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BAAM’s Two Year Anniversary Special: The Apple

Happy anniversary, Drinkers!

Today’s post celebrates BAAM’s second birthday! I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this silly little drinking adventure but here we are: with developed palettes and terrible taste in cinema. In celebration, I invited a few friends over to share some beers and introduce them to the horrendous 1980 film The Apple. Since there were a few different beers on hand for the event, I’ll just give a brief overview of each one while also providing a more in-depth review of the film…if there’s any depth to be had. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Now since most of you are normal, well-adjusted people I am going to assume that none of you have even heard of  The Apple so I’ll summarize. The Apple is a musical allegory for Adam and Eve set in a a futuristic dystopian 1994 in which a music mogul has taken control of the world due to the overwhelming popularity of his song “Bim.” The lyrics to said world-dominating song are as follows: “Hey hey hey, Bim’s on his way.”  Ostensibly the film follows the disparate lives, successes and failures of couple Bibi and Alphie who choose different paths after they are offered a major record deal with music mogul Mr. Boogalow but we all know that’s just a bunch of crap. This film is mostly just an excuse for expensive musical numbers.

The price of success

The price of success

If you watch this movie, which I recommend you do, you’ll realize that about 80% of the film is an incomprehensible, fever-dream of musical sequences that only loosely relate to the plot. The other 20% is filled with bad acting, shiny spandex and face paint. But this is not a movie you watch to understand. You watch The Apple to be confused and then to rip on it. In fact, heckling is encouraged in my book. If you watch this on your own, you won’t have any fun. So be sure to bring a friend when (not if) you watch this masterpiece of garbage. I guarantee you won’t regret it. GUARANTEE!

The film's namesake Apple

The film’s namesake Apple

And the beers we sampled? It was a nice mix, representing my beer-drinking history and geography from Boston to Los Angeles. I even had a few more beers that we didn’t get to but that’s fine. Just more beer for me and more BAAMs for you! Here’s a quick breakdown of what was consumed.

Sam Adams’ Summer Ale:
-Required summer drinking for any Bostonian
-Light wheat flavor, easy to drink
-Noticeable lemon-y notes that some may find overpowering
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Eagle Rock Brewery’s Populist IPA
-The IPA that made me fall in love with IPA’s
-Fantastic local Los Angeles brewery with real care for their craft
-Super hoppy but fairly soft on the palette

populist (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Stone’s IPA
-A solid, San Diego IPA
-Hop-forward aroma and taste but not unforgiving
-A great entrance into the IPA world
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So again, I want to thank each and every one of you sticking with me these past two years. BAAM has always been a great excuse for me to try out great beer and watch random movies, but it’s your comments and support that make it thoroughly gratifying. So cheers to another successful year of BAAMing!

Remember: drink local, drink with friends and watch bad movies.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

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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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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

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