Tag Archives: alesmith

MacLeod Ale’s The King’s Taxes & Three Kings

Hey there, Drinkers!

Grab your gold and a beer because today’s BAAM is all about paying bills (or collecting, if you a king I guess). We’re watching the 1999 film Three Kings and sipping on MacLeod’s The King’s Taxes. Kings, gold, taxes and beer: it’s almost like I planned this pairing. So let’s get started.

In 1999, David O’ Russell (of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle fame) released Three Kings, a bizarre humanitarian heist movie set against the closure of First Gulf War (remember when there was only one?). With an impressive cast including, but not limited to, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, (weird, right?), Judy Greer and a young Alia Shawket (weird, right?), we follow four soldiers on their quest to “liberate’ Saddam-stolen Kuwaiti gold. The film quickly tacks away from the simple premise as our heroes stumble into the quagmire of local politics, pitting soldiers against civilians against the American military against Saudi/Iranian interests. Most of the politics are background noise against the human drama, but the film does reserve some time to relay the profound message of ‘what the hell are we doing here?’

America! Fuck yeah!

America! Fuck yeah!

And while the film’s political message is commendable, the most interesting part of the film is its presentation. The writing and acting is very much David O. Russell’s brand of quick-wit/dumb people humor but the visuals of the film are that of someone still figuring out their style. The narrative goes through big, tonal swings from comedy to heartbreak to action and the pacing of those moments varies wildly, as if stitched together. And within sequences, the visual language also varies dramatically. Highly styled, blurred slow-motion combined with the overuse of whip pans is intended to convey the chaos of a gunfight, but mostly I found the formalism to be intrusive and distracting. This visual inconsistency, and stop-start pacing detracts from an otherwise solid film carried by solid performances (is Clooney ever bad?). I also found the film’s ‘where are they now?!’ ending to be a little cheesy but that’s fine, you’re entitled to do that, I guess. But overall I really do like this movie, but you can definitely tell that it was a learning experience for David O. Russell.

Bullion. Not the cubes you put in hot water to make soup.

Bullion. Not the cubes you put in hot water to make soup.

And with our liberated Kuwaiti gold, it’s time to pay our taxes. For tonight’s pairing, I grabbed a bottle of MacLeod Ale Brewing’s The King’s Taxes. Macleod is a LA local beer brewed not too far from where I live. Having had this beer at the brewery several times, I was excited to see bottles appear at my local liquor store. I should note that I drank my bottle straight out of the fridge, whereas at the brewery, beers are served much closer to room temperature.

Pouring a deep brown with a slight reddish hue and a big, off-white head, The King’s Taxes aims to make a statement right off the bat. It’s beautiful to look at and you get the added benefit of picking up notes of malt, caramel and coffee once you get your nose in there. Off your first sip, you might be surprised by how light the body is. Like many British style ales, The King’s Taxes is deceptively light despite its dark color. And with minimal hopping, you’re treated to a nice, big malty kick with a smooth finish which lingers in your mouth. You’ll get notes of malt, caramel, chocolate and coffee with very little carbonation. Moreover, this beer warms quite well and is perfect for sipping slowly over the course of a two hour film like Three Kings. Overall, a fantastic beer and a great change of pace from my usual, bitter IPA’s.

So there you have it, Drinkers. A strong, if not flawed, film and a great companion beer to hold me through the entire experience. I imagine Macleod may not exist outside of Los Angeles, but if you ever see a bottle, I highly recommend you snag a bottle or two.

Thanks for reading and as always keep drinking, my friends!macleod-the-kings-taxes

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Macleod’s The King’s Taxes:
-Super smooth
-Great roasted, malty flavor
-Warms really well

Three Kings:
-Fun, quippy performances
-Visually inconsistent & oddly paced
-Talented and deep cast

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Halloween Crossover Special: Alesmith’s Horny Devil & Idle Hands

Hey there, Drinkers!

