Tag Archives: Avery Brewing

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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Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout & For Your Eyes Only

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s almost Thanksgiving so that means it’s time to completely ignore it and watch a random movie! In today’s BAAM, we’re continuing on our unofficial quest to review every James Bond movie ever with For Your Eyes Only and Avery’s Out of Bounds stout. The connection? Skiing! Yes, another James Bond/beer combo tenuously held together by skiing. Some readers may remember that I recap-reviewed this stout a long time ago but I figured it was time to give this bad boy its own post. Also, I just found a liquor store that sells lots of Avery brews out here and I got a little excited. Deal with it.

So let’s hit the slopes, shall we?

For Your Eyes Only (1981) is Roger Moore’s 5th Bond film and is generally regarded as a “return” to Bond basics after the 1979 release of Moonraker (spies in space!). And while nothing about the Bond franchise is truly basic or simple, For Your Eyes Only does have a remarkably simple story and a noticeable lack of fancy gadgetry. Sure there are still motorcycles with machine guns, remote-controlled helicopters and Dick Tracey-esque watch-phones (I guess Galaxy Gear would be a more up-to-date comparison), but more often than not Bond relies simply on his wits and his trusty Walther PPK.

In this film, Bond is tasked with tracking down a British missile control code machine from a sunken ship before it can be sold to the Russians. That’s actually it. Just a good old-fashioned Cold War plot. But like any self-respecting Bond flick, the narrative takes us through the beautiful backdrops of Cuba, Greece and the Italian Alps. And also like any self-respecting Bond flick, the movie features car chases, ski chases, ski jumps, submarine fights, scuba fights, cliffside fights, shark attacks, hockey fights (don’t ask) and, of course, crossbows. I think the main reason this film gets away with such a stripped down plot is simply because the film is largely action sequences. Yes, story is peppered throughout the explosions and chases, but mostly it’s just visual candy. And it’s some sweet-ass candy, if I do say so myself!

Motorcycle ski chase shootout. All done for real.

Motorcycle ski chase shootout. All done for real.

Of course there are the usual logic and emotional bumps along the way. Like why Bond’s enemies always choose the most outlandish and least-effective methods of killing him. Or why a Greek smuggler allies with Bond so readily. Or why a really young figure skater wants to bang every older man she can get her hands on (and why is she even in the film at all?). Or, most importantly, why Bond lets  a Russian general, intent on buying a piece of valuable British military hardware, just turn around and fly home? WHY?! But you really can’t let yourself get bogged down in these kinds of questions of logic or reason or sense, otherwise you’d never enjoy the movie. And Bond movies, at their core, are simply meant to be enjoyed. Nothing more, nothing less.

When movie posters were blunt

When movie posters were blunt

And how about our Out of Bounds Stout from Colorado’s own Avery Brewery? Was it similarly action-packed? Well, it was definitely malt-packed (that’s a thing now, go with it). Pouring a gorgeous chocolate-colored two-finger, this stout is black as night! I held it up to a light (as I usually do) and barely any light passed through. With a sniff, you’ll get strong notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee that will have you drooling. And you’ll get those notes again when you sip, but they’re remarkably well-balanced. Moreover, the mouthfeel is super smooth. Combined with a low ABV 6.3%, the result is a delicious beer that is easy drink and will be reliable over two or three bottles. Definitely a winner.

So there you have it, folks. An out of bounds pairing with For Your Eyes Only and Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout. A big, punchy combo that goes down easy and is perfect for these chilly nights (by Los Angeles standards).

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout:
-Deep black pour
-Bold, delicious malt flavor
-Easy to drink despite the body

For Your Eyes Only
-So much crazy action
-Simple story
-Good fun but not a Bond-best

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Avery’s The Reverend Quad & The Exorcist

The power of Christ compels you, Drinkers!

That’s right, today’s pairing is Avery Brewing’s The Reverend and the 1973 classic The Exorcist. And let me tell you, coming from this mildly tipsy Jew, this Catholic combo was quite the show! So grab your holy water and hang onto you robes, BAAM is in for a devilishly good time!

The original 1973 version of The Exorcist is one of those films that most people classify under the “you must see this” genre. Actually, I’d say it’s probably one of the few horrors that fall under that  esteemed category, alongside  the likes of The Shining and The Ring (he said reluctantly). In fact, what all of these “must-see” horror movies have in common is how horror is simply the premise on which great filmmaking is produced. For The Exorcist, the movie isn’t particularly scary and isn’t focused primarily on the gory details of Regan’s possession. Rather, it uses the lens of horror to perform a psychological study on its characters and their demonically-strained relationships. The end result is a film that barely addresses the demonic arts for at least the first 45 minutes of the film and is largely a slow viewing experience. In fact, the pacing is so slow (and the dialogue mixing so…1970’s) that it’s quite difficult to get a grasp of where the movie is headed and how each character ties in. At many times, I found this ambiguity to be quite frustrating. As a modern viewer, I wanted a direct and obvious connection between the events of the first 10 minutes (which feel like something out of Indiana Jones sans action) and the events of the rest of the film. I also wanted clearer explanations of each character and their relationship to one another. Who are all these people living in Chris’ home? Who are all of priests that Father Karras? For the majority of the film, I was feverishly trying to connect the dots between character, place and event. Only until the end did the pieces (sort of) fit together, but not exactly to my complete satisfaction.

