Tag Archives: Indra Kunindra

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!

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Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale & Juno

Howdy Drinkers!

I’m sorry for the gap since the last post but hey, life happens. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking or watching movies. Rest assured, I’ve been doing both. Recently, I saw Mike Mills’s Beginners (beautiful. I highly recommend it) and also rewatched the classic Bond flick Goldfinger (essential viewing for any aspiring Bond-lover). I also drank a few new beers recently. I had a Duvel, which is a classic Belgian golden-ale which I found good, but not extraordinary. I also had Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra which was fabulous. The Indra is an export stout that is very rich and has a great spice to it (like actual, spicey spice, not holiday spice). If you see it, drink it! But that’s in the past. Tonight, I drank 22 oz’s of Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale while watching the 2007 indie heartwarming blockbuster Juno.

Soooo for like the .001 percent of you who haven’t seen this totally brainsploding adult-teen dramaromcom, here’s the skinny…Yeah I can’t keep writing like that. But that’s one of the most noticeable facets of the 2007 indie flick Juno. Diablo Cody’s writing style is now unmistakeable and often repeated but back in the stone age of 2007, Ellen Page’s ultra-snarky pseudo-slang was fresh, original and a provided a welcome break from the classic high school comedy milieu with which we are all too familiar. Combined with the somewhat unusual topic of teen pregnancy and it’s blunt vision of the subject, this was the breakout film of the year.  I did find the dialogue a bit tiring after awhile and Juno’s attitude is a bit too flippant and consciously  quirky to suit my tastes, but overall it’s a good film. Visually, it’s simple (in a good way!) and the performances are earnest and caring. Ellen Page does a great job of bringing a character to life who could have easily been a caricature. And sure you it’s a bit baffling as to why Jason Bateman’s character is married to Jennifer Garner’s character (who really remembers the character’s names?)  considering they seem to be inhabiting different lives, but it’s pretty easy to forgive that as the movie progresses. I do actually appreciate how Bateman’s character kind of disappears in the third act because it shows a bit of courage (or laziness) on the behalf of the filmmakers, considering Bateman quite literally isn’t important anymore to any character’s future.  But I digress, aside from the occasionally overwritten scenes and the very carefully (and too obviously) constructed indie/punk/folk soundtrack, I enjoy this film. As I imagine is the case for most viewers, it’s hard to not let this film make you sad, happy, thoughtful and hopeful all while realizing that Ellen Page is the shortest actress ever.

Also, small qualm coming from a former track & field athlete: what event does Michael Cera run?! He trains for distance but he always seems to be competing in sprinting events and wears sprinting spikes…and he eats breakfast burritos as he’s about to run. Just saying.

Oh I just happen to be talking on my hamburger phone. What a fun, little, random, completely unmanufactured quirk of my completely non-purposefully quirky teenage lifestyle.

So let’s talk about Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale. Here’s the story of how I chose this beer: I like to buy my beers at a small, locally-owned shop in Highland Park called Galcos Soda Pop Stop (seriously, go there. You’ll fall in l0ve). It’s this awesome joint that has a massive selection of craft beer and artisan soda. The real kicker though is that you can buy everything by the bottle, meaning you never have to get locked into a six pack. So anyway, I’m walking down the aisle with a buddy of mine and we stop at the Rogue section. I see a beer that says “Juniper Pale Ale” at the bottom and I say “Juniper Pale Ale? That sounds crazy!” And then I bought it. Fast forward two weeks and I’m cracking this 22 oz bottle open and I have no idea what to expect. Well, to be honest, this Juniper Pale Ale kind of just tasted like a pale ale. I mean, it’s a good pale ale, but I’m not sure where the juniper went. There were some faint earthy undertones but any beer with some margin of hops and malt (like any self-respecting beer should have)  should have some earthy/grainy notes. It was also just barely sweet, which may been the juniper, but it’s hard to say. As someone mentioned on BeerAdvocate, if you’re going to call your beer a Juniper Pale Ale, then you should be able to taste the Juniper. But kudos to Rogue trying out something new because that’s what makes craft beer so exciting. I’ve been meaning to try some of Rogue’s other beers so hopefully we’ll see them again here on BAAM in the near future. Recommendations anyone?

So BAAM is finally back with Juno and a Juniper Pale Ale. Both are good, but not great. Juno is sweet, refreshing and heartfelt but it’s hard to not feel like everyone is trying just a little too hard as a result of the unnaturally witty dialogue. The same goes for Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale. It’s a solid pale ale, but the juniper doesn’t really shine through or even really make a strong impression. So if you want your juniper, you might be better off with some gin (gasp).

Looking to the future, I’m going home briefly for the holidays, so I’m not sure how regularly I’ll be posting. I’m going to try and get another one up before I head back East but don’t hate me if I miss the mark. Otherwise, I’ll do my best to get you a guys a good New England beer and a movie edition. But until then. Happy Holidays and Happy Drinking!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale: 
Pours a hazy, light golden color
Solid, pale ale flavor
Lacking on the juniper front

Juno:
Earnest & sweet approach to a tricky subject
Witty dialogue is sometimes too witty for its own good
Canadian actors Michael Cera & Ellen Page prove that they can play American characters. Minds explode.

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