Guys, I did it again. I’m sorry, but I did…I watched another terrible movie. In celebration of Halloween and in keeping with BAAM tradition, We Recycle Movies and I found a terrible slasher movie and shared a spooky beer. Only this movie was real bad. Not even redeemably bad. Just good ol’ fashioned bad. So if that’s something you’re interested in, keep reading! If not, be kind and ready anyway, because you’re a good person. Up for our 2014  Halloween Special is Alesmith’s Horny Devil Belgian Strong paired with the forgettable 1999 Idle Hands. Let’s get it started!

Since 2012, BAAM and WRM have been teeming up to watch some not-so-classic holiday slashers while softening the blow with high ABV beers. And while this year we sadly didn’t have time for our usual double (or triple) feature, today’s pairing is in the same spirit. Our spooky movie? The understandably forgotten 1999 film Idle Hands starring such actors as Seth Green, Vivica A. Fox and a pre-super hot Jessica Alba. Anne from WRM effectively summed up this movie when she it was a horrible attempt to unify the popular genres of the 90’s: stoner film, self-aware slashers and edgy teen comedy. Such a combination is really only going to produce two outcomes. The first result looks something like Scream, which is, by most accounts, a good movie. The second possible result would look exactly like Idle Hands. Idle Hands is unequivocally a bad movie. In a nutshell, oh hero stoner/slacker Anton has his right hands possessed by the devil. Said hand forces him to murder pretty much everyone around him. Oddly, Anton seems to take most of the murder in stride, especially when his two (murdered) best friends come back as zombies to help him fight his own devil hand. He also doesn’t realize that his parents’ corpses are in the living room for, apparently, several days.

Dat. Hair.

Dat. Hair.

But let’s really sink our fingernails into this movie. What makes it so bad? Is it the stupid concept? Maybe. What about the cast? Oh just awful. And their acting? Yikes! Our lead, played by Devon Sawa (recently seen in Nikita), is really just annoying. He overacts an underwritten role and his character is painfully clueless (as opposed to the charmingly stoned sort of clueless the writers were going for). Even Jessica Alba, who is a real actress, was terrible. In addition to her awful 90’s haircut, her line reading is painful. Not to mention her inexplicable attraction to the blood-soaked Anton to whom she has never spoken. And then there’s Vivica A. Fox who is in the movie for a grand total of 5 minutes. Apparently, she’s from a secret order of druids (?) who are dedicated to casting out the devil hand. Maybe. It’s unclear? Regardless, she’s one-note, underserved and makes no sense, much like this entire film. I know I’m skipping a lot here but I’m really trying to protect you from this movie. The faster you forget that it exists, the happier your life will be.

Bonus: Fred Willard is in this movie and he dies immediately. Take that as you will.

IH4

Helpful stoner zombie friends!

And what about our devilish beer? Is it weird to say “thank God” for Alesmith’s Horny Devil? I think not. Alesmith, which is one of my favorite SoCal breweries (and was featured in last year’s BAAM Halloween Special), knows how to make an exciting beer and the Horny Devil is no exception. This Belgian-Style Strong hits all the notes you want from this type of beer. It pours a lovely orange-amber with a beautiful 1-2 finger head that leaves behind some nice lacing. Off the nose, you’ll get the classic aromas of Belgian yeast, banana and citrus. And with your first sip, those aromas will pull through with the addition of some notes of wheat and candi sugar. All of this is nicely balanced against the wicked 10% ABV. Really just an overall fantastic beer that I have to recommend.

So there you have it drinkers. A movie you should forget about and an outstanding beer to aid in the process. Special thanks as always to Anne for enduring yet another awful movie with me. Be sure to check out We Recycle Movies for her take on the film. And if you like what you read, you should tune into her extraordinary series My Year With Katea 52 week blog series about Katherine Hepburn. Needless to say, Anne is really smart.

And always keep drinking, my friends!
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Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Alesmith’s Horny Devil:
-Well-balanced Belgian
-Notes of banana, citrus, wheat & sugar
-10% ABV, so you may want to share

Idle Hands:
-Makes no real sense in terms of character, geography or life
-Young (bad actress) Jessica Alba
-Seth Green is the best part of this movie. Seth. Green.