The significance of this statue is never explained

The significance of this statue is never really explained

What I also found frustrating about this film was its focus and subsequent abandonment on its principal characters. The beginning of the film focuses exclusively on Father Merrin who digs up something scary in Iraq. Then the film shifts its attention to Chris MacNeil in D.C. as she tries to understand what is happening to her daughter Regan. Then about two thirds of the way through the film, it shifts focus once again onto  psychologist/Jesuit priest Father Karras who struggles with his mother’s death while also calmly chatting with a demon-child. While the stories are carefully woven together, the end result is one of frustration and confusion, as you’re never really sure to whom you’re supposed to connect. Beyond not wanting Regan to remain possessed, it is  hard to care about these characters when we abandon halfway through the film. Briefly, on another note, I found the pace of the editing to be a bit inconsistent. At times, we were left with these uncomfortably long, lingering shows while at other moments, we would abruptly (and sometimes prematurely) smash into other cuts. That’s more of a personal taste thing for me but I wanted to point it out.

Dis bitch scary as Hell!

Dis bitch scary as Hell!

But I don’t want you to think that all of this griping means I did not like the film. On the contrary, the more I pick apart a film on a (pseudo) intellectual basis, the more it generally means I liked the film. For one, The Exorcist is expertly shot. Every frame brings the viewer anxiety and heightens the unsettling nature of the subject. Moreover, setting the muddy dialogue mixing aside, the sound effects are quite incredible. All audio that is not expressly human is accentuated and exaggerated. The end result if an eerie mix of every day sounds that make your skin crawl. And super scary demon-child voices. Quite a feat. But really, overall the film is still a classic. It is quite unsettling and an impressive reminder of what the horror genre can achieve when put in the hands of dedicated and adept filmmakers. It’s also fun to see how many times the girl’s mother says “Jesus Christ!” or “Oh God!” throughout the film. Nice little touch there.

Not actually in the official cut but is rather an incredibly famous deleted scene!

Fun Fact: This famous scene was not actually in the original cut but later added to remastered versions.

And our aptly paired beer from Avery Brewing? I have to say, The Reverend is an interesting beer, to say the least. This quad pours a cloudy, coppery-brown with modest one finger head. The Reverend gives off  a strong malty nose but your first sip may surprise you. For sporting a heart 10% ABV, the beer itself does not have a heavy body but is rather a tame mix of roasted caramel malt, molasses and fruit (cherries?). Those with more defined palettes will undoubtedly pick up hints of Belgian yeast and vanilla but I am not a gifted drinker. Suffice it to say that this beer is subtle, complex and is best consumed slowly. My 22 oz. bomber lasted me the two hour duration of the film (disclaimer: I’m a slow drinker) and I still felt the booze just a little when I stood up. Overall, the beer fit the movie quite well. Both are complex and multi-layered but are not above being simply enjoyed at face value. While The Exorcist can get a bit slow or frustrating at times, The Reverend was always there to keep me in good spirits.

Thanks for reading, drinkers! You can always join the conversation by leaving a comment, subscribing or following me on either Facebook, Twitter or Untappd.

And as always keeping drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:340
Avery Brewing’s The Reverend Quadruple:
-Cloudy, deep cooper pour
-Very malty nose
-Notes of caramel, molasses and cherry

The Exorcist:
-Expertly photographed
-Unclear who’s film this is
-Slow but satisfyingly unsettling


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Beer & A Recap: Family Ski Vacation Edition

Hey there Drinkers!

I just got back from a lovely ski trip in Colorado, so I thought I would update you on my Rocky Mountain drinking adventures. Unfortunately, I didn’t do much movie watching, so this entry will be a little thin on a the cinematic end. But I did have some (many) great beers, so I hope that makes up my failings. For those of you who follow BAAM on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beerandamovie1), a few of these will be repeats, but you’ll just have to deal with it. Let’s get started!

Crazy Mountain Amber Ale:
I really enjoy amber ales. I find that they serve as great middle-of-the-road beers that easy to drink but still have some great flavor. Crazy Mountain however was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was a decent beer, but as an amber it was a bit too hoppy and grassy in its flavor. I’ve done some reading and it looks like this is a canned beer. I had it in a pint glass, but I’m mildly biased against canned beers, just to put it out there. Anyway, as this is a local Colorado beer, odds are I won’t be seeing it all too often, which is fine with me.

