Tag Archives: ale

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.



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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Black Sheep’s Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale & Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Hark, Good Knights and Fair Maidens!

Tonight’s combo is arguably our most literal pairing to-date but it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. With Monty Python’s Holy Grail (literally how the label reads), brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, and the classic WTF movie Monty Python and The Holy Grail on the screen, you are pretty much guaranteed a great evening. So grab those coconuts so we can ride into tonight’s review. (Am I pushing it?)

Monty Python’s seminal 1975 Terry Gilliam-directed film Monty Python and the Holy Grail is simply beyond description or comprehension. I’m going to work under the assumption that you have all seen this film because if you haven’t, you don’t exist to me. But for those who need a refresher, the film is ostensibly about King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail, but that really doesn’t say much about the film. In truth, the movie is mostly a series of medieval-themed sketches that generally involve the same characters. From debates about the carrying capacity of various species of swallows to the most famous killer bunny in cinematic history, Holy Grail really runs the gamut of odd topics. And yet these scenes, and all the confusing ones in between, somehow make sense. While there isn’t a real “narrative,” our brains try so hard to create one that we end up feeling fairly satisfied with our personal interpretation. But really this movie is best enjoyed when it is washing over you, rather than being truly “watched”. I recommend seeing this with a bunch of friends and then just quoting the hell out of it as your night progresses. You’ll probably end up seeing it again many times, so don’t worry if you don’t catch every line. My only real problem with this film is the ending. I think most people will agree with me when I say that the ending is completely unsatisfying. Sure, it’s in line with the film’s sense of stupid humor, but it’s so abrupt it makes you question why you watched this film in the first place. But about three seconds will go by and then you’ll remember that if a woman weighs the same as a duck, she’s probably a witch and you’ll just start smiling again.

Kind of how you feel after watching this

To be honest, I feel like I’m not doing this movie justice. It’s too funny and packed with too many hilarious (and cat-themed) details to faithfully discuss here. There are so many small moments that neither advance the plot nor garner huge laughs that it’s impossible to quantify. To that effect though, it is incredibly refreshing to see a movie that pretty much throws logic and convention to the wind. Holy Grail, and many other classic satires, are purely about the laughs but still assume that the audience is A) paying attention and B) moderately intelligent. That doesn’t mean that this film is above poop jokes, because it isn’t, but it also doesn’t shy away from it’s own cleverness. Every detailed is accounted for and every second without a joke is a second wasted. Unlike so many of today’s sad attempts at farce, Holy Grail manages to be absolutely absurd while still taking itself very seriously. Quite the feat indeed.

*I know you all have short attention spans but you can devote 4:30 to watching two of the most realistic sword fights ever caught on camera

And how about our strange product crossover Holy Grail Ale? I’ve seen this beer around for awhile but I’ve always shied away from it, being a skeptic of all overt product placements. Having grown up watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it seemed a bit sad that a beer was trying to capitalize on the film’s success, so I vowed to never support such a nefarious business. But since this blog makes me do things I don’t want to do, I picked this beer up at Galco’s and gave it a whirl. And, to my surprise, it wasn’t terrible! It wasn’t even bad! In fact, it was pretty decent. This pale ale poured a beautifully clear deep red color with a modest, white head. You’re hit pretty quickly with that classic caramel-y malt flavor which subsides into mild-mannered sweetness that hangs around on the tongue for awhile. In the past, I’ve generally stayed away from pale ales because I find them a bit too unbalanced for my tastes. Pale ales tends to be pretty hoppy (and I have no problem with hoppiness) but I’ve found that they can be a bit too bitter. The Holy Grail Ale was a little light on the hops so you’re treated a smooth, maltier ale that is great for slow drinking. 

So there you have it, sons of window washers (the French have some pretty nasty insults)! Holy Grail and Holy Grail. To those of you who say that this combo is a bit of a cop out, a bit too easy or on the nose, I say…yeah. Kinda. But you’re not the boss of me and I can make my own decisions like a real adult. And I happen to like this particular decision. So what if its obvious? It still worked out. It was still entertaining. It was still a night well spent. Good beer. Great film. What else would you rather be doing on a Sunday night? Other than spanking a castle full of 16-19.5 year old blonde and brunette girls?


Keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Black Sheep Brewery’s Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale:
-Gorgeous reddish color
-Classic malty nose & flavor
-A bit simple but still tasty

Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
-Can’t see it too many times
-Farce as its least sensical & very best
-It has “huge….tracks of land.”

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