Tag Archives: anchor brewing

Anchor Brewing’s California Lager & Clueless

Hey there, Drinkers!

Today’s pairing is all about California and how it generally regards itself as a superior state to all others in the Union. So our pairing for today is the 1995 teen classic Clueless and Anchor Brewing’s California Lager. As an East Coast transplant, my feelings are mixed with regard to the “Best Coast” but at the very least, living in LA for five years has opened up a new perspective on things. Namely things pertaining to Clueless. And my perception of cold. Anyway, let’s get rollin’ with the homies in today’s BAAM!

In 1995, a highschool comedy titled Clueless hit the big screen. Roughly twelve years later, I actually watched it. And now I’m watching it again. For you. Because I love you.  Chronicling the like totally challenging life of Beverly Hills highschool student Cher, Clueless is a perfect combination of sincerity and satire. That rare breed of film that makes you laugh out loud in earnest while also making you want to punch yourself in the face because it’s so predictable and corny. And while much of the dialogue evokes involuntary eye-rolling, that eye-rolling becomes part of the joke in itself. Everything that happens is so over-the-top and unbearable that it becomes an integral part of both the tone and narrative itself. Maybe I’m over-thinking things, but Clueless is actually written very well. And I don’t just mean that it’s funny and engaging and the characters are fleshed out. I mean that at every point throughout the film, the film simply builds on its own absurdity and folds it into the narrative. Yeah, now I might definitely over-thinking Clueless.

People dressed like this in the 90's? As if!

People dressed like this in the 90’s? As if!

There’s actually a surprising number of things I could say about this film that make it special, but most of them have been said before or would take away from the movie’s simple and charming appeal. I could talk about its take on teen sexuality or its perceptions of women, or drug culture, or LA elitism, or high school social castes or charity work. Or maybe how this film what shot at my college… Or that NO ONE THINKS IT’S WEIRD THAT CHER AND JOSH HOOK UP AT THE END!

Okay, I get they’re not related but still. I’m a little skeeved out by it. I mean, thank goodness it’s Paul Rudd otherwise we’d have some issues.

I’m glad we talked about this.

What's the social etiquette on dating your ex step-brother?

What’s the social etiquette on dating your ex step-brother?

Today’s brew hails from San Francisco, California’s second best city for craft beer (sorry SF, but San Diego is a craft brewing titan). Coming from the talented brewers at Anchor Brewing, the California Lager is a light, golden beer brewed exclusively with California hops. For those who don’t know, the term lager refers to lighter beers that are lower in alcohol. This is opposed to an ale, which is typically darker and higher in ABV. Anyway, this California lager generally sticks to that format. It’s light, crisp, easy to drink and very refreshing. What sets it apart is its surprising hoppiness. Obviously it doesn’t reach IPA levels, but it is one of the more bitter and dry lagers I’ve had. I don’t typically go for lagers, as I like my beer to have more complexity and some body, but the California offered a nice change of pace to lighter end of the beer spectrum. And while the bitterness might be off-putting to someone who just wants a “regular” lager, I’d still recommend giving this one a shot. Could be good to try something new.

So there you have it folks, California. Maker of movies, brewer of beers, manipulator of reality. But seriously, tonight was a good, relaxing tribute to my now-adoptive state. It was golden, fun, smart and with a dash of intellectual self-mockery. Sounds about right.

For another perspective, check out what Beer Broad had to say about this brew.

Remember you can always subscribe to BAAM by hitting the button at the top of the page. Or you can always follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Untappd.

And as always keep drinking, my friends

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:cal-lager-bio
Anchor Brewing’s California Ale:
-Clear & golden
-Crisp, refreshing & dry
-Notable hoppy bitterness

Clueless
-Overwrought dialogue that’s part of the joke
-Equal parts reverence & satire of Los Angeles
-And it’s true, everywhere you go has valet

Leave a comment

Filed under Review

Anchor Brewing’s Summer Wheat & I Know What You Did Last Summer

Hey there, drinkers!

We’re still in summer mode here at BAAM and we’re getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July! And what better way than to drink a relaxing wheat beer and watching a 90’s slasher film that, for no apparent reason takes place on Independence Day? I can’t think of any better alternatives. None whatsoever. Let’s begin!

Ful disclosure: I’m generally not one for the slasher genre. I find them a bit dull, predictable and not particularly scary. And I think it’s safe to say that the annoyingly titled 1997 slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer fits the bill quite well. After a night of irresponsible underage drinking and pre-marital sex, four teens accidentally hit some dude with their car. Logically, they decide to dump him off a pier rather than notify the police and ruin their upcoming college careers. Let’s take a moment to note that this film takes place in the wealthiest and whitest, small fishing town in the United States. Fact.

I miss 90’s fashion

Anyway, a year later, a hook-wielding killer comes to town to exact his revenge. The film does a pretty good job of concealing the identity of the killer, throwing the audience off by killing of our top suspects pretty quickly. However, all this clever planning collapses when (SPOILER ALERT) it turns out that the killer is really just the random guy they hit the year before. Surprise! But let’s talk about why we really watch slashers: the kills. Unfortunately, the deaths in this film are neither too gruesome or inventive. Obviously, it’s still not a great movie to show your kids but you know what I mean. The most gruesome and graphic death is the first kill and all the other ones are pretty boring or implied (re: off screen). For the most part, they are all variations of “Person gets stabbed with hook. Unfortunate death ensues.” Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the dialogue yet. Ryan Phillippe’s improbably named character, Barry, violently snaps between douchebag and rage while Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt read stock romantic lines like “I understand your pain.”

Okay so maybe some of you have a soft spot for this movie. I know a lot of people from my generation grew up with slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, but that doesn’t make them good movies. Yeah sure, the film is mildly entertaining in a mindless sort of way, but there have to be better slashers out there that are more satisfying in their dialogue and their deaths.

…okay so maybe not so much with the dialogue, but maybe they must have other redeeming qualities.

Okay now I get it

And our summer slasher beer? Tonight we tried San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing’s Summer Wheat, a nice attempt at a simple light beer with a little bit of wheat body. I say attempt on purpose though. To be honest, I found the flavor of this beer to be a little lacking. That well-known wheat flavor from beers we love like Blue Moon was mostly absent. In its place was just a mild graininess that I did not find particularly satisfying. Simply put, it was kind of plain. I hate to say it, knowing that Anchor Brewing makes so many other great beers, but this Summer Wheat lacked that distinctive wheaty flavor and didn’t back it up with enough of a malt character. Instead, you get a light and mild beer that is easy to drink but not particularly satisfying. Sorry folks.

So that’s it! Our summer continues as we get ready for the 4th with a little blood and beer. However, it hurts me to say that the combo wasn’t too fulfilling. I Know What You Did Last Summer comes off mostly as an excuse to have pretty people on screen (just like any other self-respecting summer movie) while Anchor’s Summer Wheat fails to stand up to the other heavy hitters of the wheat beer world.

Stay tuned later this week, because I hope to get out a 4th of July special that may or may not actually come out on the 4th. We’ll see?

Either way, keep drinking my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Anchor’s Summer Wheat
-Pours a light straw color
-Thick, lingering foam head
-No strong wheat or malt character

I Know What You Did Last Summer
-Classic slasher setup
-Uninspired kill scenes
-People wore funny clothes in the 90’s

1 Comment

Filed under Review