEECHES!

EMPHATIC SPEECHES!

Overall, the movie is fine. It’s not terrible but it’s not great either. For what could have been a big, dramatic reboot of the franchise, I think this film falls a little short. Sure it looks pretty, but it don’t talk too pretty.

Did I mention robots?

Did I mention robots?

So was our beer the Salvation of the evening? I think so. Avery Brewing’s Salvation Belgian Style Golden Ale is a solid Belgian that can carry you through most movie-watching experiences, good or bad. Pouring a true golden color with a two-finger head and some nice lacing, beer is visually everything you would expect from a golden Belgian. With the pour, you’ll get that classic Belgian yeast aroma along with some mild hints of citrus, grass and malt. And that same goes once you take a sip. Lots of yeast with just little drops of sweet, citrus, grass and malt all tied together with some very fine, light carbonation. It’s actually a very easy beer to drink (quickly) despite the 9% ABV, though I wouldn’t say the beer does anything special. But I find that can be the case for a lot of Belgian-style ales, so maybe I’m biased. But overall a solid beer from a great Colorado brewery.

So there you have it, Drinkers! An evening of pure Salvation. We had an action movie with a passing grade and a solid Belgian-style beer to help us muscle through the dialogue. Not a bad evening by BAAM standards. As usual, thanks for reading and please feel free to suggest any future combos.

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:Avery-Salvation
Terminator Salvation:
Strong, well-defined visuals
-Sub-par writing & narrative
-Helena Bonham Carter & Common are both in this movie

Avery’s Salvation:
-Lovely golden pour
-Strong notes of Belgian yeast
-Solid brew but nothing extraordinary

 

 

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Stone Spotlight Series Sprocket Bier & The Lego Movie

Hey there, Drinkers!

How are you doing today? Feeling AWESOME? Because I’m not sure if you know this but EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! That’s right Drinkers, today we’re pairing up The Lego Movie with our appropriately themed Sprocket Bier hailing from Stone’s Spotlight Series. So strap in (or snap in? Too much?), grab your glass and get ready!

When I first saw The Lego MovieI had my doubts. How could you ever turn my beloved, story-less childhood toy into a movie? Didn’t you see what they did to Battleship? (Hint: no one did, that’s the problem). But I have to say that The Lego Movie truly defied my expectations and instantly turned me into a rabid fan. For those of you who don’t have small children or do but still somehow haven’t seen this movie, the film follows the adventures of an ordinary Lego construction worker as he gets hurled into a plan to save the universe from an evil businessman. At its core, the story itself extremely familiar and predictable. Throughout his trials, our hero learns about himself before saving the world, making friends and getting the girl. Pretty straightforward stuff, right? Nope! What makes The Lego Movie special isn’t its story but its execution.

At home with your Legos

At home with your Legos

First and foremost, the film’s attention to detail in its writing and visual is astounding. If you’re familiar with Legos, you know how detailed a world you can create with plastic bricks and the same goes for the movie. Every shot is teeming with bright, fun and well-thought-out details that make this fantastical world seem alive and familiar. Combined with the fun of seeing the familiar bricks comes to life in fun ways (water is a good example), you can tell that filmmakers took great pains to stay faithful while also maximizing their own pleasure in creating this movie. And the same can be said for the writing. It’s sharp, witty and moves at hyperspeed. I’ve now seen it twice and I still feel like I’m missing jokes. All of this combined with a stellar cast and an entertaining stop-motion-esque visual style  boils down to is a film that radiates love and respect for the toys many of us have grown up with.

Also, Batman!

Also, Batman!

There’s actually quite a bit more I could say about this movie but for the sake of time, I’ll just strongly suggest you watch this movie (my roommate is watching it while I’m writing this, if that’s any indication). Yes, the movie gets a bit preachy and its themes can hit you over the head (repeatedly) but that’s really a minor flaw for a film that is ostensibly for a young audience. Moreover, this movie is so fun and funny that it kind of earns a pass. Also, that damn song  is just so addictive!

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So did our beer just SNAP into place? Mostly, yes. This interesting beer has an interesting history, so let’s start there. Apparently, this Sprocket Bier was the winner of the first Stone Spotlight Series brewing competition. Brewers from several companies teamed up and battled it out in a blind taste test. The winner, our Sprocket, earned large-scale brewing and distribution from Stone. The winner, Sprocket, is a self-described ‘black rye Kölsch-style ale.’ And honestly I didn’t really know what the meant. Kölsch’s are typically lighter in color with a little bit of hoppy bitterness. And frankly, I’m not sure what part of that description applies to this beer. Pouring a deep black with red highlights, the beer comes off as malty, herby and smooth (from the rye). It is surprisingly light for such a dark beer (maybe that’s the Kölsch?) and when combined with the relatively low 5.45% ABV, it makes for an easy sipper. So while this beer maybe isn’t as wild as our movie, it does go down easy.

So there it is, Drinkers. An AWESOME!!! movie with a decent beer. Lots of fun was had and no regrets were made. Thanks so much for reading and please remember to send in any suggestions you might have for future BAAM pairings.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

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Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Stone’s Sprocket Bier:
-Black pour, red highlights
-Surprisingly light body
-Simple, malty flavor

The Lego Movie
-AWESOME!
-SPACESHIP!
-BATMAN!

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