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Halloween Crossover Special Pt. 1: Alesmith’s Evil Dead Red & The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2

Happy (early) Halloween, Drinkers!

In the first of two installments, BAAM has teamed up yet again with We Recycle Movies to bring you another holiday special review! In part one of this devilishly delightful dual review, Anne from WRM and I watched the first two films from the original Evil Dead franchise while sipping on AleSmith’s appropriately thematic Evil Dead Red. Part two will cover the conclusion to the Evil Dead  trilogy and will be posted next week. So, without further ado, let’s dig up some corpses and get into it!

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Hey look! It’s makeup!

Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead  (1981) marks a special time in horror movie history. While it by no means created many of the stereotypes and cliches we now associate with the genre, it quite definitively solidified the tropes that are now almost laughable (as you can see from my review The Cabin in the Woods). It also walks the delicate line between true horror and classic camp. For those familiar with the franchise, The Evil Dead is now camp royalty but when apart from history, this film is more an astounding feat of independent filmmaking. Yes, the acting is poor, the writing even worse and it pretty much has no story, but I don’t really think that’s what this movie was made for. Rather, this film is much more about its visual style. The camera work, while quite jarring, is unique and perfectly captures (and enhances) the tone of the film. The same goes for the editing as well. It may not always make sense, or even be that pretty, but it services the rest of the film so well that you actually will find yourself nodding in approval, rather than shaking your head in disgust. The disgust comes from the blood, so don’t worry.

Which brings up another point: this movie (and this franchise) are not for the feint-of-heart. While all of the gore and other general creepiness is more humorous than upsetting, there is still a shocking amount of blood and guts and other mysterious body fluids. All of which end up on Bruce Campbell’s strong-chinned face. But like the film’s visuals, the movie’s shock-value also serves a purpose and services the story…sometimes. Yes, it’s all absurd, but at least it knows that about itself.

Yup...super gross

Yup…super gross

Since we’re on the topic of self-awareness (and gore), let’s talk about Evil Dead 2 (1987), which is arguably the strangest sequel ever. Okay maybe it’s tied with Mad Max 2 but that’s besides the point. Ostensibly taking place immediately after the events of the first film, Evil Dead 2 weirdly resets the franchise by boiling down the first movie into a two minute prelude that negates much of what actually happened. From there, the film takes a wild twist into campy insanity. Where the first film didn’t laugh too hard at itself, Evil Dead 2 fully embraces its own absurdity while still clinging to its recognizable visual style. What that translates to, essentially, is more blood, more guts, more demons, more possessed hands and more overall craziness (like when the entire cabin starts dancing and laughing).


As is probably quite obvious from the above clip, this movie be CRAZY.

Overall, what is important to take away from these movies, aside from their solidifying insanity and overzealous blood usage, is how visual style (and crafty production design) can really sell a movie. Without its distinctive style, it’s entirely plausible to believe that the Evil Dead franchise could have sunk into oblivion.

Groovy

Groovy

And what about your unusually appropriate beer, AleSmith’s Evil Dead Red? I have to say that AleSmith has unofficially become the preferred brewer of BAAM. I’ve reviewed five of their beers (including the Evil Dead Red) and not only are they all delicious, they generally pair very well with movies. And the Evil Dead Red did not disappoint. Pouring a spectacular, clear red with a thin khaki head, this brew was everything I wanted out of the style. It’s nose promised a complex mix of malt and fruit while its flavor was a striking balance of hop and malt. Most interestingly, this beer is decidedly hoppy but does not feature the kind of bitterness you find in most West Coast IPA’s. Rather, the hops are well balanced against mild-mannered malt notes with a few hints of sweet citrus. Truly a well-rounded and well-crafted beer. Looks like AleSmith has done it again.

So there you have it, Drinkers! Part one of our two-part Halloween special with our friend Anne over at We Recycle Movies. She’s a professional smart person, so be sure to check out her review of The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 for a better review. Be on the lookout next week for our review of the franchise’s bizarre conclusion in Army of Darkness.

