Oh hi there, Drinkers!
Oh jeez guys, I finally did it. I finally watched a good movie. I know it’s been a while but I figured you all had earned it after this latest string of garbage films I’ve put you through. And now that the temperatures have started to drop below 80 here in Los Angeles, I figured it was time to shake things up and get a little wintery. That’s why today’s pairing is New Belgium’s Accumulation White IPA and the snowy, Minnesota classic Fargo. I’ll try to keep the Minnesota-isms to a minimum (having linguistically tortured my actually Minnesotan roommate while watching the movie) but, like always, I make no promises. So let’s get started, ya?
Set in 1987, Fargo is the Coen Brothers’ not-actually-true-story about an inept car salesman, a bungled kidnapping and the subsequent trail of murder that follows. For the sake of those who haven’t seen this movie (go see this movie), I’ll provide the quick setup of the movie. Jerry Luundegaard is in a bit of money trouble and thus decides cooks up a scheme to have his wife kidnapped and, upon her release, split the ransom with the kidnappers. But as all schemes go, it doesn’t work out that cleanly. Due to a toxic combination of ineptitude, not-so-happy accidents and a little psychopathy, people get murdered and said murders get investigated. But the movie isn’t really about the case or the kidnapping. It’s about the slow-motion implosion of an inherently dumb idea. And it’s about the characters who get entangled in the snowy shitstorm.
Like all good Coen Brothers’ movies (and that definition varies depending on who you talk to), Fargo is sharply written, superbly well-acted, mildly disturbing and profoundly bizarre. The dark themes of the movie are anachronistically set against hilarious dialogue and quiet, seemingly inane character moments. The film’s tense dramatic beats are expertly separated with scenes of domesticity for our hero-sheriff Frances McDormand. And we get to see that even our hapless villains watch The Tonight Show. These strange, off-beat moments disrupt an otherwise hauntingly dark film. But what is really special about these moments is that they never feel random or pointless. Rather, every moment informs character and narrative in a way that I imagine makes many other filmmakers jealous.
There’s a lot to say about this movie (cars, representations of space, the nature of greed, etc.) but for the sake of time, I’ll just say that Fargo shows the Coen Brothers’ at the top of their game. With fantastic writing and unparalleled acting from the entire cast, Fargo is a must (re)watch.
So how about our snowy beer? Hailing from the perennially pleasing New Belgium Brewing Company, the 2014 Accumulation White IPA doesn’t fall far from the delicious tree. Pouring a pale yellow-gold with a fluffy, white head (you might say it looks…snowy?!), you’ll get hints of grain, grass and hops off the nose. With a sip, you’ll get muted notes of grain and citrus backed up with some mild pine from the hops. At 6.2% ABV, the beer is an all-around easy drinker. None of the flavors are too bright or are overwhelming. Rather, they play together quite nicely and deliver a solid sipper of a beer. Definitely a nice alternative to the heavier, dark beers that are more traditional for this time of year. Really just a nice, low-key beer.
So there you have it, Drinkers! A snowy night of MURDER and beer. We watched a fantastic film with an easy drinking beer on a “chilly” winter’s evening. Have you seen Fargo or tried this year’s Accumulation? If so, let me know what you think in the comments! Or shoot me some of your favorite winter beers and I’ll try to feature them in an upcoming BAAM!
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
NB’s Accumulation White IPA:
-Clear, pale yellow pour
-Mild mix of grain, citrus and hops
-Easy drinking alternative for a cold night
-Quirky but dark
-Makes Minnesota look like a wasteland