Tag Archives: ballast point

Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Porter & Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Ahoy, Drinkers!I probably could have sailed around the world a few times since my last post but all that matters now is that I’m back and I’m drinking! And I’m back real hard with a hearty Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter while watching some silly fun in the form of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. So let’s drop sail and catch the wind, shall we?Fun fact: the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, the aforementioned Black Pearl, was released over 10 years ago. 10 YEARS AGO! How bonkers is that? Compounding that crazy is the fact that Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom (aka two of the most beautiful people around) look pretty much the same. Boy do hot people have it easy. But aside from a few dated CG moments that stand out to our modern eyes, the movie pretty much holds up. It’s simple, swashbuckling fun thanks almost exclusively to Johnny Depp (and Geoffry Rush. He’s kinda amazing). Aside from the sword fights and explosions (of which there are plenty), the movie is really held together by Depp. His Captain Jack Sparrow is funny, confident, self-interested and unfiltered. For such a popcorn movie, it’s a surprising display of acting ability. Especially when compared to his very attractive co-stars who sadly can not keep up.

I’m a better actor than ye, savvy?

And while many of the emotional and character beats throughout the film make no sense whatsoever, the even pace and remarkable comprehensible plot help us suspend all manner of our disbelief. I mean, if we’re rolling with cursed quasi-zombie pirates, then why shouldn’t Orlando get the girl? Or why shouldn’t Jack Sparrow get spontaneously let go moments after avoiding his own hanging? Sure. Why not. Whatever. But really, overall, this movie is good bit of fun. I can’t speak for the rest of franchise (as I’ve actively avoided it) but for some glamorized pirate fun, you could do a lot worse than The Curse of the Black Pearl.*Fun side note, the curse in the film actually has nothing to do with the Black Pearl. The curse is tied to Cortez’s Aztec gold which is stowed away in a cave. The Black Pearl is just a remarkably fast ship with raggedy sails. The more you know!


Also, this movie is a weird costume drama

And our scurvy-fightin’ brew? Well, for starters, this beer would not cure scurvy. There is no vitamin C in it, as far as I know. Also, it’s not rum, so it’s not exactly a pirates favorite drink. But that’s all besides the point. Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter (bit of a mouthful, ain’t it?) is just another example of this brewery knocking it out of the park. As I’ve said in the past, Ballast Point is one of my favorite breweries not only because they just make good beer, but also because make interesting beer. And while coffee or vanilla porters are not that unusual, the delicate balance of those flavors is this dark beer is truly impressive. As you’d hope, the porter sports strong notes of chocolate, malt and coffee grounds. But balanced out with those stronger, more harsh flavors is the light sweetness of vanilla with just a hint of a coffee kick. And it all goes down smooth with a thick, almost chewy texture (that’s a good thing in this case). With a 10% ABV, it’s a wonder this beer doesn’t taste too boozy on top of all of these other flavors. In fact, the alcohol can sneak up on you, so I’d recommend sharing a bomber with a friend, unless you have a sober friend to helm your ship back to port. Overall, it’s really a great brew for you dark beer fans.So there you have it folks, BAAM is back on the high seas of occasional beer-blogging. We had a fun, light movie with a fun, heavy beer. A good balance for when you’re trying to get back in the groove. Hopefully I’ll be posting a little more frequently now so, if I’ve won you back, stay tuned for more!

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea:
 -Dark, thick pour
-Rich coffee & chocolate aroma
-Careful balance of sweet vanilla

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl:
-Johnny Depp
-Keira Knightley (need I say more?)


Filed under Review

Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra & Sita Sings the Blues

Hey there, Drinkers!

Tonight we’re getting cultured with the crowd-funded animated film Sita Sings the Blues while sipping on a delightfully unusual Indra Kunindra. Since there’s a lot to talk about, let’s just dive right in, shall we?

First off, I can take no credit for choosing tonight’s film. My dear friend Anne over at We Recycle Movies suggested I check this film so all the credit goes to her and her expansive mental library of movies. Secondly, this is not a film that people have heard of it. As far as I know, it had almost no theatrical distribution and has probably made zero money. A big reason why that’s the case is because Nina Paley, the filmmaker who pretty much did everything on this project, released the film for free under the Creative Commons. You can actually watch it right now here. And I’d recommend doing so. Once you get past the first few weird minutes, you’ll find yourself deeply in love with this insightful, heartfelt and funny semi-historical film. As a frame of reference, the film is divided into three different animation styles, each of which is responsible for a portion of the narrative. One tells a breakup story of the filmmaker. Another is an interesting history lesson in the Indian story the Ramayan, as narrated by three hilarious shadow puppets. The third informs the previous two through musical acts set the beautiful music of 20’s blues singer Annette Hanshaw. As disparate as they are, the three stories and visual styles all blend together beautifully. The visual imagination of Nina Paley, combined with some fantastic storytelling and some truly wonderful music creates a movie-watching experience that is simply a delight.

A good cross-section of this film's artistic style

A good cross-section of this film’s artistic style

What I think I liked most about this film was its playfulness. What could have easily been an esoteric history lesson is transformed into something fun, understandable and relatable. Our shadow puppet narrators navigate their way through the story’s inconsistencies for us and turn our questions into humor. And it’s so effortless! On top of this, there’s even a three minute intermission just when your brain needs a micro-break from the oddity that is this film. Finally, it’s great to know that this film was crowd-funded. In both the opening titles and closing credits, the filmmaker goes out of her way to thank everyone involved in making this project come to life. And as someone who contributed nothing to this project, it feels great!