And as always keep drinking, my friends. Happy Halloween!

alesmithevildeadred__84643.1380219397.1280.1280

Tonight’s Tasting Notes: 

The Evil Dead:
-Doesn’t really make sense
-Very bloody
-Striking visuals in every department

Evil Dead 2:
-Makes even less sense
-Even bloodier
-Really goes hard on the camp

AleSmith’s Evil Dead Red:
-Striking red pour
-Hoppy but not bitter
-Remarkably balanced & complex
*Bonus: ABV clocks in at 6.66%

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Alesmith’s (Summer) Yulesmith & Bad Boys II

Hey there, Drinkers!

Remember when I drank Alesmith’s IPA and watched Bad Boys? Well in the spirit of We Recycle Movies, we’re doing a sequel! Today we’re drinking Alesmith’s Summer Yulesmith and watching Bad Boys II. And I promise that YULE (you’ll) love every minute of the mindless, explosive combo! So let’s get to it, shall we?

In continuing this blog’s strange infatuation with filmmakers like Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich, I’ve decided to revisit the Bad Boys franchise for today’s BAAM. For those of you who have been with BAAM for a little while, I reviewed Bad Boys back in April and I thought the experience was…meh. But since I’m gentleman/masochist, I decided to watched the 2003 sequel Bad Boys IIReuniting our two fast-talking, ne’erdowell Miami cops in the hunt for DRUGS, Bad Boys II pretty much ignores the first movie and charts its path. That’s actually about all I can say about the plot. It’s kinda hard to follow. There’s something about lots of Ecstasy coming from Amsterdam to Miami on its way to Cuba but there are also Russian clubs involved but the DEA is in from NYC and there’s a morgue….it’s a bit of a mess. But that’s not why you watch Bad Boys II, or any Michael Bay movie for that matter. You watch it for one thing and one thing only:

EXPLOOOSSSSIIOOONNNSSSS!!!

My face for the entire film

My face for the entire film

But really, the movie is largely incomprehensible and jumps wildly through time and space. And scope, for that matter. What begins as a tactical drug bust in the swamps outside Miami (there are swamps outside Miami?) eventually comes down to an unsanctioned, military-style raid on a Cuban compound. No lies. This movie literally goes cop movie to war movie in about a 5 minutes flat (after about 2+ hours of other explosions). What carries us through this whirlwind is a series of high-octane, high-budget action sequences peppered with snarky banter between our heroes Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Each action sequence, and there are quite a few, lasts a good 20+ minutes and are  simultaneously bewildering and fascinating. Dozens of cars explode, people’s brains are blown out, building explode, more cars are destroyed and laughs are had. Oh and Michael Shannon shows up a little bit too. But, like most Michael Bay films, it’s very hard to follow. I mean, I appreciate all the hard work that went into shooting and cutting these scenes, but PLEASE! Let me follow along! It’s like a nauseating rainbow of destruction.

This movie is serious business!!

This movie is serious business!!

But seriously, this movie is probably best enjoyed as I enjoyed it: with a cold, high ABV beer in hand. What better way to let chaos wash over you than with an Alesmith Summer Yulesmith Imperial IPA by your side? This beer is released twice a year: once around Christmas and once around July 4th, with variations in the grain bill to suit the season. This summer Imperial IPA (or Double IPA or DIPA) pours a very nice clear, golden color with yellow-ish head that dissipates quickly. Giving a strong citrus aroma, you’ll be hit with flavor notes of grapefruit, pine and a little bit o’ malt. While this brew is definitely an IPA in hoppiness, it also layers in some nice sweetness that counteracts the typical bitterness found in high ABV IPA’s or DIPA’s. So, like everything else I’ve had from Alesmith, this beer is exceptional. Crazy flavorful, easy to drink and just complex enough to keep me interested over the course of a 2.5 hour movie.

So there you have it, folks! Another EXPLOSSSIIIIVVVEE BAAM brought to you by Alesmith and Michael Bay. Since these two reviews have been such a mind-numbing experience, I may considering doing this again sometime. But seriously, you have a mindless (but nevertheless entertaining) film and a fantastic brew, how can you go wrong a warm summer evening?