Avery Out of Bounds Stout:
A simple, solid stout that most anybody can drink. It’s a bit hoppy for a stout but it works quite well. Also, it’s strong chocolatey flavor tends to linger around for awhile which is really nice. Sure, the beer isn’t “out of bounds” crazy delicious, but it’s a good beer to sip after a long day of skiing.

Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA:
A great followup to my review of Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA. With a longer hopping schedule, you can really notice the increased hoppy character and complexity of this beer. Remarkably still, it’s not too overwhelming as an IPA, again confirming that Dogfish Head really knows what it’s doing.

New Belgium’s 1554:
One of my favorite darker beers. The 1554 “Enlightened Black Ale” is a very approachable dark beer that I think surprises most drinkers. Though quite malty and chocolatey in flavor, the beer itself is not too heavy or overbearing. Rather, it ends up being a very easy-to-drink beer that I think most casual drinkers would enjoy. This one is very easy to find, so I suggest you pick up a few and share with your friends.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale:
A simple, classic pale ale that doesn’t get too crazy on you, if you’re in the mood for a casual, refreshing drink. As a pale ale, it’s quite balanced in its hops and malt, relieving some of the bitterness that some pale ales can have. I’ve found that “pale ale” is a somewhat broad and vague term, but this Mirror Pond seems to sit comfortably in the middle of the road, just waiting for you stop by and take a sip.

Paulaner Hefe-Weisbier:
A simple, not-too-sweet hef that does the trick. This German wheat beer is not as sweet or citrusy like its American counterparts Blue Moon or Shocktop, but Paulaner is solid beer. It’s fairly light, refreshing but still has some of the wheaty body. You get hints of citrus in there, but it’s not going to knock you over the head either, which is fine in my opinion.

*Note: The next three beers I had the night I returned from Colorado and went to my favorite beer bar in LA, The Surly Goat. The beers were all (very) high in alcohol and I was fairly tipsy by the end of the evening. Just saying…

Craftsman’s Acorn Saison:
I really love saisons. They are much more wild and flavorful in their profiles than most other beers, which make them great for special occasions. This saison was a bit most tame in it’s flavor but was still quite delicious as you get grain, citrus and floral notes all at once. I didn’t get the acorn, for better or worse, but I’m not too heartbroken about that. And with a not-too-shabby ABV of 8.1%, I could definitely see myself drinking this again.

Ballast Point’s Navigator Doppelbock:
I think Ballast Point is my new favorite brewery and I’ve only had two of their beers. In an earlier post, I mentioned their Inda Kunindra Export Imperial Stout which has an unusual spiceness to it that I loved. Well, the Navigator also exceeded my expectations. This brandy barrel aged doppelbock is not for the faint of heart. Right off the bat you’re hit with strong notes of brandy and alcohol (more brandy). Once that dissipates, the more stable, doppelbock body kicks in to help mellow out the bite from the alcohol. This is a true sipping beer that needs to be enjoyed slowly with friends. So if you see this at your local bar, like I did, I would highly recommend you give this a shot. A long, slow shot…

Dogfish Head’s Robert Johnson’s Hellhound On My Ale:
Another mind-blowing beer from the same evening. To be honest, I was a bit drunk by this point in the evening, so I don’t remember the specifics of this delicious 10% ABV Double IPA. I do remember that the name “double IPA” seemed to be quite fitting for this beer, as it outshined any other IPA I’ve had recently. It was also quite lemony but not in an obnoxious or puckering way. Rather, it helped mask the very high ABV, which is always a good thing. Another great beer out of Dogfish Head, but definitely not for the casual drinker.

Really briefly, I actually only finished one entire movie this past week (I saw others but was never able to finish them, sadly). What I actually watched all the way through was Horrible Bosses. With great comedians and Jennifer Anniston’s unsettling sexuality carrying this film, it was hard not to laugh. It had some great one liners and some fun banter between the three protagonists, but the more I actually thought about this movie, the more it didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Which, I guess, is fine. Considering this film’s premise is already pretty extreme (“Let’s kill each other’s bosses!”), it really doesn’t do you any good to start thinking about relationship dynamics or actual narrative structure. Rather, this movie is just meant to be laughed while you having a few beers after a hard day of Colorado skiing.

Not horrible, just unsettling.

So that’s it, folks. Thanks for bearing with me with me through all this text. Regular BAAM entries will be back by the end of the week, so we should be getting back to normal. For those of you who don’t know, beer and a movie is now on Twitter (@beerandamovie1) as well as Facebook (www.facebook.com/beerandamovie1). The WordPress site is still the hub of BAAM, but Twitter and Facebook let me do some smaller, on-the-fly posts as well as help me get the word out about BAAM. So if you like what you’re reading, watching and drinking, hit me up on and share the love!

Keep drinking my friends!

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