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Prairie Artisan Ales’ Prairie Gold & The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Hey there, Drinkers!

In today’s BAAM we’re getting a little weird. A little wild. We’re sipping on the American wild Prairie Gold while watching the Korean flick The Good, The Bad, The Weird. A pairing of excitement! Of action! Of…strangeness! So let’s get started!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is one of my favorite movies of all time. So when I heard of an action-drive Korean reinterpretation set in 1940’s Manchuria, of course I leapt at the chance to check it out. Nevermind that this movie came out seven years ago and nevermind I’ve seen it before, I thought The Good, The Bad, The Weird would be appropriate selection for our pairing. And so here we go.

Pretty self explanatory

Pretty self explanatory

Simply stated, Jee-woon Kim’s 2008 film is about a number of parties aggressively tracking down an elusive treasure map. No one knows what the treasure is (probably gold), but everyone is certain it is valuable. The Ugly wants to get rich. The Bad feels entitled to it. The Good wants to catch the Bad (and the Ugly) for the reward. The Ghost Market gang…wants it too? And so does the Japanese army? It really doesn’t matter why everyone wants it, just that they do. And when you have lots of unstable people with guns all seeking the same thing, chaos ensues. And that’s pretty much what the movie is: a two hour long action sequence punctuated with brief character beats (often defined by more violence). Seriously, the last 30ish minutes of the movie is a straight up Fury Road desert chase filled with cars, motorcycles, horses, mortar fire, guns, knives and a medieval flail.

The hair says it all.

The hair says it all.

But really what makes this movie special, aside from the general silliness, is its craft. With strong visuals, a striking sense of style and absurdly detailed action, the movie never stops exciting your senses. And just when you feel worn out from too much frenetic action, you’re given a break. A marketplace shoot out, which carries on with a frenzy, takes a short break for our characters to chat and smoke a cigarette before the film returns to its regularly scheduled insanity. It’s smart, fast and impressive throughout. Only at the end of the film, when we build to our Mexican standoff, does the film slow down. But by that point, you’re so worn out that you don’t mind the breather. Overall, it’s just a silly, hyper-violent romp through the tumultuous history of Korea under Japanese rule. Sounds like fun, don’t it?

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Look familiar?

And how about our Prairie Gold? Did we bring home a treasure? It was actually a pretty solid beer. Maybe a little pricey for a 500 ml bottle but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? This American wild (aka bottle conditioned sour) pours a light golden color with a fast-dissipating white head. A few reviews say this beer can be a gusher when opened but I didn’t have this problem (but fair warning). Off the nose you’ll get all of the tart fruity sweetness you’d expect from a sour. When you sip, you’ll get notes of pear, lemon, green apple, white wine and yeast. It never gets TOO tart and it can actually be a bit sweet for some, but the finish is quick, leaving you feeling refreshed on a warm summer night. With a mild 6.5% ABV and light carbonation, this beer is an easy drinker that should delight beer and wine drinkers alike. A great summer sipper.

So there you have it, Drinkers. A night of gold! Wild prairie beers and wild, weird ‘Westerns.’ A good, fun night that doesn’t require too much thought. Because, if we’re being honest, everyone needs a little sweet beer and Korean gunplay from time to time.

Thanks for reading and as always keep drinking, my friends!

prairie-gold
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Prairie Artisan Ales’ Prairie Gold:
-Sweet, fruity nose
-Fruit & yeast on the tongue
-Quick finish. Leaves you wanting more

The Good, The Bad, The Weird
-Nonstop, expertly made action
-Thin on character, but who cares
-Great foreign reinterpretation of a classic

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Craft Artisan’s Nebulous Imperial IPA & Interstellar

Hey there Drinkers!

I know it’s been awhile but let’s dive right back into the BAAM groove. In today’s pairing we’re talking about SPPPAAAACCEE (space)! As some of you know, space is my favorite because it is, quite literally, the best. Which is why I was so excited to pair Craft Artisan’s Nebulous Imperial IPA (galaxy hopped…get it?) and 2014’s space adventure Interstellar. So fire up those rocket boosters and let’s count down to liftoff for the glorious return of beer and a movie!

Now I assume most of you have seen Christopher Nolan’s 2014 space odyssey Interstellarso consider this review a free-fire zone when it comes to spoilers. Briefly (which this movie is not), Interstellar is the story of a father’s journey through a wormhole in order to identify a potentially habitable planet for the residents of a dying Earth. The film is slightly more complicated than that, what with the time-bending singularities, supernatural future ghosts and SCIENCE but the the heart of the film is about fatherhood. And the film uses fatherhood as a prism through which we can understand the struggle for humanity’s continued existence. In this regard, the film is actually successful. At every stage, we see our hero Cooper (played by a one Matthew ‘Texas Twang’ McConaughey) as a father. Not a pilot or intergalactic traveler or a scientist, but a father who is fighting with everything he has to protect and return to his kids. And it’s sweet and powerful and genuine. In a lot of ways, the film feels like an attempt by writers Jonathan and Christopher Nolan to understand their own role as parents in a world that is increasingly dangerous and complicated. So kudos for ironing out your issues with us!

Space Dad is go for liftoff

Space Dad is go for liftoff

But where the film starts to flag (aside from its almost 3 hour running time) is its confluence of science and idealism. Not that the two are mutually exclusive by any means, but the movie struggles to reconcile these two primary driving forces. The first through-line of this film is hard science. Faith in fact and discovery, which the film convincingly relies on for most of the film. But as the movie progresses, that foundation of science is replaced by loftier, harder-to-pin-down ideas like love and time and transcendence. Which generally is fine but when it tries to conflate the two, the movie just gets…confusing. The film is truly beautiful and powerful from a distance, but once you start to pull on the threads a little, certain things don’t really add up or mesh. Like the urgency of Cooper’s mission or why this data they so desperately need isn’t really needed in the end or why surprise Matt Damon’s feels the need to just straight up murder everyone. I get it…but at the same time I don’t. I think, at times, Interstellar gets a little caught up with itself and, as a result, loses itself in its own grandiosity.

Space is real purdy

Space is real purdy

All that being said, the movie is still an incredible, visually exquisite ride, a true testament to Christopher Nolan’s confidence and craftsmanship. If you can find the time to just the film wash over you, you’re going to have an amazing experience. Also, quick shoutout to the best character in the film: TARS.

Hero bot!

Hero bot!

And our beer. Was it equally grand and cosmic in scope and scale? Unfortunately not really. The Nebulous Imperial IPA from Artisan Craft Ales is a solid DIPA but it does little to elevate itself. Pouring a hazy gold, you’ll get aromas of pine, resin and grain, fairly standard DIPA notes. You’ll get the same notes when you taste it, but with a little tart citrus thrown in the mix. The 80 IBU’s definitely stand out but the beer is still decidedly malty too, which is a little odd. With it’s medium body and nice lacing, the beer is definitely solid but nothing extraordinary (definitely almost wrote extraterrestrial…).

So there you have it, Drinkers! We’re back (from outerspace) with a mixed bag of a movie and a mixed bag of a beer. Definitely a good pairing, I just wanted a little more clarify from Interstellar and a little more individuality from my Nebulous Imperial IPA.

Thanks for reading folks and as always keep drinking, my friends!

CRA_Nebulous

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Craft Artisan’s Nebulous Imperial IPA:
-Hazy, golden wheat pour
-Lots of pine on the nose
-Average DIPA flavor profile

Interstellar:
-Visually awe inspiring
-Some cross confusion in the end re. science/love
-A strong, beautiful film overall

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