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
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Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
AleSmith’s Yulesmith:
-Clear, golden pour
-Lovely pine aroma
-Big citrus, pine and malt flavor

Bad Boys II:
-Fast-talking & fast action
-Action is hard to follow
-MICHAEL BAY=EXPLOSIONS!

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Alesmith’s Speedway Stout & Senna

Hey there, Drinkers!

Put down your drinks and put the pedal to the metal, because today’s BAAM is all about that checkered flag (also because drinking and driving is illegal & super dangerous)! We’re sipping on Alesmith’s delightful Speedway Stout and watching the 2010 racing documentary Senna. So let’s hit the pavement and roll right into tonight’s BAAM! (so many racing puns!)

As much as BAAM is about watching terrible movies in which many things explode, every now and then it is truly refreshing to engage in a film that captivates and mesmerizes. And it is only more invigorating when that film is an artfully done documentary that so beautifully captures, represents and respects its subject. Senna, the 201o documentary from filmmaker Asif Kapadia, is a loving remembrance to one of Formula One’s greatest legends: Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna. For the sake of disclosure, I have zero interest in auto racing and barely see the appeal of the sport. But regardless of you fall into that same disinterest category, the beauty of Senna is that it makes the viewer understand and feel the sport. The doc does a wonderful job of capturing the romance of auto racing.  The beauty, the glamour, the politics, the danger. All of it exists in this film and all of it is grounded in the painfully human story of driver Ayrton Senna.

So thoughtful. So beautiful.

So thoughtful. So beautiful.

What is most remarkable about this film is how unbelievably true it all is. As I told my roommate, Senna’s story is something you see in the movies because it is too perfectly dramatic for real life. The young upstart driver forces his way into the Formula One scene. With his first big break, he is disqualified due to a BS technicality that seems orchestrated by his calculating rival/teammate (who happens to be French). Yet despite the adversity, Senna becomes a three-time World Champion, an international celebrity and a hometown hero. And, on top of all that, he’s a God-fearing hottie! It is literally too good to be true. But it’s all true. I’m not educated enough to decry spin or slant but to my untrained eye, the film seems objective, honest and respectful of the facts without opinion or angle. Ultimately, Senna is an exceptional film about an exceptional man.

Frenemies

Frenemies

And could Alesmith’s Speedway Stout keep up with Senna? Short answer? Yes. END OF REVIEW!

Just kidding, Alesmith deserves more than that. This Speedway Stout, brewed with coffee for extra speediness, is a jet black (oil black, if we’re keeping with the racing theme) brew with as much character as Ayrton Senna. Pouring a deep black with a modest caramel head, Speedway gives off strong notes of caramel, chocolate malt and coffee. The taste brings more of the same but despite it’s heavy color, the mouthfeel is surprisingly mild. Speedway is supremely smooth and the carbonation is mild, making this the ultimate sipping beer. That and the 12% ABV. I mean, I’m not a fast drinker by any means but I was still drinking this 2 hours into this bomber. Big beer and big alcohol require a more leisurely pace, in my opinion

So while drinking a stout in a warm Los Angeles spring may not be the best idea, this beer ended up being the perfect companion to Senna. Both are rich in character and best enjoyed slowly. You don’t have to like Formula One racing or stouts to get into these bad boys either. While they offer something to the seasoned fanboy, they area also wholly accessible to the casual consumer. Maybe Senna is more easily accessible than Alesmith’s Speedway, but that’s mostly because driving really fast will always be more awesome than anything. Other than spaceships. Spaceships are the best.

So there you have it, Drinkers. A night of speed! Of action! Of character! But seriously, all joking aside, tonight was thoroughly enjoyable. And after nearly two years of BAAMing, I have to say that Senna was one of the few breakout surprise hits I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. Good thing it’s on Netflix!

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:Speedway-Stout
Alesmith’s Speedway Stout:
-Brewed with real, locally roasted coffee
-Deep, dark black pour with caramel head
-Strong notes of caramel malt, coffee & chocolate

Senna:
-The glamour & drama of Formula One racing
-An accessible film to an elusive sport
-A story that defies the “too good to be true” label

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AleSmith’s IPA & Bad Boys

Hey there, Drinkers!