Sita being all pure n' stuff

Sita being all pure n’ stuff

And the Indra Kunindra? Well, as it turns out, I clearly can’t stay away from Ballast Point Brewing Company since this is my second in a row here on BAAM. But I really do love this brewery and this beer is a major factor in that. The beer’s label classifies this brew as a “India-style export stout” which I guess explains it but fails to fully encompass what it really going on in this beer. So let me break it down for you. Take an export stout (i.e. a stout that is super dark, malty and high in ABV) and throw in a host of spices. I’m talking curry, coconut, cayenne, cumin and so many more. It’s kinda crazy. The beer is still super smooth but it has this tiny kick. You so clearly get the curry and cayenne but they never overpower that solid, chocolately malt backbone. It’s quite impressive. And you don’t even realize that this beer is 7%! Bonus! To put it in perspective; this is only the second time I’ve had this beer and it easily ranks up in my top three favorite beers. It’s so good that I’ve even written about in previous posts from about a year ago. And the impression that it made!  Anyway, If you see an Indra Kunindra at your local beer shop, I demand you buy. DEMAND!

So there you have it, folks. One of our more legit, classy BAAM combos. We had an accessible art film with an accesible crazy-spicy stout. I truly enjoyed this pairing and I recommend to everyone to check out both of these bad boys. Whether together or separate, they’re sure to put a smile on your face.

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:image[3]
Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra:
-Rich, malty stout backbone
-Complex, layered spicy flavor
-Surprisingly easy-to-drink

Sita Sings the Blues:
-Beautiful animation
-Fantastic music. Perfectly integrated.
-Crowd-source FTW!

Leave a comment

Filed under Review

Ballast Point’s Tongue Buckler & The Buccaneer

Yarr, Drinkers!

After a botched Thanksgiving special BAAM with We Recycle Movies, due to a movie that was literally unwatchable, we’re back to our regular scheduled drinking. Tonight’s we’re hitting the high seas with the 1938 DeMille epic (is that redundant?) The Buccaneer while sipping on some potent Tongue Buckler from Ballast Point Brewing.  So your raise your sail and your glass for tonight’s combo!

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a classic, so tonight I decided to go with the 1938 Cecil D. DeMille film The Buccaneer. Taking place during the historically irrelevant War of 1812, The Buccaneer follows the tribulations of a Louisiana privateer caught between loves and loyalties. When principaled yet swashbuckling Jean Lafitte is propositioned by the British Navy to aid in the war against the fledgling United States, he is thrown into a military and political maelstrom that has ramifications for the entire nation. Though Lafitte is established as a merciless pirate, he has a certain soft spot for American flags and Dutch women. Struck with a certain level of patriotism, mostly because the Louisiana government refuses to arrest Lafitte and his men, Lafitte finds himself a devout American willing to defend New Orleans. There’s a certain amount of back and forth on the allegiances but I don’t want to spend more time on plot. Needless to say America wins and everyone important falls in love with who they are supposed to. What I want to say is that this film is actually pretty good. Old epics have a tendency to be a bit melodramatic (and a tad but racist) but this one strikes a good balance between love, drama, politics, humor and action. And racism. And yes, it is still melodramatic but only in small bits. For the most part, this film is actually a lot of fun. Lafitte is easily lovable and the political drama is engaging enough to pull through the otherwise excessive two hour running time.

The drama! The excitement! The Buccaneer!

What I want to make a point of actually is the humor of this film. For what should be a serious film about political and national affiliations, The Buccaneer does a fantastic job of mixing this drama with great humor. Laffite, like any self-respecting pirate (privateer!), always has a clever retort. His men are equally clever and Gretchen, his Dutch indentured lady-slave/love interest always manages to toss in a humbling line. And Andrew Jackson is friggin’ hilarious. And a baller. As is Dominque. He’s cool too. Beyond the humor, I want to briefly point out that the film does dare to suggest that the United States is imperfect. While the U.S. is still undoubtably the preferable nation to England in this film, The Buccaneer makes a point of showing that the U.S. is a fallible entity. It also takes the time to note that America is comprised of people who have crawled out of the sewers from the rest of the world. Quite the selling argument!

America is the best! Even when they shoot their own loyal pirates…I mean privateers!

And how was our swashbuckling Tongue Buckler from Ballast Point Brewing? Damn good. This is only the second time I’ve had this beer, as it seems a bit tricky to track down but boy is it a good ‘un. Boasting a healthy 10% ABV, this Imperial Red pours a hazy coppery-red color with a modest creamy head. The nose gives off strong, sweet maltiness that you could drink in. And good thing you can! The Tongue Buckler is a crazy malt-fest with just the right amount of bitterness to balance it out. It’s a nice mix of sweet maltiness, boozy grains and hoppy bitterness. It’s actually quite impressive. It’s definitely not for the feint of heart and the full 22 oz. was actually a bit difficult to complete on my own. Definitely doable, just….challenging. It’s mostly that the beer gets boozier as it warms and the high ABV gets to you after awhile. But overall, the beer is remarkably smooth and definitely tasty.

So tonight’s BAAM? Quite a success I have to say. A solid, classic film with the mix of drama, comedy and action we all crazy paired with a strong yet balanced beer. The movie is worth checking out, if you’re feeling a little old school and the beer is definitely worth a taste, though I might suggest trying it with a friend. And for the record, Ballast Point makes some other incredible beers. If you see some of their beers, do me a favor and pick one up. You won’t regret it. In fact, I have another one of their beers in my fridge already.

Thanks for reading everyone and have a great Thanksgiving. Remember to drink locally and responsibly this holiday season. And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Tongue Buckler:
-Super malty flavor
-Lovely copper-red pour
-High ABV that borders on too much booze

The Buccaneer:
-Great mix of everything we love about film
-Huge, lovable cast
-Actually critiques the U.S…a little

Leave a comment

Filed under Review