Today we phone-in our BAAM pairing with AleSmith’s IPA and the 1995 Will Smith (get it yet?) action movie Bad Boys. Yeah, that’s right. We’re Smith pairing. Since AleSmith wastoo awesome to actually name this brew, we weren’t left with too many options, so bear with me. But regardless of lame my combo, this pairing actually worked quite well. So tell me, what are you going to do when tonight’s BAAM comes for you?

Probably drink more but that’s just a guess. Let’s get started, shall we?

EEXXPPLLOSSSIIOOONNSSS!! That’s what my brain said when I saw Michael Bay’s name in the opening credits of Bad Boys. So you can imagine my disappointment when I found a dearth thereof in this two hour film. Actually, for an action film there was a general lack of action throughout. Sure there was a sprinkling here and there but I think the gun fight/car chase/explosion budget was saved for the last ten minutes of the film. Of course, any action film’s conclusion should be big and bombastic, but not at the expense of the entire second act of the film. Seriously, the body of this film was just quick-witted exposition, sassy banter and Miami scenary. Yes, the brotherly banter between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith is expertly paced but there is only so much mindless chat you can take before you desperately cry out for something to EXPLODE!

So much action...in this one scene!

So much action…in this one scene!

I don’t really want to discuss the plot because there isn’t much to say. Most of the film is not about the plot. It’s about the characters. And how frustratingly senseless Julie (the key witness our heros must protect) is with regard to her own predicament. Oh, I’m a witness to a murder/major heroin deal? How about I only trust ONE COP and refuse any actual police support? Oh, being protected by the police means I can’t go out? How bothersome! Seriously Julie, you’re killing me. You make no sense and your skirts are WAY too short. And why do you make such a big deal about being a vegetarian? I’m a vegetarian. It’s not a big deal. Okay clearly I’m getting off-track here.

What I mean to be discussing is how annoying the editing style is for this film. In classic Michael Bay form, his action sequences are big and boisterous, but nearly impossible to follow. When the action kicks up, you lose all sense of space and time seems to move freely without any real semblance of..well, time. In the end, I can’t say I’m surprised. Michael Bay is not been known for his storytelling or his narrative clarity. He’s really been known for proclivity for weaving humor with EXPLOSIONS. And in that regard, Bad Boys is a success. In any other regard, not so much.

MOAR GUNZ

MOAR GUNZ

So was our beer equally bombastic? In many regards, it was more an explosion of awesome than Bad Boys. AleSmith’s IPA (because giving it a name would be lame) is, without question, one of my favorite IPA’s around. I’ve been fortunate enough to have this brew on tap throughout Los Angeles but this was my first encounter with its bottled brethren  While draft is always the way to go with craft beer, I have to say that this bottled beer was pretty much just as good. Pouring a clear, copper color with a two-finger head (fingers are standard measurement tools for beer), this IPA is exactly what you want out of this style of beer. It has a massive, piney-hops nose with a beautiful, floral hoppy taste that does not overpower the palate. Rather, the careful balancing of this beer allows the complexity of the hops to dance around on your tongue. There’s bitterness, pine, citrus and just a hint of booze. It really is a perfect IPA in my opinion. For the IPA-lover, AleSmith’s IPA is the beer for you. And I’d recommend it to beginner trying to explore this style as well. Truly a winner.

So there it is, drinkers. A generally EXPLOSIVE pairing of both beer and movies. How about that?And while our movie was a little lackluster, it was nothing 22 ounces of pure hoppy delight couldn’t remedy. So whatcha gonna do next time you find yourself watching a Michael Bay movie? I’d recommend grabbing an AleSmith IPA. Especially if you’re going to check out Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which will apparently be lacking in both the “mutant “and “turtle” departments.

Stupid ninja aliens….

As always keep drinking, my friends.
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Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
AleSmith’s IPA:
-Clear, copper pour
-Lovely pine aroma
-Full-bodied hoppiness without  being overpowering

Bad Boys
-Noticeable lack of explosions
-Great banter
-Bloated second act

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Valentine’s Day Special: Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale & Valentine

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s that time of year again! The time when we give the people we love chocolates, flower, teddy bears and other a host of other heart-shaped paraphernalia. It also means it’s time for the glorious return of the awful slasher movie review from both myself and We Recycle Movies. If you remember last year, we watched both versions of the terrible mining-slasher My Blood Valentine. But sadly (or thankfully), there are a limited number of Valentine’s Day-themed murder movies out there, so Anne & I settled for the only one we could find: Valentine. And in keeping with the theme, I also grabbed two bombers of Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale (wish I had those last year…). So with our beers in hand, our movie before us and our attention elsewhere, we begin our evening!

For starters, Valentine is a crappy 2001 movie about spurned love and heavily features Denise Richards’ chest. Taking place over what we assume to be the days running up to Valentine’s Day, a group of girls (and a bunch of other randos) are murdered by someone in a cherub mask with a perpetually bloody nose. Unlike most other slasher movies, the killer has no weapon or choice and does not have superhuman walking speed/teleporting capabilities. Rather, our killer is, we assume, just an average psychopath. How refreshing…Actually that’s a lie, it’s not refreshing. Most of the murders feel arbitrary and the main spook device, a creepy Valentine’s Day card, is quickly abandoned in favor of…well nothing. The result is a fairly average movie with overly-extended suspense scenes that largely conclude with kills we don’t really understand.  Moreover, the low quality of the writing and acting doesn’t really engender any concern for these characters.

Heart-shaped DEATH!(and yes, that's Angel)

Heart-shaped DEATH!
(and yes, that’s Angel)

I’m actually wracking my brain to think of more things to say about this movie but it’s kinda of challenging actually. The movie is just bad for all the expected, boring reasons. Poor writing, poor story, poor acting, poor editing…the usual suspects. The production design was solid…except for the creepy lips-only video art gallery scene. That sh*t was weird.  The only real positives I have for the film are as follows:

1) Cherub-murder man does kill someone with arrows. So that’s fitting.
2) Denise Richards’ boobs are heavily featured.
3) Marley Shelton’s boobs are heavily featured.
4) Katherine Heigl dies in the first 5 minutes. No love lost there.
5) A guy gets his penis Maker’s Mark’ed by Denise Richards. Apparently she doesn’t like surprises.

And that’s Valentine. Don’t watch it. You can do better.

This is most of this movie

This is most of this movie

But My Bloody Valentine? This Alesmith brew was actually introduced to me last week while on a visit to the West Coast brewing powerhouse that is San Diego. In the past, I’d only had Alesmith’s IPA, which had quickly become one of my IPA favorites, so I was game to test out another one of their brews. According to the label, My Bloody Valentine Ale is the seasonal cousin to Alesmith’s Halloween beer, a brew I’ll definitely check out next October. This dark red ale pours a big head and leaves behind some very pretty lacing (foam left behind on the inside of the glass). Though I find that many reds lean more towards the malty side of the spectrum, this brew hits you with some serious hoppiness at the front that is well-balanced by a sweet, malty backbone. The end result is a very flavorful and full-bodied beer that is remarkable smooth, making it very easy to drink. Moreover, the ABV, which has been carefully brewed to 6.66%, makes this a beer you can sip on for quite some time without worrying too much about the drive home.

So there we have it, drinkers. Another Valentine’s Day BAAM come and gone. Though the bad movie may have killed the romance, at least we had a beer to easy the pain.

If you have any Valentine’s Day brews or films you enjoy on this holiday, let me know and maybe you’ll see them next year! But I’m not watching Valentine‘s Day. Screw that.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

 

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale:alesmithmybloodyvalentine__11071.1359179413.1280.1280
-Deep, ruby red color
-Bright hoppiness supported by sweet malt
-Super smooth

Valentine:
– Inconsistent killer
-Flat writing & poor delivery
-Ending makes you scratch your head, but not in a good way

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